An off-duty Indiana Conservation Officer was in the right place at the right time and helped save a Highland man’s life. Shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Indiana Conservation Officer Alex Neel was near the intersection of Ridge Road and Indianapolis Boulevard when he saw several people starting to perform CPR on a male who had been removed from a vehicle.

Neel stopped to help and recognized the person attempting CPR was struggling to properly perform the procedure. After confirming the Highland man was not breathing and did not have a pulse, Neel took over and performed chest compressions for several minutes with the help of an unidentified nurse who also stopped to help.

Within minutes, officers with Highland Police Department arrived and helped Neel until medics with Superior Ambulance arrived. An AED was then used, and a pulse was located.

The individual was transported to Community Hospital where the 66-year-old is reported to be doing well.

Neel is a four-year veteran of DNR Law Enforcement assigned to Lake County. He was assisted by Highland Police Sgt. Randy Stewart, Officer Tyler Dills and Officer Tiffany Perez.

Deer death investigation

Lab results have confirmed the presence of parasites in wild white-tailed deer found on a private property in Newton County in late February and early March. About 40 deer were found dead on the property soon after heavy snow melted.

According to Moriah Boggess, deer biologist for the Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, the deer may have died days or weeks before being discovered.

Lab results from diagnostic testing conducted at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab at Purdue University identified the parasites as lung worm, which Boggess says commonly occurs throughout the range of the white-tailed deer species. He says it is likely high parasite loads, combined with heavy snowfall, poor nutrition, and a prolonged cold snap in mid-February were contributing factors to the deer deaths. All deer sampled tested negative for chronic wasting disease.

The Indiana DNR reminds hunters and their families’ meat from animals known or suspected to be ill should not be consumed.

People who see sick wildlife or wildlife appearing to have died from illness are encouraged to report it to the DNR using the online reporting tool at The reports help DNR biologists monitor potential wildlife disease outbreaks and track trends in wildlife health over time.

Hunter dies in fall

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a fall from an elevated hunting blind resulting in the death of a hunter on April 21.

At 11 a.m., Fountain County Dispatch received a 911 call reporting a hunter had fallen from an elevated hunting blind near the 2000 block of West Snoddy Road.

After hunting during the morning, Jimmy Grider, 69, of Arcadia fell approximately eight feet from the elevated blind. Despite life-saving efforts by first responders, Grider was pronounced dead by the Fountain County Coroner.

An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death. Grider was not wearing a full body harness or any other climbing safety gear at the time of the incident.

Indiana Conservation Officers would like to remind Hoosiers the most common hunting related injuries are accidents involving tree stands and elevated platforms. All Hoosiers are urged to wear a full body safety harness when ascending and descending elevated platforms. For more information, see

Camping reservations

The website for making camping reservations at DNR properties has a new look and features to make booking your next getaway a snap. Check it out at

You now have more options to search for camping, cabins, or day-use facilities by filtering your search results to look at park activities, specific site types, accessibility needs and your desired date range.

‘till next time,


Readers can contact Jack Spaulding by writing to this publication, or e-mail to Spaulding’s books, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” and his latest, “The Coon Hunter And The Kid” are available from

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