Natural Resources Commission seeks input on proposed deer hunting rule changes

Indiana’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has opened a second public comment period for proposed changes to Indiana’s deer hunting rules before it votes on final adoption of the proposed changes. Most proposed changes intend to simplify Indiana’s deer hunting rules to make them easier to understand.

Public comments can be submitted online at IN.gov/nrc/rules/rulemaking-docket via the “Submit Comments Here” link in the Rulemaking Docket for the Deer Hunting Amendments. Comments can also be mailed to:

Natural Resources Commission
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave., Room N103
Indianapolis, IN 46204

The deadline for submitting public comments is May 20. A public hearing will be held on May 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET at Atterbury Fish & Wildlife Area, 7970 S. Rowe St., Edinburgh, IN 46124; you can attend in person or online during that timeframe. There will also be an in-person-only open house immediately before the hearing, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET at the same location. To attend the public hearing online, starting at 5:30 p.m. on May 20, go to Microsoft Teams and enter Meeting ID 213 479 076 835 and Passcode Ack2vu.

Sign up for updates online at wildlife.IN.gov/rule-regulation-changes.

Proposed changes include:

  • A statewide bag limit of six antlerless deer as well as a newly created county antlerless bag limit instead of season antlerless bag limits. Because of this change, the bonus antlerless license would be the multiple-season antlerless license that could be used in the archery, muzzleloader, and firearms seasons.
  • Hunters would not be able to harvest an antlerless deer on Fish & Wildlife properties with a firearm.
  • The use of crossbow equipment would be allowed under the archery license.
  • The minimum caliber for a muzzleloader would be reduced from 0.44 inches to 0.40 inches.
  • If a deer is unfit for human consumption, DNR staff would be able to issue an authorization to take an antlerless deer in its place that will not count toward the statewide bag limit or county limit.
  • Adding the deer reduction zones and county antlerless bag limits.
  • Removing the special antlerless firearms season.

For more information on the proposed rule changes, visit wildlife.IN.gov/rule-regulation-changes/

Questions about the proposed deer regulation changes should be directed to 812-334-3795 or indeerhotline@dnr.IN.gov.

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