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IDNR Report

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.

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.
 

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.

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.

IDNR Report

The Indiana DNR has confirmed Indiana’s first positive case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in LaGrange County. CWD is a neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, resulting in their eventual death.

This positive case is adjacent to a region where CWD had previously been detected in Michigan. CWD has been detected in wild deer in 33 states, including all states bordering Indiana.

“CWD has been in our region for many years with positive cases in all of our surrounding states,” said Joe Caudell, Indiana DNR deer biologist. “The public can help by reporting sightings of sick or dead deer to the DNR, as well as submitting harvested deer for testing during deer hunting season. Through increased awareness and testing, we can work to monitor CWD within Indiana’s deer population.” 

Because CWD had previously been detected in Michigan near the Indiana border, finding it in this area of Indiana was highly likely, Caudell said, and DNR will continue monitoring the area for CWD.

There have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. 

MDNR Report

Whitetail DeerWhitetail Deer

As part of the Michigan DNR’s Deer Management Initiative process, several members of the group have collaborated with a social scientist from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University to craft a questionnaire for the public, aimed at assessing people’s opinions and perceptions about deer.

The initiative, established earlier this year, is working to address current and future deer-related challenges facing the DNR and the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. It brings together members of the public and representatives from various stakeholder groups to offer diverse perspectives on deer management topics.

Take the survey

All residents, regardless of their interest in or knowledge of deer, are encouraged to participate. Completing the survey should take no more than five minutes.

Survey findings initially will inform members of the Deer Management Initiative team about Michigan residents' attitudes toward deer and deer management, and eventually be made available to the public.

A link to the survey, open now through April 16, is available at Michigan.gov/Deer.

By Joe Caudill, Indiana deer biologist

The Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife needs your help to best manage deer populations in the state. For that purpose, we invite you to take the Annual Deer Management Survey.

This survey will ask about your perceptions of deer populations and how you interact with deer. If you hunt deer, it will also ask about your deer hunting and harvest behaviors, thoughts about your deer hunting experience, and views on different deer hunting regulations. 

You may complete the survey by clicking the link below. This link will take you to Qualtrics, the web host of the Division of Fish & Wildlife's online surveys. This link is unique to you and can only be used once, so do not forward it.  

IDNR Report 

Indiana sportsmen have until March 20 to comment on deer hunting regulations proposed by the DNR.

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has opened a public comment period for the proposed changes before they vote on final adoption.

Most proposed changes intend to simplify Indiana’s deer hunting rules to make them easier to understand.
 
Proposed changes include:

  • A statewide bag limit of six antlerless deer.
  • 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 with 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.

Public comments can be submitted online at IN.gov/nrc/rules/rulemaking-docket/ via the “Comment on this rule” 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 public comments is March 20. A public hearing will be held on March 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. ET at the Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis; you can attend in person or online anytime during that timeframe. To attend the public hearing, starting at 4 p.m. on March 20, go to Microsoft Teams and enter Meeting ID: 296 491 887 327, Passcode: xTCuyW.

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

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

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