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

From this story on
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?