As hunting seasons wind down, Hoosier nimrods will be turning their
attention to such indoor activities as the goings-on in the Indiana General
The big legislative issue in the eyes of the outdoor community probably
will revolve around bills related to deer-pen hunting, but that is not
something new. It has been with us for at least five years in one form
Sportsmen, deer hunters, and conservationists have been adamantly opposed
to deer-pen hunting, a k a “canned hunting,” since a mixed bag of legislators
of the Peru-Kokomo area (and some from other locales) launched lunatic
legislation to legalize such activities.
The anti-deer-pen-hunting contingent, which can give you 1,001 reasons
why phony hunting is totally unwarranted, start with the fact that there
is evidence from Canada and some northern U.S. states that penned deer
may be helping spread chronic wasting disease (CWD) in wild deer populations.
As of Monday [December 27, 2004] I could find no trace of such proposed
legislation on lists of bills that have been introduced for consideration
by the legislature when the 2005 session is reconvened next Tuesday (January
4). However, lists of both the House of Representatives and the Senate
harbor many “vehicle” bills, some of which could be used later by legislator
proponents of deer-pen hunting.
The Department of Natural Resources’ Legislative Study Committee (a
k a summer study committee) spent most of one day last fall discussing
the pros and cons of deer-pen hunting, but made no recommendations on the
This, of course, may mean nothing because legislators who have introduced
such measures in recent years have put delayed fuses on their legislative
bombs to thwart the opposition. This has not been effective in the past,
but we probably can expect more of these sneaky tactics in this session.
In the meantime, I have heard from grapevine janglings that an organization
of experts of the plant kingdom will try to pump life into a sick old bill
that would make fire pink, which few of the proponent have ever seen in
the wild, our state flower.
Your reporter absolutely adores fire pink, although he has observed
and photographed this fire-engine-red beauty only half a dozen or so times
in his life.
The peony (not a wildflower) has been the Indiana state flower far,
far too long. But, although the legislature should replace it, the candidates
for this elite title should be, first, a wildflower, and secondly a flower
that is seen by the masses, perhaps a flower that is seen from our roadways.
on thumbnail image for enlarged view.
|Beautiful as it is, fire pink would be a poor
candidate for Indiana state flower because few ever see it.
||A close-up of fire pink’s blossom leaves no
doubts about its beauty.
DEER HARVEST--Total harvest for
2004 deer seasons will not be known until early next year, but Dr. Jim
Mitchell, deer biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), says
the total bag for all seasons probably will top 110,000.
Mitchell, and his assistant, Lance McNew) had counted 108,000 deer for
the 2004 seasons as of Monday (December 27), and still were counting deer
taken in the late bow season which will continue through Sunday, January
“We will almost certainly have another 2,000 (deer) to add,” Mitchell
says, “but it could be more . . . it could be 3,000 or more.”
Before the early bow season opened last October 1 Mitchell anticipated
a total harvest about like last year’s all-seasons total of almost 107,000,
and an antlered deer harvest that would be among the top four or five years
of our modern deer seasons.
He said the tally for 2004 seasons is not far enough along now to see
if that occurred. The total harvest figures, and a breakdown of the total
by seasons and sexes should be known early next year.