"Bayou Bill" Scifres
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Petitioners Ask For Deer Depredation Regulation Changes
Copyright © 2009 by Bill Scifres

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) -- more specifically the Division of Fish an Wildlife (DFW) -- is expected to be, petitioned to change deer depredation regulations to better the lot of hunters and the deer herd.

Boiled down, the petition seeks backers now (it is not yet a bill in the legislature). Actually, even if it is successful in getting the powers to be to act, it may not go to the lawmakers. It could be handled by the DNR as a discretionary order, or simply a change in present regulations. The Natural Resources Council probably would be asked to approve the changes, or to sidetrack them.

Whatever route the matter might take, deer hunters and conservationists of the state have never been completely satisfied with current rules. Those developing the petition say the present regulations on deer depredation are a far cry from adequate.

One of the points of concern is the dates in which a depredation permit may be used. Originally, a landowner who proved deer were damaging crops could either hunt --or have them hunted -- in winter (after the deer season was over). Now the hunting can be in August or September. The petitioners also back depredation hunting during the regular season, which is October, for bows, and into January for guns and bows.
Another change is being sought to limit depredation hunting to does only, the petition pointing out that we have “one-buck-per-hunter” regulations now, and they are aimed at increasing average size of deer racks. It asks why we should allow depredation hunters to take bucks. I don’t know how I feel about that because bucks eat as much as does and presumably do as much damage to crops.

Still another point of the original petition takes up the wanton waste of deer by some permit holders. It points out that deer have been allowed to rot and feed coyotes in the past and that this should be stopped. It says, and this department agrees, that all deer shot--not just those killed--by depredation hunters must be used as food . . . either by the shooter or food programs for the needy.

Dick Mercier, head of the Sportsmen’s Roundtable, a statewide organization that includes many group members, will take the issue to the next meeting of the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Committee at 9 a.m. at a location at Fort Harrison State Park. Site for the meeting has not been decided. 

Glen Salmon, Director of the DFW, points out that his department is faced with the problem that revolves around what is best for the farmer and his crops. Salmon says, in effect, that deer are killed at times under depredation conditions (with permits) when it is not feasible to field dress them. He indicates that some dead deer are left to spoil.

I would think there are plenty of field dressers of deer in this state, and that acquiring such a person should rest with the farmer in order to salvage that meat. Problems are made to be solved. It’s not always easy.

FLY FISHING -- Indiana's 2nd annual fly fishing and wing shooting show is set for Saturday, January 10, at the State Fairgrounds Ag/Hort Building in Indianapolis.

“Indiana on the Fly” features over 60 well-known vendors from across the Midwest with enough variety to satisfy the most discriminating outdoor sports enthusiast.

This year's show features an expanded vendor area and separate casting arena sure to bring in even more sportsmen and women than last year.  

OTHER SHOWS -- The Indiana Fly Fishing Expo is scheduled Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Scott Hall of the Johnson County Fairgrounds (near Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area south of Franklin. It opens at 9 a.m. each day.

Cincinnati Travel & Boat Show runs from Jan. 16 to Jan 25. It will feature the Cincinnati Golf Show Jan 16-18, and the Cincinnati Hunting & Fishing Show Jan. 21-25. All are at the downtown Convention Center.

Online information is available at (asullivan@powersagency.com ) .

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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