New law leads to confusion for deer hunters


INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana lawmaker admits a mistake has led to confusion and even anger from some deer hunters. State Representative Sean Eberhart from Shelbyville authored the bill that prohibits the use of any kind of rifle to hunt deer on public property, including state parks. He says the bill was never intended to do that and he wants to fix the mistake when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Deer season in Indiana starts November 18.

“The intent of the change was to make it more clear on what high velocity rifle rounds you could use on private property. When that change was made, it inadvertently pulled in the pistol rounds as well, said Eberhardt in an interview with WTTV in Indianapolis. “Unfortunately the law now says that you can use those high velocity and pistol rounds in a rifle, but only on private grounds.”

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued the following correction to its 2017-2018 Hunting and Trapping Guide:

Due to recent legislation passed this year by the Indiana General Assembly, hunters can no longer use rifles when hunting deer on public land. “Public land” includes both state and federal property. Before the change, the use of rifles on public land had been legal. It remains legal to use a muzzleloader, shotgun or handgun when hunting deer on public land in accordance with deer hunting regulations.

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