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Indiana outdoors: Big changes considered

There are some significant rule changes under consideration in Indiana hunting and fishing, most notably the possibility of using high-powered rifles for deer hunting, the suspension of the grouse-hunting season, and a limit on sunffish (including bluegill).

The limit on sunfish or bluegill, such as the one caught at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, under consideration is 25.


The suspension of the grouse season would be a recognition of a wildlife reality. It really needs to happen.

The high-powered rifle use for deer hunting and the 25-limit for sunfish (bluegill) falls more in the category of socially-dictated regulations, as in hunters or fishermen would like them.

Here is the press release from the Indiana DNR:

Public hearings set for proposed fish, wildlife rule changes

The Natural Resources Commission has scheduled three hearings to accept public comment on a package of proposed rule changes governing deer hunting, wild animals found dead, nuisance wild animals, cottontail rabbits, wild pigs, quail and pheasant hunting on DNR-managed properties, ruffed grouse, wild turkey hunting, reptiles, amphibians, exotic fish, sport fishing, and commercial fishing on Wabash River boundary waters and other inland water.

Among the proposed changes are rules that would allow the use of high-powered rifles for deer hunting, a 25-fish daily bag limit on sunfish (that includes bluegill), and suspension of the ruffed grouse hunting season. For a complete list of proposed amendments with additional information about each proposal, see

The hearings will be:

· Monday, March 16, 5:30 p.m. at Spring Mill State Park, 3333 S.R. 60 E., Mitchell.

· Tuesday, March 17, 3:30 p.m. at The Garrison Conference Center, Fort Harrison State Park, 5753 Glenn Road, Indianapolis.

· Wednesday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. at the DNR Northeast Regional Office, 1353 Governors Dr., Columbia City.

Public comments can be submitted online at Locate the “comment on this rule” link in the Rules Docket for the Fish & Wildlife Biennial Rules Amendment Package.

Comments also can be mailed to:

Natural Resources Commission

Indiana Government Center South

100 North Senate Ave., Room N501

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2200

The deadline for submitting public comments is midnight March 25.

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