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Managed Hunting Technical Assistance

urban hunter

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.

Trained Coordinators

Steve Morris
Kokomo, IN 46901
hsm13498@gmail.com
765-437-9114

Robert Rudisill
Boonville, IN 47601
rudisill0649@gmail.com
812-217-0649

John Sullivan
Chesterton, IN 46304
jds8271@gmail.com
219-688-8271

Jim Wilson
Indianapolis, IN 46234
chap.jwilson@gmail.com
317-991-5188

Rusty Fields
Greenfield, IN 46140
rustyrac158@gmail.com
317-714-2028

Ryan Rodts
St. Joseph Co., IN
ryan.rodts@whitebuffaloinc.org
517-937-7187

Kyle Cross
Greene Co., IN
kyledcross14@gmail.com
812-887-0970

Eric Lowe
Indianapolis, IN 46259
Hoosierwildlifecontrol@comcast.net
317-362-4199

Stephen Russ
Vanderburgh and Warrick Co., IN
Stephenruss1@gmail.com
812-459-7392

Rick Bramwell
Madison Co., IN
rickbramwell@aol.com
765-617-0657

Eldon Hojem
Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, and Owen Co., IN
Ehojem@hotmail.com
812-606-1355

Norman Tucker
Monroe Co., IN
tuckern@bluemarble.net
812-961-8232

Branndon Castellano
Johnson Co., IN
BranndonJC@hotmail.com
317-600-6161

Steve Wolter
Monroe Co., IN
sawolter@gmail.com
812-335-1956

Chris Fischvogt
Jennings Co., IN
Fullrut05@yahoo.com
812-592-2502

More information

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.

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