Hunters soon allowed within Fort Wayne city limits to cut down on deer population

Local News

FORT WAYNE, IND. (WANE) — Deer reduction zone season begins Sunday in the state of Indiana, and soon you could see a hunter within Fort Wayne city limits.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources holds an annual deer reduction zone season throughout the state. Deer reduction zones target areas that have high deer populations and high human density or use, resulting in concerns about the local ecology, deer-vehicle collisions, and personal property damage.

These areas are often under-used by hunters because of lack of access or because hunters have not considered hunting in an urban area or area with high human use, DNR authorities said.

“The important thing to remember is that we are trying not to eliminate the deer herd, we are trying to manage the deer herd to a more acceptable level,” said DNR wildlife biologist Sam Whiteleather. “You are always going to have human-deer conflict but by utilizing hunting in the area, we can help manage that conflict to a more acceptable level.

During this season, archery equipment can be used in deer reduction zones and each hunter with a license is allowed to bag 10 deer. Only one of those deer can have antlers, though.

The legal hunting hours for all deer seasons are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.


In order to hunt in a deer reduction zone, there are a few steps you have to take before start hunting.

“The first thing a hunter will need to do is to get permission to hunt on private land,” Whiteleather said. “They would also need a deer reduction license, a resident youth hunt/trap, a lifetime comprehensive hunting or lifetime comprehensive hunting/finishing license. Those are required unless they met a license expectation under state law.”

You also must know exactly where the reduction zone is within city limits. In Allen County the deer reduction zone is as followed:

  • Within the bounds of Interstate 69 and Interstate 469.
  • All of the area in Allen County west of Interstate 69 that lies north of Lafayette Center Road and south of State Road 14.
  • All of the area west of Interstate 69 that lies north of U.S. 30, east of O Day Road to S.R. 33, south of S.R. 33 to Johnson Road, east of Johnson Road north to West Shoaff Road, south of West Shoaff Road east to S.R. 3, east of S.R. 3 north to the DeKalb County line.
  • All of the area east of Interstate 69, north of Interstate 469, west of the St. Joseph River, and south of Schlatter Road.
The map above shows the deer reduction zone within Allen County. The zone includes parts of Allen County, the city of Fort Wayne and New Haven.


But just because you are allowed to hunt within city limits doesn’t mean there aren’t restrictions. It is illegal to hunt, shoot at, or kill a deer or to shoot at any deer from within, into, upon, or across any public road.

DNR also advises checking local ordinance with the city before you start hunting. In the city of Fort Wayne code states…

   “No person shall be allowed to molest, hunt, harm, frighten, kill, trap, pursue, chase, tease, shoot or throw objects at or to set snares for any wildlife, animals, birds, reptiles and fish within the limits of any park or within 500 feet outside of any park except with written permission of the Department. Fireworks, “BB” guns, slingshots, pea shooters, blow guns and paint ball guns are prohibited in all park areas unless permission has been obtained from the Department. No person is permitted to practice archery or use a bow and arrow or crossbow or other similar device in any park.”


Deer reduction zone season starts Sunday and runs through Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

For more information on deer reduction zones, how to get your license and more, visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.

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