INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Seventeen Indiana state park sites will close their gates to visitors for a pair of two-day deer hunts in the coming weeks.

The hunts are scheduled for Nov. 18-19 and Dec. 2-3. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says wildlife biologists evaluate the parks to determine where deer hunts are needed to ensure healthy habitats for native plants and animals.

This year's hunts come after a state appeals court rejected a lawsuit challenging the DNR's authority to allow hunters armed with rifles into state parks.

Deer hunts are planned for Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, McCormick's Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Prophetstown, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River and Whitewater Memorial state parks, along with Cave River Valley Natural Area and Trine State Recreation Area.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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