The Indiana Natural Resources Commission on Tuesday approved a package of changes to deer hunting rules that will go into effect in the 2012 season.
None of the changes will be in effect this year.
The final adoption vote came after preliminary approval by the NRC in January and a six-month public comment period that included hundreds of written comments and two public hearings.
The rule changes include creating a crossbow license and authorizing its use during the entire archery season; extending the archery season without interruption from Oct. 1 through the first Sunday in January; extending the urban zone season from Sept. 15 through Jan. 31; requiring hunters in urban zones to harvest an antlerless deer before harvesting an antlered deer; establishing a special antlerless season from Dec. 26 through the first Sunday in January in designated counties; adding the non-resident youth licenses and a new deer license bundle; requiring display of hunter orange on occupied ground blinds; and extending the rifle cartridge length that can be used in the firearm season to 1.8 inches.
These changes must still be approved by the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s Office and published in the Indiana Register before taking effect.
In other actions, the NRC:
–Approved the dedication of four nature preserves at Fort Harrison State Park totaling approximately 670 acres or more than one-third of the park. The sites are named Bluffs of Fall Creek, Chinquapin Ridge, Lawrence Creek and Warbler Woods.
–Authorized State Park Inns to increase lodging fees from Jan. 28 through Feb. 12 to coincide with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
–Approved final adoption of rule amendments governing logjam removal from floodways and navigable waters.
–Turned down a citizen’s petition to allow high-speed boating on Shipshewana Lake in LaGrange County.
–Approved preliminary adoption of rules governing the sale, distribution and transportation of invasive aquatic plants, and a rule to regulate thousand cankers disease in walnut trees.
–Removed the four-toed salamander from and added the plains leopard frog and mole salamander to the state endangered species list.
About Fish and Wildlife Management in Indiana
Fish and wildlife management and public access are funded by fishing and hunting license revenue and also through the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These programs collect excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, and motor boat fuels. The money is distributed among state fish and wildlife agencies based on land size and the number of licensed anglers and hunters in each state. Find out more information about fish and wildlife management in Indiana at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild.