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Indiana County Deer Statistics

Habitat, Mortality, Harvest Per Hunter, and Deer Observations

Each year, DNR compiles county-level deer data across Indiana. The data are then monitored over time to improve deer management and inform decisions about harvest goals. To understand how each metric is calculated and how the data are used view the annual deer management reports.

County-level results are summarized below in an interactive dashboard.

Some data are displayed for the Deer Management Unit (DMU) instead of the county. DMUs divide the state into 10 geographical areas and were developed to group counties similar in land cover, hunter density, and development. DMUs are used because Indiana DNR is often unable to collect enough data at the county level to accurately interpret trends. Learn more about DMUs in the 2018 Indiana White-tailed Deer Report

The dashboard is best viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.

  • How to use this dashboard

    The county selection drop-down selection determines what data are included in the charts. Only one county can be selected at a time. To see statewide data, view the interactive deer harvest dashboard.

    For charts D, E, H, and I, you can select different categories from the buttons on the left side of the screen to change the data you see.

    To display more specific data, hover your mouse over a chart or, if you are using a mobile device, tap the chart.

    Please note, selecting a new county or category recalculates the data and may cause a delay in displaying new results.

  • How to read the data

    Deer Habitat
    Habitat metrics include square miles of habitat, percentage of habitat, and a county image showing deer habitat areas in green (A). The state map shows the selected county as a blue circle and then an outline of its DMU (B). Hover the cursor over or click on the blue circle to display county-level statistics. Hover over or click on the outlined area to show statistics for the DMU. This deer habitat only includes the amount of area classified as deer habitat and does not reflect the quality of that habitat.

    Deer Mortality
    The line chart shows all the mortality metrics on one chart (C). Below that chart is a selectable option to display detailed graphs for each metric (D). The shaded band indicates where the data is expected to be based on the five-year average. Points that fall outside of the band are considered meaningfully lower or higher than the five-year average. Damage permits were not collected until 2016.

    Harvest Per Hunter
    This bar chart shows the number of hunters and the combinations of deer quantity and gender harvested (E). Gender is broken out as Antlered (A) and Antlerless (AL) with spike bucks and shed bucks counted as Antlerless (AL). Numbers are for the individual county level. Hunters who harvest deer from two counties are counted individually under each county. Harvest counts of more than four deer per hunter are grouped into a “More” category.

    Deer Observations
    Deer observations are used to track and monitor trends in deer populations over time. Because there is not enough data from each individual county (i.e., there are not enough hunters participating in the Archer’s Index), the average from all the counties within the deer management unit is used. The line charts show all the observation data on one chart (F, G). Below that chart is a selectable option to display detailed graphs for each metric (H).

    • Total Deer Observations (F, H) are from the Archer’s Index. These observations are used to monitor trends in deer population.
    • Deer Ratio Observations (G, H) use the observed fawn-to-doe ratio as an indicator of population size relative to habitat quality. The information is used to maintain a balanced deer herd. It is generally viewed on a scale from low to high. Low reproduction (i.e., less than 0.1 does per fawn) is an indicator of a large deer herd relative to habitat quality. High reproduction (i.e., greater than 1-2 fawns per doe) is an indicator of low population relative to the habitat quality. Observations of the doe-to-buck ratio are from the Archer’s index while the doe-to-buck-harvested ratio is from the harvest data.

    Harvest-Habitat Correlation
    This scatter plot looks at how the amount of deer habitat relates to the quantity of deer harvested, also called the correlation between variables (I). With a perfect correlation, meaning the variables are exactly related to each other, all points would fall on a 45-degree line. With no correlation, meaning the variables are not related to each other at all, points would appear as a random cloud.

    • This chart shows a data point for every county with the selected county in red. Different seasons can be selected from the list. If “All” is selected, there will be multiple red points shown. Since the amount of deer habitat in a county is relatively static, the data points for a single county will fall in roughly a horizontal line when “All” seasons is selected.
    • Biologists use this data to look for anomalies in the harvest relative to habitat because quantity and quality of habitat are closely related to deer populations and deer harvest. Low harvest and declining population indicators in areas with high quantity of deer habitat may be an indicator of declining habitat quality, a declining deer population, or other problems.

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