Policies on Collection/Hunting​

Properties Managed by the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Approved, November 2002 
Revised, August 2012 

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, promotes development and dissemination of knowledge and stewardship of Indiana’s natural resources. One way the department accomplishes this goal is by owning and managing properties located throughout the state to provide opportunities for research and education as well as sustainable use of natural resources. Plants and wildlife constitute important resources found on these properties. The purpose of this document is to provide policies for collection of plants and wildlife that are consistent with the department's mission.

Policy on collection of plant and animal materials:

It is the policy of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources that collection of plants and animals, including material that may be used in propagation of these organisms, is prohibited without written permission from the Department's Woodlands Management Committee. Permission may be granted to compliment the following numbered objectives, contingent on attainment of applicable state and federal permits:

  1. research and teaching activities.
  2. timber management activities.
  3. control of potentially damaging organisms such as exotic pests and overabundant native species populations.
  4. recreational opportunities not conflicting with other property objectives.

Policy on hunting of game species:

Hunting is a valuable tool for regulating wildlife populations at levels consistent with other land management objectives, including forest regeneration. Whether individual properties can be hunted and the extent to which they are hunted will be at the discretion of the department and implemented by the individual responsible for managing a specific departmental property. Specifically, the department's Forester will oversee hunting policy on all departmental properties exclusive of those in Tippecanoe County. The Forester also will work with the managers of Purdue Agricultural Center properties to ensure that hunting policy is consistent with departmental goals and objectives. In Tippecanoe County, the county property manager will work with Woodlands Management Committee to oversee hunting policy.

Policy and Objectives for Deer Hunting:

White-tailed deer are a keystone herbivore in forested ecosystems of the eastern United States. Particularly in areas where forest and agriculture intermingle, the supplemental food resources provided by field crops can result in deer densities that exceed the capacity of native food resources to sustain. A common result of overabundance is a shift in the composition of native plant communities induced by selective herbivory by deer. Selective browsing by deer can have detrimental impacts on seedling survival of a variety of highly valued hardwood species, in addition to many herbaceous understory plants. Overabundant deer populations also can negatively affect populations of other wildlife species by degrading habitat that they require.

The department’s policy regarding deer population management is based on maintaining the deer herd in a reasonable balance with other resources on each property in a manner that is consistent with research and extension activities and considers effects on forest regeneration, plant diversity, and wildlife habitat quality. Because white-tailed deer are polygamous, the greatest demographic effect of hunting on deer population growth is obtained by removal of adult does. Thus, hunters on departmental properties are expected to preferentially harvest does (functionally, antlerless deer). One means of promoting selective harvesting is to set limits on the types of bucks that can be harvested. Unless otherwise noted, hunters on departmental properties will adhere to a policy of removing antlerless deer and only bucks with an antler spread past the ears. Exceptions to this policy can occur in instances where unacceptably high levels of deer density, small property size, occurrence of sensitive research activities, or other factors are evident. Exceptions to this policy will be approved on a case-specific basis by the Woodlands Management Committee, in consultation with wildlife faculty and staff.

The department's policy on the use of deer stands is intended to provide reasonable opportunities for hunters while maintaining the integrity of the timber resources on a property:

  1. All deer stands will be labeled with the hunter's name and address.
  2. No screw-in steps or nails will be used to climb trees or secure deer stands unless approved by the department forester.
  3. Deer stands will be permitted in the woods only from September 1-January 31, unless approved by the department forester.

Failure to adhere to policies on deer population management, including use of stands, may result in revocation of hunting rights.

Procedure to Hunt Departmental Properties:

New requests from persons interested in hunting on a department managed property shall be made by submitting a Hunting Permission Request Form. This form is available in the Purdue FNR Extension Office or from the Department’s Forester during the period of April 1-14 every year unless otherwise approved by the Woodlands Management Committee. For those requesting permission for hunting Tippecanoe County properties there is a draw process open the first two weeks of September. Contact Purdue FNR Extension Office for further information.

Those exercising their permission agreement shall keep their current signed Hunting Permission Agreement in their possession while on Department managed properties. The Hunting Permission Agreement outlines the rules to be followed while hunting the department property, defines the time period available to hunt, and includes liability disclaimers. All Hunting Permission Agreements will contain a Hunting Report Form that must be returned to the Purdue FNR Extension Office by March 15 following the hunting time period shown on the Hunting Permission Agreement. Information obtained from these forms will provide the department with data useful in assessing the impact of hunting.

The last question on the Hunting Report Form asks whether the individual will be applying for permission to hunt the next year. If the form is not returned, it will be assumed the individual will not be returning to hunt the following season, and permission can be granted to another hunter. Returning the Hunting Report Form is a necessary condition for obtaining subsequent permission to hunt, but by itself is not sufficient. Permission also is contingent on following the rules contained in the Hunting Permission Agreement and adhering to the spirit of the cooperative agreement.

Hunting on departmental properties is a privilege, not a right, and hunters are expected to serve as partners in providing sound stewardship of the properties.

Questions and requests for permission to hunt Martell Forest, Purdue Wildlife Area and FNR Farm should be directed to Diana Evans, Extension Information Coordinator. Contact information below.

Questions and requests for permission to hunt properties outside of Tippecanoe County should be directed to Don Carlson, Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Forester.

Don Carlson, Purdue FNR Forester
6718 E. Winona Ave.
Knox , IN 46534
Cell: 812-798-2764
Email: carlsode@purdue.edu

Diana Evans, FNR Extension Information Coordinator
FORS 107
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
Office: 765-494-3583
Email: evans44@purdue.edu

Other resources for hunting:

Hunting Policy for Southeast Purdue Agriculture Center:

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR) Hunting Guide & Regulations:

Indiana’s Public Hunting Areas:

Forestry and Natural Resources, 715 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 USA, (765) 494-3590

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