Hearing set on Eagle Creek deer hunt injunction bid

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A request for a preliminary injunction to stop a planned deer hunt at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park will get a hearing just days ahead of the scheduled hunt.

Marion Superior Court 5 Judge Robert Altice Jr. on Monday set a hearing for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving. Indianapolis city officials in September approved a hunt in the park for the days after the holiday.

Park patron Wayne Larry Peavler sued the city and asked for an injunction to halt the hunt. The suit naming the city, Mayor Greg Ballard, Parks and Recreation Director John W. Williams, and Department of Public Safety Director Troy Riggs seeks a temporary and permanent injunction barring the hunting of deer in the park.  

City officials approved the hunt as necessary to counter the loss of vegetation due to an overpopulation of deer in the park. The suit calls the proposal “illegal hunting and senseless slaughter of white-tailed deer” lacking a scientific basis and without “bag limits” on the number of deer an individual can kill.

The suit also claims hunting and use of firearms at Eagle Creek have been banned since 1975 and deer since have become accustomed to humans. The complaint alleges the planned hunt violates local ordinances on firearm discharge and proper legal procedures weren’t followed in permitting the hunt and awarding a contract to run the hunt to A&T Wildlife Management Services. The suit alleges A&T is not a registered Indiana entity and that terms of the contract were negotiated in violation of pertinent public procurement laws.

Altice also expedited initial discovery requests, ordering the city to produce documents by Thursday. Indianapolis Assistant Corporation Counsel Adriana Katzen said Tuesday the city had no comment on the case but would defend its position at the hearing.


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