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Ogden Dunes deer cull delayed

Police tape signs mark areas Ogden Dunes where hunters were taking part first day deer cull Monday Nov. 26 2012.

Police tape and signs mark areas of Ogden Dunes where hunters were taking part in the first day of the deer cull Monday Nov. 26, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 28, 2012 6:10AM



The controversial deer cull in Ogden Dunes has been delayed until a Dec. 6 hearing with an Indiana Department of Natural Resources administrative law judge to resolve several issues.

The cull was scheduled to begin Monday, but almost two dozen residents on Nov. 20 filed a petition for the hearing. Since that fell within the 15 days after the special purpose deer control permit was granted on Nov. 8 by the DNR, the effective date of the permit is now delayed until Dec. 11, according to a notice filed Monday by DNR Judge Stephen Lucas.

In their petition, 22 residents say that they will be “aggrieved or otherwise adversely affected by the issuance of this (permit).” They contend that the permit was issued based on erroneous statements on the conditions related to the presence of deer in Ogden Dunes. The permit is valid through Feb. 28.

Town councilman Bill Gregory said he nor Town Council president Allen Johnson had received notice of the hearing as of 5:30 p.m. Monday.

“We have what we consider to be legal permit, so we’re going to go ahead with it unless the DNR tell us it needs to be suspended,” Gregory said.

The deer cull has been a controversial topic in the small beach community since the Town Council first applied for a permit in 2011. At the time, the town justified the cull by the large number of Lyme disease cases in town, but the 2012 application also cites the destruction of residents’ landscaping as reason for the special use permit. Seventeen deer were killed in the 2011 cull before the town decided to suspend it in January 2012, days before another administrative hearing.

Town councilman Charlie Costanza said there’s a question of whether the council followed correct procedure with the latest cull. He said the council voted to renew the 2011 permit, but then applied for a new permit altogether.

Last week, the town released notices detailing the cull specifics. Sharpshooters would not be at all three deer stands every day.

Gregory said the same two sharpshooters from 2011 will handle this year’s cull, which is limited to 40 deer. Each is a current or former police officers. The deer can only be killed with .308 or .223 rifles that have suppressors.

The plan calls for culling to be done on weekdays when the Portage Township Schools are in session; no culling would take place from Dec. 24-Jan. 4, on Jan. 16 and Feb. 15-18.



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