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Indiana DNR Releases Specifics on New Regulations Allowing Rifle Deer Hunting

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DNR releases list on approved cartridges for use under HE 1231. 

The big news for Indiana hunters approximately two weeks ago was the news of Indiana’s sudden and unexpected legalization of rifles of rifles for deer hunting on private land. The move caused the Indiana DNR to immediately disown involvement in the move.

It was something fellow WOS senior writer and Indiana hunter Brad Smith wrote passionately about and it’s likely we haven’t heard the end of this controversial issue just yet.

But in the wake of the initial news of House Enrolled Act 1231 however, details were somewhat vague with just a short list of legal cartridges. In response to massive public inquiry, the DNR has now released a much longer list noting many more cartridges that will be legal this season. These cartridges include the following:

• 6mm-06
• 6mm BR Remington
• 6mm PPC
• 6mm Remington
• .240 Weatherby
• .243 Winchester
• .243 Winchester Super Short Magnum
• .30 Carbine
• .30 Herrett
• .30 Remington AR
• .30-06 Springfield
• .30-30 Winchester
• .30-40 Krag
• .300 AAC Blackout (.300 Whisper)
• .300 H&H Magnum
• .300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum
• .300 Savage
• .300 Weatherby Magnum
• .300 Winchester Magnum
• .300 Winchester Short Magnum
• .300 Remington Ultra Magnum
• .308 Marlin
• .308 Winchester
• 7.62x39mm
• 7.62x54mmR

Getting into some more specifics, the DNR notes that rifles must have at least a 16 inch barrel and that hunters are not allowed to have more than 10 cartridges with them while hunting.

There are some cartridges that the DNR has specifically stated will not be allowed. These include, strangely enough, the super-popular deer round .270 Winchester. Also included in that short list are .38-55 Marlin, and .45-70 Government. Although the release notes this is just a partial list.

The more technical part of the release gets into the details of just what constitutes a legal cartridge. “The rifle cartridges must have a cartridge case length of least 1.16 inches,” the release states. “The rifle cartridge must fire a bullet with a diameter that is .243 inches (or 6 mm); or .308 inches (or 7.62 mm).”

In another interesting note in the press release, it appears these rule changes may or may not necessarily be permanent for Indiana.

“HEA 1231 is scheduled to expire after the 2020 deer season, at which time the DNR will submit an impact report to the Governor and the General Assembly,” the release states.

It’s a pretty safe bet that we haven’t heard the last of this controversial issue between now and the start of Indiana’s 2016 firearms deer season.

As a Michigan resident living in the state’s designated “shotgun zone” similar to what Indiana has, it will be interesting to see if there’s a ripple effect across the nearby Indiana border into my state. The topic of introducing rifles for deer hunting in Zone 3 here in Michigan has been a similar hot-button issue for many years. I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be people in Lansing and the DNR keeping a watchful eye on what happens during Indiana’s 2016 firearm deer season.

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Indiana DNR Releases Specifics on New Regulations Allowing Rifle Deer Hunting