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Some Indiana state parks are closed today and tomorrow and will be again in two weeks so that hunters can help thin out the deer population.

The closed hunts are part of the Department of Natural Resources‘ effort to keep the deer population at a manageable level.  “It surprises a lot of folks, but the deer population can potentially double within a couple of years,” said Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources for DNR State Parks and Reservoirs.

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The state parks affected are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial. These state parks will close to the general public the evening before each of the two efforts and reopen the morning after each two-day reduction.

There was a draw to select hunters who will be allowed to hunt at most of the parks on closure days, but Mycroft says there will be some open spots the morning of the hunts at a few parks.  Indiana Dunes State Park will conduct daily standby drawings at 8 a.m. Central Time. Potential standby participants can apply on site between 7 and 7:45 a.m. CST but cannot enter the park before 7 a.m.

Turkey Run, Spring Mill, and Fort Harrison will conduct daily standby drawings at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Potential standby participants can apply onsite between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. EST but cannot enter the park before 7:30 a.m.  Mycroft says Fort Harrison will be limited to archery hunting only.