By Jack Spaulding
Just by scanning the inserts and sporting goods flyers in the paper, it doesn’t take long to see there are a lot of different types of equipment available for today’s deer hunters. Unfortunately, some of the gadgets being hocked to the average Joe Outdoors are considered unethical, and some, down right illegal.
Indiana Conservation Officer Angela Goldman has a few tips for deer hunters considering some of the new gadgets for this year’s hunt.
“With technology catching up with the hunting community, there are many new gadgets available to make a hunt more successful,” said Goldman.
“One of these new gadgets is an electronic call that mimics many natural animal sounds. Hunters can pick from calls that mimic a wounded rabbit, a hen turkey or a deer bleating. These calls are available at most sporting goods stores and online.
“They cost from around $30 up to more than $100 depending on the complexity of the unit. While the calls that mimic wounded animals are legal for predator hunting (animals such as coyote and foxes) they are illegal for all other types of hunting.
“According to Indiana Administrative Code 312 9-3-2 (q) and IAC 312 9-4-11(h)(4) it is illegal to use any type of electronic or recorded call to aid in hunting deer or wild turkeys in Indiana. To use these calls is a misdemeanor offense and can result in the confiscation of the call and other hunting gear, including the firearm.
“There are many types of manual calls legal for hunting. Sporting goods stores usually have an aisle full of assorted calls a hunter can use to manually mimic the sounds of the game he or she is pursuing. All of these manual calls are legal in Indiana.”
18 DNR properties to close for deer hunts
Eighteen DNR properties will be closed to the general public on Nov. 13-14, and Dec. 4-5 for special deer reduction hunts.
Special hunt parks and nature preserves are Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial state parks, plus Twin Swamps Nature Preserve.
During the special hunts, volunteers assist the DNR in reducing the size of the deer herds, which have grown too large to be supported by the vegetation at the properties. The goal of the deer herd reduction is to help restore and maintain the ecological balance in the parks and preserve.
All hunting slots for the special DNR deer reduction hunts have been filled since early October.
Any hunt opportunities becoming vacant will be filled by hunters who indicated on their applications they would fill vacant spots if not chosen for their primary locations.
If a drawn hunter calls the property for which he or she was chosen in advance of the hunt day and advises the property he or she is unable to participate, the property will refer to its list of alternates, select a replacement, and notify the new hunter.
The applications for this year’s special deer hunts drawings were placed online at www.indianaoutdoor.IN.gov in early July with a deadline of Aug. 18 for mail-in applications and Aug. 25 for online registration.
The DNR will use a similar drawing process with similar deadlines for next year’s special deer hunts.
Interested hunters might mark their calendars now, or stay tuned to DNR Wild Bulletin e-news service for reminders.
NRC mulls fish, wildlife rules
The DNR has proposed several new administrative rule changes for the Natural Resources Commission to consider for preliminary adoption on Nov. 14. The NRC will also consider additional wildlife-related rule proposals for final adoption.
The DNR has proposed extending the one-buck rule for another five years, with the ending date of Sept. 1, 2012, as a result of the support from deer hunters around the state. At the meeting, DNR biologists will present the results of a recent deer hunter survey as well as deer harvest data. A summary of the one-buck rule survey can be found at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt
The one-buck rule refers to current deer hunting regulations allowing only one antlered deer to be taken per hunter per year with regular archery, firearm, and muzzle-loader licenses. The rule was implemented in the fall of 2002 and has an expiration date of Sept. 1, 2007. Before 2002, up to two bucks could be taken by a hunter each year.
In addition to the one-buck rule proposal, the DNR has also proposed permanent rule changes to allow handguns on DNR properties if the individual has a valid handgun license for personal protection.
Proposals also include allowing individuals to carry a handgun while hunting deer and turkey, and while chasing raccoons. The changes are already in effect as temporary rule modifications signed by DNR Director Kyle Hupfer.
If the NRC gives preliminary adoption to the rule proposals, a public hearing would take place next year and opportunity will also be given to send comments to the Natural Resources Commission via e-mail and written letter.
To view the proposed rule language, go to www.in.gov/nrc
Click on the Nov-ember Commission Meeting and view agenda items Nos. 7 and 8.
The NRC will also consider additional rule changes for final adoption at the meeting in November, including an extension of the eastern cottontail rabbit season and squirrel season and removal of Madison from the list of urban deer zones.
A few other technical changes were made to the list of native reptiles and amphibians and game breeder license rule.
A full report, including all of the public comments and response by the DNR, is also available at www.in.gov/nrc
Click on the November Commission Meeting and view agenda item 13. If the rule changes are given final adoption by the NRC and approved by the Attorney General’s Office and Governor, they will become law early next year.
The NRC meeting will be Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. (EST) in the Garrison Conference Center at Ft. Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. The meeting is open to the general public.
This farm news was published in the Nov. 15, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.