The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) gave final adoption to the changes listed below governing muzzleloaders for deer hunting, beaver trapping, and wild turkey hunting equipment at their meeting on March 16, 2021.
DNR Director Dan Bortner authorized the use of the .410, 28 gauge and tungsten super shot #9 and #10 by emergency rule in time for this year’s spring turkey season. The hearing officer’s report, along with the public comments and response by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, can be found as Agenda Item #9 .
Muzzleloaders for Deer Hunting
Remove the restriction in 312 IAC 9-3-3 requiring the powder used in muzzleloaders to be loaded only from the muzzle end of the muzzleloader when used during the deer firearms season, youth special deer season, late antlerless season, and deer reduction zone season (when firearms are allowed). This change would allow deer hunters the option to use additional muzzleloaders during these seasons, but does not change muzzleloaders that are legal during the regular deer muzzleloader season. Muzzleloaders that can be used during the deer muzzleloader season must still have both the powder and bullet loaded from the muzzle.
A total of 893 wild deer in Indiana were tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) through the end of the 2020-21 deer season, an increase from the 823 tested in 2019.
“While CWD has been found in the neighboring states of Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, we have not detected CWD in Indiana to date,” said Mitch Marcus, DNR fish and wildlife health supervisor.
CWD is a neurologic disease that affects white-tailed deer. The disease is always fatal to deer and is transmitted directly through body fluids, such as feces, saliva, blood, and urine, or indirectly through the contamination of soil, plants, and water.
Communities interested in applying for funding through DNR’s Community Hunting Access Program (CHAP) can apply through March 31.
CHAP is designed to increase hunting opportunities for white-tailed deer in communities and to help alleviate human/deer conflicts. The program provides participating organizations with financial and technical assistance to administer hunting programs in their communities. In a broader sense, CHAP provides a practical and economical method for reducing deer numbers and balancing ecological and societal needs through regulated deer hunting.
Parks, homeowners associations, and other land-managing entities are eligible to apply for CHAP. Successful applicants will be awarded financial assistance to help them manage a deer hunt during the regulated 2021-2022 deer hunting season.
New this year, CHAP recipients will be required to provide a 25% acreage match for the total acres they offer for deer hunting opportunities, that is, CHAP will provide a dollar amount per acre for up to 75% of the acres identified on an application. Total financial assistance per participating partner is capped at a maximum of $25,000.
CHAP allows for community partner oversight and the flexibility to determine when and where managed hunts occur.
For more information and to submit an application, visit on.IN.gov/dnrchap.
By Louie Stout
The Tippecanoe River is teeming with good fish.
The famous northern Indiana river accounted for seven of Indiana’s 2020 Fish of the Year Awards.
The Indiana DNR awards are open to anyone who catches a big fish and submits the details in an online form at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/9453.htm.
Rivers produced several of the top fish in northern Indiana last year. Of course, many of those would be considered as “rough fish” to some anglers, but not everyone.
The Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife is seeking public comment on proposed wildlife rule changes.
Those changes include updates to rules regarding legal equipment for turkey hunting, muzzleloaders for deer hunting, and beaver trapping season starting and ending times. For a complete list of proposed amendments with additional information about each proposal, see wildlife.IN.gov/2362.htm.
There are three ways to comment on the proposed changes. A virtual public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Feb. 9 using WebEx.