Indiana Bill Would Officially Legalize High-Fence Hunting

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A bill making its way through the Indiana legislature would make Hoosier State high-fence hunting officially legal. As it stands now, high-fence hunting isn't technically legal, but it's not really illegal, either. The bill seeks to clear that up.

From this story in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:
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Hunting preserves in which people pay thousands to shoot deer behind high fences would be legal under a bill that passed 8-4 Tuesday out of the House Natural Resources Committee. House Bill 1265 would legitimize four existing captive hunting sites in the state - including one in Kosciusko County - as well as open up the practice for new operators following specific guidelines._

_Supporters contend this is not "canned hunting" that has sparked controversy in Indiana and nationwide for questionable practices, such as baiting and drugging deer. "We are ethical, and we are proud of what we do," said Rodney Bruce, who operates Whitetail Bluff in Corydon.

And Rick Miller, president of the Indiana Deer and Elk Farmers' Association, begged lawmakers to "help us get this put to bed so we all know where we stand." The bill would reverse state regulations on high-fenced hunting and end a languishing lawsuit that started in 2005 and is just part of the issue's complicated past. The controversy began to fester in the late 1990s when a few facilities sprang up under a game breeder's license. The owners charged thousands of dollars for hunters to come in and shoot prized deer bred specifically for large antlers. Many outdoors groups opposed the operations from the beginning, saying no Indiana law specifically authorized the activity. But preserve owners argued nothing explicitly prohibited it either._

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