Deer Forecast-Midwest

Hoosier National Forest

Finding trophy hot spots in Indiana isn't easy. "Our Department of Natural Resources doesn't promote the evaluation or analysis of trophy deer," says state deer biologist Jim Mitchell. However, more than 40 Pope and Young¿¿¿class bucks have been taken from the northern counties of Jasper and Whitley. Last year, Indiana hunters killed 44,600 antlered bucks. It was the state's sixth-highest buck harvest on record. The total 2000 harvest was nearly 99,000, down 1 percent from 1999. Mitchell views the slight decrease as a positive sign that whitetail numbers have stabilized. Although every county has deer, the best numbers are found in the northeast and southeast. The largest public holding is southern Indiana's Hoosier National Forest, but public hunting is also available on state forests and wildlife lands.