Canned Hunting

The Indiana Senate is backtracking on plans to authorize new hunting preserves in Indiana.

Last week, the Senate appeared ready to vote on a bill clamping regulations on Indiana‘s four high-fence hunting preserves, and any new ones. But on a voice vote, senators have instead moved to ban any new preserves.

The four existing ones would be subject to the new rules, including inspections by the State Board of Animal Health and the Department of Natural Resources.

The narrowed bill does relax one regulation: preserves would have to be at least 100 acres, instead of the 160 acres proposed in the version passed the Natural Resources committee. Otherwise, the four existing preserves would be out of compliance.

The bill bans the preserves from importing deer. They‘d have to breed them within Indiana. Releasing them into the wild, or failing to report an escape, would be a felony. There‘ll be a final Senate vote today or Wednesday, followed by negotiations with the House, which approved a more permissive bill.