NRC OKs new fish, wildlife rules but not extra deer seasons

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) met on Tuesday to discuss new regulations.

The NRC approved various revisions to rules governing fish and wildlife resources but did not authorize the extension of the archery season or the addition of a primitive muzzleloader season for deer hunting.

The archery season will remain the same as last year (October 1 through January 5, 2014)  and there will continue to be only one muzzleloader season, which will run from December 7 to December 22 this year.

The Commission removed the two deer season proposals from the rule package at the request of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, with the ideas that the proposals weren't necessary to manage the deer population, have the potential to create confusion among hunters, and make it more difficult to evaluate the impact of new deer hunting rules that went into effect last year.

The following regulation changes were approved:

Endangered species

-The removal of the peregrine falcon from the state endangered species list.

-The addition of the round hickorynut mussel to the state endangered species list.

Hunting seasons

-The rabbit hunting season will be one statewide season on public and private land, beginnning November 1 and ending February 28.

-The pheasant hunting season will begin November 1 and end December 15.

-The bobwhite quail hunting season will begin November 1 and end January 10, and the bag limit in the north will be four birds.

*Interstate 74 will be the divinding line for the north/south boundary of bobwhite quail hunting zones.

Hunting gear

-Squirrel hunters are required to wear orange starting November 1.

-Hunter orange is required on ground blinds used during the day when hunting any species for which the hunter is required to wear hunter orange.

-The use of a draw-loc device for archery equipment is permitted when deer hunting.


-Limits on taking black bass have been changed on several Indiana lakes.

-The addition of a 16-inch minimum size and two-fish limit for walleye on Wall Lake (LaGrange County).

-Only 12 lakewhitefish can be taken a day.

The proposed changes are subject to review and approval by the Attorney General and Governor, a process that can take as long as 75 days, after which they are published in the Indiana Register.

Rules become effective 30 days after publication, unless a later effective date is specified in the rule.

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