Not that it will make any appreciable difference,
but officially the dialogue is starting to allow rifles with pistol ammunition
for deer hunting.
But before starting any discussion about deer
hunting--especially with rifles--please allow me (and the Department of
Natural Resources) to explain that this will be done (if, indeed, it comes
to pass) with short-range ammo. There will be no long-range ammo involved,
which the DNR has been steadily opposed to for lo these many years.
Ammo will be strictly limited, and will shoot
accurately over shorter distances--much similar to muzzle-loading weapons--but
they will not be accurate at longer ranges.
Insiders say those who have such weapons have
agitated the DNR for several years on the matter. Others say the proposed
regulation is not expected to make a difference in either the deer harvest
or the safety factor.
Along that line, should the rule be adopted, officials
of the DNR will be very cognizant of hunting accidents the year rifles
are allowed, should it happen. The change in hunting rules that allows
short-range rifles would not be legal until next year at the earliest.
The changes of regulations will be heard this
week at the regularly scheduled July meeting of the Natural Resources Commission
(Tuesday at I p. m. at Atterbury State Fish and Wildlife Area). Should
the various items of the package be approved, the DNR will stage a public
meeting--or perhaps a series of public meetings--on the package.
The package includes 22 changes in regulations,
none so important as the rifle regulation on deer hunting.
The change in the rifle regulation on deer hunting
has been opposed by the DNR for many years as a matter of safety. The DNR
says it is bringing the rifle issue forward at this time in order to receive
comment of the public before the proposed fall meetings
Meetings of the DNR in recent years have been
notoriously under attended.
In other matters the regulation package includes
a rule that will make it more legal for youth having a lifetime license
to participate in the bow hunt for deer, and eliminate the need for those
taking part in the free youth deer hunt to sign up for the HIP program.
The proposed regulations also would:
Remove the 12-15 inch slot-size limit on bass
at Delaney Park Lake. The size limit there would be 14 inches.
Make the size minimum on bass 18 inches with a
daily bag limit two fish at Murphey Lake at Willow Slough in Newton County.
Establish a 25-fish limit of bluegill, red-ear,
crappie at Murphey Lake.
Cancel the no-harvest rule on bass at Dove Hollow
Lake at Glendale Area. It has been unsuccessful limit on bass there revert
to 14 inches.
Establish a 12-15 slot-size limit on bass on the
southern Blue River in Crawford, Harrison, and Washington counties. The
regulation would stipulate that no more than two of a limit bag (five)
bass could be more than 15 inches.
Establish a 20-inch minimum and one-fish daily
limit on the northwestern Sugar Creek through its entire length (Parke,
Montgomery, Boone, Clinton, and Tipton counties).
(Note: The regulations on Blue River Sugar Creek
would allow the DNR to evaluate regulatory strategies to make the streams
There are several other regulation changes--all
available to those with computers at:
or by calling 317-233-6527, not a toll-free call.
[Follow up: The
package of 22 proposed Department of Natural Resources changes in hunting/fishing
regulations was adopted unanimously by the Natural Resources Commission
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at Atterbury State Fish an Wildlife Area. Kyle Hupfer,
director of the DNR, made it plain at the meeting that the DNR neither
opposes nor supports the rule that would make center fire rifles with pistol
ammunition legal for deer hunting. The rule changes will be presented later
to the public when opposition will be heard. There were no objections to
any of the rule changes, but DNR officials noted they have received communications
on some of the unspecified proposed rule changes.]