Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

July 21, 2013

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Indiana DNR rejects extra deer seasons

GOSHEN — The Indiana Natural Resources Commission approved a number of revisions to fish and wildlife rules but did not authorize a proposal to extend the archery season or add a primitive muzzleloader season for deer hunting.

The archery season will remain the same as last year (Oct. 1 through Jan. 5, 2014) and there will continue to be only one muzzleloader season, which runs from Dec. 7-22 this year.

The commission went along with the majority of public comments received and agreed with wildlife managers’ request to remove the two deer season proposals from the rule package. Biologists believed they are not needed to manage the deer population, have the potential to create confusion among hunters, and make it more difficult to evaluate the impact of new deer hunting rules that went into effect last year. The additional seasons were proposed by some Hoosier deer hunters.

Rule changes that were approved will:

• Change the rabbit hunting season to one statewide season on public and private land to begin Nov. 1 and end Feb. 28.

• Change the pheasant hunting season dates to begin Nov. 1 and end Dec. 15.     

• Modify the north/south boundary of bobwhite quail hunting zones to make Interstate 74 the dividing line.     

• Modify the bobwhite quail hunting season by subtracting two days from the south zone (Nov. 1 to Jan. 10) and reducing the bag limit in the north to four birds.     

• Change the limits on taking black bass on some Indiana lakes, including Big Long in northern Indiana.     

• Add a 16-inch minimum size and two-fish limit for walleye on Wall Lake (LaGrange County).     

• Limit the number of lake whitefish that can be taken to 12 per day.     

• Modify the start date squirrel hunters are required to wear hunter orange to Nov. 1.     

• Require hunter orange marking on ground blinds used during the day when hunting any species for which the hunter is required to wear hunter orange.     

• Allow the use of a draw-lock device for archery equipment when deer hunting.     

• Preliminary adoption of amendments to 312 IAC 5-3 governing boat races, water ski events and organized recreational activities occurring on public waters. The action restores definitions for fishing tournament and major organized boating activity.

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