The Indiana DNR has spoken out against high-powered rifles in Indiana, likely stopping the bill in its tracks.
Deer hunters are largely split on whether or not the state should allow high-powered rifles in Indiana. One side considers it a safety issue. They also feel some hunters will have greater opportunity to harvest more deer due to the flat terrain and ability to hit a deer hundreds of yards away across a picked field.
The other side argues that states with similar terrain experience no problems with high-powered rifles and that the legalizing of these rifles will allow for more hunters to take up the sport. The Indiana DNR may have just ended this debate.
According to the Indy Star, officials from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources have recommended against allowing rifles for the 2015 deer hunting season. This doesn’t mean rifles won’t still be allowed, however the Indiana Natural Resources Commission rarely goes against what the IDNR says. The IDNR feels that the division amongst hunters is too great to continue with the proposal.
I fully agree with the Indiana DNR and their decision to rule against recommending rifles. I personally don’t agree with a hunter having the ability to take a 350-yard shot across an open field at deer just because they can. I know hunters who do this now with shotguns.
In a majority of the northern part of the state, hunters with the ability to use rifles could literally sit in a lawn chair out in the middle of a picked field and be able to shoot deer on woods’ edges and ditch lines hundreds of yards away.
Before you might blow that last sentence off, that was a real conversation I had recently with a hunter about his new hunting plan if rifles become legal. You can now probably see on which side of the debate I reside. As you can see in the above picture, a hunter with the right rifle and scope can just take their pick of which deer they want.
Perhaps a compromise could be reached where rifles could be allowed below I-70, where land is much more hilly and wooded, however still banned in the central-northern parts where farm lands and small oasis woods dot the landscape. I’m sure this isn’t the end of this debate. Stay tuned, it’s not over until it’s over.