Big Game Hunting On Military Bases


Published: December - 1998

Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG): Although this 54,000-acre munitions testing facility near Madison, Indiana, was recently closed, a team of wildlife managers in conjunction with the US Fish and Wildlife Service still run a hunting program on 51,000 acres for whitetail deer, approximately 10,800 acres of which is open to the general, civilian public. JPG is situated just north of the Ohio River in southern Indiana, so the terrain varies from flat woodland in the facility's southern portion to more hilly woodlands in the northern portion.

The deer population on the entire acreage of JPG is estimated at between 3,500 to 4,000 head. Typical body weights on mature bucks are 135 to 140 pounds, with some in the 170 to 200-pound range. As regards antlers, two nontypicals were taken during the 1997 hunting season with 21 and 19 points respectively. The overall success rate runs around 20 to 25 percent, with about 360 civilian hunters on base every year. The total bag limit is two deer of either sex. Permits to buy a tag for this hunt are issued through a lottery that is administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

To enter the lottery, you must have completed a state hunter safety education class. Next you must purchase a state deer license ($76.75 for non-residents), and then send the Division of Wildlife a completed "Reserved Hunt Application Card," which can be found in the annual Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide. The drawing is open on an equal basis to residents and non-residents. A total of 330 people applied for 120 archery permits. A total of 550 people applied for 240 firearms permits. If you are drawn, you are then able to hunt JPG with your one-deer license that you already bought before you applied, and you may purchase an additional "military" one-deer tag, also for $76.75. Each tag may be used on JPG.

Upon being drawn, hunters will also receive instructions on how and when to call the JPG wildlife office to reserve a hunt area; reservations are........(continued)

 
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