The Community Hunting Access Program has been discontinued in its original format, but communities experiencing human/deer conflicts are encouraged to review the information and seek the assistance and services of trained hunt coordinators listed below. Wildlife management goals and techniques are best determined by the communities being affected.
The Community Hunting Access Program (CHAP) was designed to increase hunting opportunities for white-tailed deer in communities and help alleviate human/deer conflicts. The program provided partners with financial and technical assistance to administer hunting programs in their communities. CHAP allowed each community partner oversight and flexibility to determine the location and time of the hunts and which hunters could participate. The program ended on Jan. 31, 2021; however, DNR staff are still available for technical assistance regarding managed hunting. Coordinators remain available to interested communities.
Please note, managed hunts through individual communities are NOT the same as reserved or draw hunts.
Regulated deer hunting is the most practical and cost-effective method for deer herd management and has been implemented successfully in Indiana for many years; however, for many reasons, deer hunting is relatively uncommon in areas with large numbers of people. High densities of human dwellings, complex land ownership, perceived safety concerns, and other factors create a need for expert coordination and management of community hunts. Deer management is an ongoing process and there is no one-time fix for conflicts.
What did the grant fund?
Successful applicants received funding to offset the costs for administering a CHAP deer hunting program. Funding was initiated at the conclusion of the administered deer hunting program and was based upon the submission of a final report, as outlined below in the “How was the outcome reported" section. Successful applicants developed a managed hunting program tailored to each community’s needs. Hired coordinators worked directly with participating communities.
How was the grant awarded?
The program's goal was to increase recreational opportunities by using hunters to lower deer numbers. Funds were not granted to support sharpshooting programs (see Methods for Managing Human-Deer Conflicts for definitions of sharpshooting).
Grants were awarded through a competitive process, with applications scored and ranked on a number of criteria.
How was the outcome reported?
Within 30 days of the last hunt, grant recipients provided the DFW with a written annual report detailing the results of each hunt supported by the grant. Results included the number of hunting opportunities, number of deer harvested, progress toward goals, implications for future years, etc. Funds were paid upon receipt of the report.
How were hunting opportunities allocated through CHAP?
Participating communities determined the best methods for allocating CHAP hunting opportunities on their properties. The hunter application and selection process could vary by community, depending on the community’s goals, objectives, and other factors. Communities could choose to implement a variety of strategies for acquiring participants for their CHAP hunt, including hiring hunt coordinators, using local hunters, implementing a reserved draw, or using the Deer Hunt Registry. The Deer Hunt Registry remains a service provided by the DFW that allows hunters to register for deer hunting opportunities. Landowners, golf courses, parks, land trusts, farmers, communities participating in managed hunts, and other land managers can use the registry to identify prospective hunters for their property. Signing up for CHAP did not guarantee placement in a managed hunt or any other hunting.
Past participants of the CHAP program
Three CHAP communities were successfully funded in 2018. Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District, Central Indiana Land Trust at Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve, and Central Indiana Land Trust at Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow made available 1,303 acres for hunter access, allowing 730 hunting opportunities.
Seven CHAP communities were successfully funded in 2019. Communities included Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District, Central Indiana Land Trust at Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve, Central Indiana Land Trust at Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow, Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Duneland Beach Homeowners Association, Indiana Oaks Golf Club, and Wesselman Nature Society. These applicants made 3,191 acres available for hunter access, allowing for 1,057 hunting opportunities.
Six CHAP communities were successfully funded in 2020. Communities included Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District, select Central Indiana Land Trust properties in multiple counties, Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Duneland Beach Homeowners Association, Indiana Oaks Golf Club, and Wesselman Nature Society. These applicants made 3,353 acres available for hunter access, allowing for 843 hunting opportunities.
Seven CHAP communities were successfully funded in 2021. Communities included Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District, select Central Indiana Land Trust Properties in multiple counties, Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Duneland Beach Homeowners Association, Indiana Oaks Golf Club, Save Maumee Grassroots Organization, and Wesselman Nature Society. These applicants made 3,173 acres available for hunter access, allowing for 976 hunting opportunities.
How can I be listed as a hunt coordinator?
Communities may elect to employ the services of previously participating CHAP hunt coordinators.
Kokomo, IN 46901
Boonville, IN 47601
Chesterton, IN 46304
Indianapolis, IN 46234
Greenfield, IN 46140
St. Joseph Co., IN
Vanderburgh and Warrick Co., IN
Madison Co., IN
Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, and Owen Co., IN
Monroe Co., IN
Johnson Co., IN
Monroe Co., IN
Jennings Co., IN
For communities that are new to white-tailed deer management in community settings, the Methods for Managing Human-Deer Conflicts can be helpful. For more information, please email Jessica Merkling, north region urban biologist at jmerkling@dnr.IN.gov.