Green Living, Real Estate News

Ogden Dunes Indiana LymeTicks Put White Tails in Cross Hairs

October 29, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

DisneyBambi_FrameGrb_by_SteveCardwellA spike in Lyme Disease has  put the Indiana lakefront community of Ogden Dunes on  a high level of alert. The infection which is spread by a bite from the Black-Legged Tick, is often referred by the name “deer tick”. Although deer are not the only carriers, they are most widely recognized for spreading the disease.  Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection and many people are not diagnosed until weeks after they have been bitten,  consequently are not treated until they are in an advanced stage.

After more than a year of focused deliberation, an action plan is under way. The Town Council has received approval from the DNR  to cull up to 40  deer  from the Town using sharpshooters from local police departments.  Since most of the Town is well populated by people, the areas where hunting can safely be conducted has been narrowed down to just a single park site.

Dune Acres, near Porter Indiana and the Dunes State Park, in Chesterton Indiana have reluctantly been forced to deal with deer overpopulation, by using hunting programs as well. Biologists from the National Park Service’s Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore have been studying the problem from a big-picture perspective of overall  wildlife management, which takes into consideration  many more factors than simply tick bites. While studies are still ongoing  experts believe some kind of deer control program  may someday be enacted throughout the entire National Park from Beverly Shores, to Portage, Indiana,  to Miller Beach, if deer populations continue to skew the natural balance and adversely affect Park habitats.

Although most residents seem to favor reducing the population to a recommended level of 15 deer per square mile, the proposed method of using hunters is not without controversy. An unsigned letter was circulated which criticized the Town Council of poisoning deer, being reactionary, and should try tagging and using contraceptive products first. And some people are questioning the science with citations from other deer programs that the tick life cycle is more complex, involving mice and other animals than simply carried by deer alone.

While the evidence is fairly clear that reducing the deer will reduce the disease, what is not known is how long it will take for the deer to repopulate the Town after this one-time event.  The Town is surrounded by the two National Lakeshore parcels of West Beach and Inland Marsh, which have unregulated deer populations. Experts tell me that the various herds tend to stay localized, but over time the population density will tend to average out as deer gradually migrate around their range.  Long term, the matter may require a program where some form of population control will need to be done at regular intervals to keep the herd at a manageable density.

Some new members will be elected to the Town Council on election day and deer are a hot topic of conversation. For readers seeking a home in one of our  our 8 pastoral  lakefront and duneland hamlets, from Miller Beach to Long Beach, and the natural wonder that distinguishes each one from the other, talk to me about your relocation plans. I will assist you in finding the perfect home.

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Steve Cardwell

Steve Cardwell is an Indiana Realtor working with residential buyers and sellers throughout Northwest Indiana. He likes to stay current on the housing market by analyzing real estate trends with a focus on the towns of Highland and Munster Indiana. His broker affiliation is Red Key Realty Leaders in St John, Indiana. Learn more about Steve and visit

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2 Responses to “Ogden Dunes Indiana LymeTicks Put White Tails in Cross Hairs”
  1. Steve Cardwell says:

    Someone suggested we hold a a big roundup like in the Wild West with ropin’ and hawg-tie-in’ . Then we put them into that deep basin on Diana where Ted owns vacant lots. Fence it off for a petting zoo. Problem solved; git-er-done.

  2. If it were just Lyme Disease associated with deer that created issues for local residents, controlling the deer population would not be that big of a debate. It goes much further as deer become a nuisance to the environment both on the residential home front and agricultural landscape. Furthermore, deers account for many accidents that could be avoided. Deer population control is good for the environment and good for the community.

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