Anti-canned Hunt Bill Turns Out To Be A Can Of Worms

posted 2/7/06


Legislation that would allegedly ban canned or high-fence hunting in Indiana has turned out to be something entirely different. Instead of closing the canned hunting and deer breeding businesses, the bill now in the Indiana Senate would "grandfather" at least 12 of these businesses and allow them to operate for at least five more years and probably longer.

"This bill would grant a millionaire making monopoly to those 12 single constituents who have been operating outside of the bounds of Indiana law. They would have no competition. They could operate year round," says the watchdog group Citizens for Common Sense Government. "This bill grandfathers 12 canned hunt operators. It does not protect deer farmers. Deer farmers are currently allowed to raise deer for meat, urine, semen, and antlers. They are under the Board of Animal Health. They are not allowed to sell their animals for hunting. They are openly violating the law. This bill grants amnesty to the offending buyers and sellers."

The canned hunt/deer farm lobby donated $20,000 to Gov. Mitch Daniels' campaign and thousands more to support friendly state legislators who gladly sponsor these legislative efforts.

And, in the most bald-faced stonewalling and outright refusal to release public information I have heard of in Indiana, the names of the 12 fenced shooting operators are being secreted in Indianapolis.

On one of a number of internet message boards and blogs that have popped up on both sides of the canned hunting issue, one hunter offered a $150 reward to anyone who could come up with the secreted names. Go to the "talk forums" at This is the official internet site of the Indiana Deer Hunters Assn., which has been fighting canned hunting along with every other traditional hunting group in the state.

One of the canned hunting operations supposedly among those to be grandfathered is a placed called The Backwoods Presereve, about 60 miles from Ft. Wayne.

A blog operated by Karin McKenna of the citizens government group is:

For the canned hunt/deer farming point of view, check out which is labeled as "The Deer and Elk Farmers Information Network."


Your Indiana fishing license will cost you $17 this year, and it will cost you $5 for an annual canoe launching permit under a new fee schedule which includes fee increases for many state recreational activities and properties.

Changes recreation area access and camping fees included increases for weekend use and some decreases for weekday use. For example, the resident state park entrance fee will remain at $4 during the week, but weekend users will pay $5 this year.

The annual resident entrance permit jumped from $26 to $36. Non-residents pay $46 for the annual permit.

Besides hunting and fishing license fees, camping and boat lauching fees have the most impact on readers of this column. This year, a campsite with full hookups at Paynetown will cost $24 Sunday through Wednesday, $34 Thursday through Saturaday and $38 a night on holidays.

The big change in boat launching permits this year that the DNR is abandoning its previous approach of selling permits at the launching ramps. Boat launch permits will now be for sale at each property's management office, and instead of placing the annual permit sticker on your boat trailer, it goes back to the side of your boat, just as it did for decades. And, they are not calling it a launching permit this year. Instead you are now paying your $20 a year for an "annual lake pass."

Going back to the boat sticker system once again puts enforcement duty back on the DNR's corps of conservation officers. Since few boaters ever see a conservation officer on the water, you can just about guess how effective enforcing this new pass system is going to be. Of course if you happen to be unlucky enough to get caught without your permit sticker, officers can make you leave the lake to buy one, and there could be a fine levied for not having said permit.

Rumor had it that we would have to buy a boat pass for each lake, but this not true. The annual pass you buy at Monroe or Cataract is for the entire state.


©Copyright. 2006 - 2009. Donald Lee Jordan