Natural Resources Commission seeks input on proposed deer hunting rule changes

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has opened a public comment period for proposed changes to Indiana’s deer hunting rules before they vote on final adoption of the proposed changes. Most proposed changes intend to simplify Indiana’s deer hunting rules to make them easier to understand.

Proposed changes include:

  • A statewide bag limit of six antlerless deer.
  • A newly created County Antlerless Bag Limit instead of season Antlerless Bag Limits. Because of this change, the bonus antlerless license would be the multiple-season antlerless license that could be used in the archery, muzzleloader, and firearms seasons.
  • Hunters would not be able to harvest an antlerless deer on Fish & Wildlife properties with a firearm.
  • The use of crossbow equipment would be allowed with the archery license.
  • The minimum caliber for a muzzleloader would be reduced from 0.44 inches to 0.40 inches.
  • If a deer is unfit for human consumption, DNR staff would be able to issue an authorization to take an antlerless deer in its place that will not count toward the statewide bag limit or county limit.
  • Adding the Deer Reduction Zones and County Antlerless Bag Limits.
  • Removing the Special Antlerless Firearms season.

For more information on the proposed rule changes, visit

Public comments can be submitted online at via the “Comment on this rule” link in the Rulemaking Docket for the Deer Hunting Amendments. Comments can also be mailed to:

Natural Resources Commission Indiana Government Center North  100 North Senate Ave., Room N103 Indianapolis, IN 46204

The deadline for public comments is March 20. A public hearing will be held on March 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. ET at the Garrison at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis; you can attend in person or online anytime during that timeframe. To attend the public hearing, starting at 4 p.m. on March 20, go to Microsoft Teams and enter Meeting ID: 296 491 887 327, Passcode: xTCuyW.

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