"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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DNR Stands By Its Guns
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

The Natural Resources Commission last week approved the continuation of the one-buck rule for deer hunters, and a proposal to allow deer hunters to use rifles with pistol cartridges for hunting deer. The rule awaits approval of the attorney general and the governor.

Pending their approval, the rules will become effective later this year.

According to the proposal on the use of rifles with pistol cartridges, the cartridges used would be allowed in the upcoming deer season, Nov. 17 through Dec. 2. 

The cartridge rule continues the DNR’s long-held position of allowing only short-to-medium range rifles to take deer. The DNR has received many requests to allowing some rifle cartridges for deer. 

The rifle in question must fire a cartridge that meets the following criteria. Fire a projectile (bullet) of .357 magnum or larger; have a minimum case length of 1.16inches, and a maximum case length of 1.625 inches.

Some of the legal cartridges would be: .357 magnum, .38-40 Winchester, .41 magnum, .44 magnum, .44 special, .44-40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .480 Ruger, .475 Linebaugh, .50 Action Express, and Smith and Wesson.500. Others may qualify.

It, if you will pardon the pun, is good to see the DNR “stand by its guns” in the onslaught of one so-called magazine writer who is trying to encourage the state wildlife agencies (including ours) to allow other long-range cartridges that are commercially manufactured. If the Indiana deer regulations need anything, it is not the interference of an out-of-stater (non-resident) deer regulation carpetbagger who would like to run our deer herd from afar, not to mention those of every state in the union. 

Our deer biologist’s title includes the Ph.D. designation, and our guys have managed our deer herd almost since we started stocking them in the early 1930s. If, again, you will pardon my language, they have put up “one mean fight” in protecting our herd from the auto insurance companies and a few land owners, many of whom, who don’t know how to assess crop damages.

A proposal to extend the much-cussed-and-discussed one-buck-rule also was approved by the Commission and awaits final approval by the attorney general and the governor. If approved, it will be effective until Sept. 1, 2012. If not approved, the rule would revert to two bucks per year, per hunter, next year.


Dick Mercier, head of the Sportsmens Round Table, the state’s largest conservation group, is trying to find outdoors people to attend the next meeting of the Marion County Council. He wants them to object to a proposal (Ordinance 174) that would, if adopted, make it a violation to fire any weapon (even a sling shot) within Marion County.

Mercier thinks the full Council’s next meeting will be June 11 at 5 p.m. That could change.

A subcommittee voted last Tuesday to send the ordinance to the full Council’s next meeting with the recommendation “do not pass.” But anything could happen, and Mercier hopes there will be many citizens there to object to the proposal before the full council.

Mercier says he has been advised (by the Indianapolis city attorney) that if the full Council did not vote in accordance of the subcommittee it would be unusual. But he says sports people and gun owners should not be caught napping on the matter.


Wild strawberries (those sweet little gems the size of a fingernail) are ripe now, but you should be careful not to pick look alike Indian strawberries. Flowers of Indian strawberries are yellow, while those of wild strawberries (wood, or common) are white. The wild strawberry has a definite stalk; Indian is a ground-hugging vine with stalks not usually as high.


All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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