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Indiana Senate Balks Over Legalizing 5 High-Fence Deer Hunting Preserves

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April 16, 2013

Indiana Senate Balks Over Legalizing 5 High-Fence Deer Hunting Preserves

By Chad Love

The Indiana legislature is embroiled in a controversy over the question of high-fence hunting operations.

From this story on thestatehousefile.com:
The House approved legislation Monday to legalize five fenced deer-hunting preserves that have been operating under a court injunction since 2005 when the state tried to shut them down. But the leader of the Indiana Senate has already said he intends to kill the provisions. As passed by the House 52-39, the bill puts restrictions on the hunting operations, which gives hunters who pay a fee the opportunity to shoot farm-raised deer. The legislation requires the preserves to have at least 100 contiguous acres with 8-foot fences. It also imposes fees, sets a hunting season for the preserves and requires customers to have a hunting license. The proposal’s key advocate – Rep. Matt Ubelhor, R-Bloomfield – said fenced hunting doesn’t appeal to all outdoorsmen but it finds an audience among busy professionals who don’t have time to scout locations or those who don’t have access to good hunting land.

According to the story, since the deer in question are not wild, and in fact are bred, raised and fed in captivity like livestock, then turned out in an enclosure to be "hunted", the "hunting preserve" owners were initially told nothing in state law prohibited the operations. Later, however, the state department of natural resources ordered the operations closed, which prompted the lawsuit.

Thoughts? Reaction? Do Hoosier hunters support legalizing these "hunting preserves" in their state?

Comments (15)

Top Rated
All Comments
from FSU70 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Calling places like this "Hunting Preserves " is an insult to anyone who actually hunts. It's like calling "shooting fish in a barrel" fishing !
Indiana's state government has made some awfully good rulings over the past few years and I hope they continue to oppose any bill that would legalize shooting deer or fish in a barrel or fenced inclosure.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hoosierdude wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

No, no, no! REAL hoosier outdoorsmen do not support this legislation in any way, shape, or form! In fact, most will froth at the mouth at its very mention. What this article leaves out is what brought these so called preserves to the state's attention in 2005. There were allegations of drugging deer to make them easier to shoot (c'mon, they're alreay in a damn pen), allowing "clients" to measure racks of tranquilized deer, and shooting deer in small enclosures.
It bastardizes everything that is pure about hunting.
It make a mockery of the challenge.
It makes me sick and it should you too.
I'm crossing my fingers that my state does the right thing, but I'm not holding my breath.
"...finds an audience among busy professionals," yeah like congressmen from Bloomfield.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fightin40 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Nope. I don't support it at all. There used to be an elk ranch just a few miles from where i live and I didn't like it at all. It just isn't very ethical and drags the sport of hunting down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nchunt101 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

I would never do it and would never call it hunting. High fence kills should also ineligable to be in any record books but I could care less if it was legal. No laws against paying someone to go into a cow pasture and shoot a steer so whats the big deal about these deer. They are domesticated and no different than any other form of livestock. I think it take a special kind of turd to want to kill one and think its hunting but it is hardly a legal issue and shouldn't be a fish and game issue--they have bigger things to worry about.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Ya know, there are a bunch of bison farms in Colorado that allow you to "hunt" one of their bison for a fee. It's livestock, once you learn to separate the distinction between hunting and high fence "hunting" it will all be clear. Although it seems that sportsmen have a hard time sharing the distinction of being a hunter in the same way that a dry fly fishing purist scoff at folks using powerbait....The same applies to any bird farm that raises phesants and chuckers to be bought, set in a field, and shot......Livestock folks....

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Lame. Chronic Wasting Disease Factories is all they are.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Koldcut: But at least the farm raised birds are released into the wild? Not hunted and congregated behind high fences to give each other CWD?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

CL3, most of the time they are not released, they are planted.....you rock the bird and tuck it's head under it's wing and it will stay where you set it, you then have your party push the line and let the dogs do their thing....if the dogs miss 'em and you forget where you set them, then they are free to be wild I guess. I've seen many many birds still sleeping when the dogs get to them and they just pick them up and bring them to ya....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Good! Shut them all down, it's complete bs that game farms like this are totally unregulated in many areas. That's the reason we have wild boar taking over (that and the idiots who think it's cool to bring up a trailer full and let em go in the woods). I don't care how high your fence is, animals are going to escape. Not to mention the issues of hunting ethics and fair chase.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

A agree--shut them down. Trouble is, there are enough pseudo-hunters out there to keep up the demand, and these operations are flourishing in some states. North Dakota tried to ban game farms a couple years ago, and the initiative was defeated. If I remember right, there are something like 150 of these operations in that state.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 51 weeks 5 days ago

Wait a minute! Why is everyone here destroying someone else idea for a business because they don't like it. I don't like hot topic, but I don't try to get that business banned. I simply don't visit that store. If people don't like it, then the demand for its products will go away, and that business will die on its own. There is obviously a demand for it, which will only help to spur on our sluggish economy. Those "pseudo-hunters" as someone called them, bring money and spend it, which is good for all of us. If you don't like it, just don't go to that "preserve", but let them put money into the economy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 51 weeks 5 days ago

dighunter: Fair enough, but look into CWD, particularly in PA recently. These high fences go down, these "farmers" and preserves trade deer all over the country. We don't have wild cows, do we?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 51 weeks 5 days ago

The amount of money these places bring in is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of damage caused by escaped animals and wildlife diseases. And these farms don't pay a cent for any of that damage. Agricultural damage caused by feral swine was estimated at $57 million in Georgia (2011) and $53 million in Alabama (2009). And that's not to mention any of the ecological damage they cause.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dusty Wyoming wrote 39 weeks 1 day ago

CWD started in Colorado at a game and fish facility not by deer farms, and deer farms medicate the animals from diseases so they have less of a chance of spreading disease.
So what if a Whitetail deer gets out of a high fence, they are not an invasive species someone decided would be a cool pet like all the snakes in Florida. Most people that would be out hunting would love to see a huge whitetail step in front of them even if it had escaped from a high fenced place.
If you are a hunter you should support high fence hunting or any other kind of hunting, just if you don't like it don't do it. Stop one type of hunting because you do not like it then your type of hunting maybe next.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kmcbroom wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

Dusty the difference is that it isn't high fence hunting it is high fence killing. It just is not hunting when you get up a tree that is already set and you know that the deer within your area are of the size you paid for. C'mon man this just isn't hunting it doesn't look good sound good or anything. I hunt whitetails for the hunt and the challenge. I know it can be seen as an opinion but really it is a fact that high fence is not hunting it's just that simple. I have to say my thinking is all over the place on this subject and none of it is in support of it I assure you. Hoosierdude touches on just a few things in my mind but I am sure there is more in his than he listed it is just wrong and I really don't think I would even like a guy who would do it because it tells me all i need to know about him in my book. Oh well I just had to say something as upper management "government" ponders whether to allow this in Indiana as they gather all the potential benefite to themselves so they can make a more definitive decision based on that information. Sick man.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from FSU70 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Calling places like this "Hunting Preserves " is an insult to anyone who actually hunts. It's like calling "shooting fish in a barrel" fishing !
Indiana's state government has made some awfully good rulings over the past few years and I hope they continue to oppose any bill that would legalize shooting deer or fish in a barrel or fenced inclosure.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hoosierdude wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

No, no, no! REAL hoosier outdoorsmen do not support this legislation in any way, shape, or form! In fact, most will froth at the mouth at its very mention. What this article leaves out is what brought these so called preserves to the state's attention in 2005. There were allegations of drugging deer to make them easier to shoot (c'mon, they're alreay in a damn pen), allowing "clients" to measure racks of tranquilized deer, and shooting deer in small enclosures.
It bastardizes everything that is pure about hunting.
It make a mockery of the challenge.
It makes me sick and it should you too.
I'm crossing my fingers that my state does the right thing, but I'm not holding my breath.
"...finds an audience among busy professionals," yeah like congressmen from Bloomfield.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Lame. Chronic Wasting Disease Factories is all they are.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fightin40 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Nope. I don't support it at all. There used to be an elk ranch just a few miles from where i live and I didn't like it at all. It just isn't very ethical and drags the sport of hunting down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Good! Shut them all down, it's complete bs that game farms like this are totally unregulated in many areas. That's the reason we have wild boar taking over (that and the idiots who think it's cool to bring up a trailer full and let em go in the woods). I don't care how high your fence is, animals are going to escape. Not to mention the issues of hunting ethics and fair chase.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 51 weeks 5 days ago

dighunter: Fair enough, but look into CWD, particularly in PA recently. These high fences go down, these "farmers" and preserves trade deer all over the country. We don't have wild cows, do we?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from weswes088 wrote 51 weeks 5 days ago

The amount of money these places bring in is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of damage caused by escaped animals and wildlife diseases. And these farms don't pay a cent for any of that damage. Agricultural damage caused by feral swine was estimated at $57 million in Georgia (2011) and $53 million in Alabama (2009). And that's not to mention any of the ecological damage they cause.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nchunt101 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

I would never do it and would never call it hunting. High fence kills should also ineligable to be in any record books but I could care less if it was legal. No laws against paying someone to go into a cow pasture and shoot a steer so whats the big deal about these deer. They are domesticated and no different than any other form of livestock. I think it take a special kind of turd to want to kill one and think its hunting but it is hardly a legal issue and shouldn't be a fish and game issue--they have bigger things to worry about.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Koldcut: But at least the farm raised birds are released into the wild? Not hunted and congregated behind high fences to give each other CWD?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

CL3, most of the time they are not released, they are planted.....you rock the bird and tuck it's head under it's wing and it will stay where you set it, you then have your party push the line and let the dogs do their thing....if the dogs miss 'em and you forget where you set them, then they are free to be wild I guess. I've seen many many birds still sleeping when the dogs get to them and they just pick them up and bring them to ya....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

A agree--shut them down. Trouble is, there are enough pseudo-hunters out there to keep up the demand, and these operations are flourishing in some states. North Dakota tried to ban game farms a couple years ago, and the initiative was defeated. If I remember right, there are something like 150 of these operations in that state.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 51 weeks 5 days ago

Wait a minute! Why is everyone here destroying someone else idea for a business because they don't like it. I don't like hot topic, but I don't try to get that business banned. I simply don't visit that store. If people don't like it, then the demand for its products will go away, and that business will die on its own. There is obviously a demand for it, which will only help to spur on our sluggish economy. Those "pseudo-hunters" as someone called them, bring money and spend it, which is good for all of us. If you don't like it, just don't go to that "preserve", but let them put money into the economy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dusty Wyoming wrote 39 weeks 1 day ago

CWD started in Colorado at a game and fish facility not by deer farms, and deer farms medicate the animals from diseases so they have less of a chance of spreading disease.
So what if a Whitetail deer gets out of a high fence, they are not an invasive species someone decided would be a cool pet like all the snakes in Florida. Most people that would be out hunting would love to see a huge whitetail step in front of them even if it had escaped from a high fenced place.
If you are a hunter you should support high fence hunting or any other kind of hunting, just if you don't like it don't do it. Stop one type of hunting because you do not like it then your type of hunting maybe next.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kmcbroom wrote 19 weeks 5 days ago

Dusty the difference is that it isn't high fence hunting it is high fence killing. It just is not hunting when you get up a tree that is already set and you know that the deer within your area are of the size you paid for. C'mon man this just isn't hunting it doesn't look good sound good or anything. I hunt whitetails for the hunt and the challenge. I know it can be seen as an opinion but really it is a fact that high fence is not hunting it's just that simple. I have to say my thinking is all over the place on this subject and none of it is in support of it I assure you. Hoosierdude touches on just a few things in my mind but I am sure there is more in his than he listed it is just wrong and I really don't think I would even like a guy who would do it because it tells me all i need to know about him in my book. Oh well I just had to say something as upper management "government" ponders whether to allow this in Indiana as they gather all the potential benefite to themselves so they can make a more definitive decision based on that information. Sick man.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

Ya know, there are a bunch of bison farms in Colorado that allow you to "hunt" one of their bison for a fee. It's livestock, once you learn to separate the distinction between hunting and high fence "hunting" it will all be clear. Although it seems that sportsmen have a hard time sharing the distinction of being a hunter in the same way that a dry fly fishing purist scoff at folks using powerbait....The same applies to any bird farm that raises phesants and chuckers to be bought, set in a field, and shot......Livestock folks....

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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