OGDEN DUNES | An Indiana Natural Resources Commission official has set a Dec. 21 hearing date on a request to stay a deer cull in town.
However, the town likely will begin culling deer next week, said Ogden Dunes Town Council President Allen Johnson.
NRC Administrative Law Judge Stephen Lucas issued his report Saturday setting a hearing for 9:30 a.m. region time Dec. 21 at the offices of Prophetstown State Park in West Lafayette to consider residents' request to end the planned deer cull. The order follows a preconference hearing held Thursday in Michigan City.
The town received a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources on Nov. 8 giving it permission to conduct a cull within the town's limits between Nov. 26 and Feb. 28.
On Nov. 20, a group of residents petitioned the NRC to hold a hearing on the permit. Their petition stated the permit "was issued based on erroneous statements of fact regarding the existence of certain conditions related to the presence of deer" in the town.
When the petition was submitted, Lucas issued a temporary stay on the cull through Dec. 11. He does not have authority to extend that stay until the hearing.
"On the 12th the cull could begin," said Johnson, adding the town intends to start the cull Wednesday.
The DNR permit allows the taking of up to 40 deer by two sharpshooters. It can be conducted between a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.
The cull is permitted to take place at three areas in town, including Suerenity Park, behind the fire station and at the east end of a sand track between Boat Club Road and the street department.
Lucas' report outlines what requirements must be met by the DNR, residents and the town before Dec. 21 and sets the rules for the one-day hearing.