Hunters Helping Farmers

Recently, Eli Brown, a diehard BBZ fan and deer hunter from the Hoosier State sent me a very interesting email about a new hunting program that is being introduced by Indiana's DNR. The "Hunters Helping Farmers" initiative matches farmers who want fewer deer on their land with hunters who need a place to hunt.

This new online tool has been developed by the DNR to create more hunting opportunities for hunters and help farmers who are dealing with serious crop devastation. Deer hunters must simply submit an online application between July 1 and August 30 of this year. In addition, hunters can submit at least two preferred counties they would like to hunt during the fall season. Next, farmers from those areas can select and interview possible applicants they would like to have hunting their property (hunters must still follow all state bag limits and regulations).

Consequently, some resident hunters are expressing concern regarding the new program. Basically, they are worried about the overall impact it will have on statewide harvest numbers. On the other hand, many hunters are fired-up and excited about gaining access to prime deer hunting lands that previously were not available. A lot of farmers and landowners that have suffered major crop losses also welcome the program with open arms. With that being said, I would like some feedback on what you think about the "Hunters Helping Farmers" plan. Will this program be good for deer management in the long run and would you support a similar plan in your state?