A city-sponsored deer hunt at Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park will proceed this weekend after a judge refused to block the first such hunt in the park’s history.
Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice Jr. denied a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the hunt that could cull as many as 350 deer. Park patron Wayne Larry Peavler sued to block the hunt, but Altice ruled late Wednesday Peavler hadn’t met his burden to gain the injunction.
Altice also rejected a request from Peavler’s attorney Arend Abel to allow someone to witness and videotape the hunt at the park beginning Friday.
Indianapolis Assistant Corporation Counsel Adriana Katzen said the city had followed required procedures in obtaining professional services contracts with A&T Wildlife Management Services and Wounded Warriors Outdoors to conduct the hunt.
Granting the injunction would have had a “disproportional affect on the government in its ability to contract,” she argued. The city also took public comment on the proposed hunt and was transparent, Katzen said.
Katzen also argued any harms that Peavler would suffer as a result of the hunt were purely speculative.
Abel argued the city didn’t follow required processes because it failed to seek requests for proposals for the hunt and didn’t conduct public hearings. Because the hunt was part of a long-term plan to improve biodiversity at the park, “that’s exactly why you have rule-making,” he said.
The case is Wayne Larry Peavler v. Consolidated City of Indianapolis, et al., 49D05-1411-PL-036871.