Yesterday, the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) granted final approval to administrative rule changes that will allow turkey hunters to use .410 caliber and 28-gauge shotguns in addition to already-legal shotguns. The amendments also include requirements associated with shot size and density for these additional firearms, which includes allowing tungsten super shot No. 9 and 10. This change gives turkey hunters greater flexibility with hunting equipment, particularly for turkey hunting by youth and others who may have been previously hindered by having to use more traditional hunting equipment.
By emergency rule, DNR Director Dan Bortner has authorized the rule’s immediate use in time for this year’s spring turkey season.
In other action, the NRC:
- Granted final adoption to amend 312 IAC 9-3-3 to allow muzzleloaders that have the powder loaded from the breech end and require only that the bullet be loaded from the muzzle end to be used during firearms, youth, late special antlerless, and reduction zone (when firearms are allowed) seasons for taking white-tailed deer.
- Granted final adoption to amend 312 IAC 9-3-11 to allow trappers to take beavers at any time of day on the opening and closing days of the existing season for trapping beavers.
- Approved the merger of the Division of Outdoor Recreation into the Division of State Parks and the merger of the Division of Oil & Gas into the Division of Reclamation in order to better serve Hoosiers. These actions will be presented to the Governor’s office for final approval.
- Approved for consideration the addition of a new nonrule policy document, Information Bulletin #80, which lists qualified organizations that are approved to conduct underwater surveys. This bulletin is necessary to fulfill the requirements of IC 14-15-6-2.5, a new section that became effective on July 1, 2020, requiring that each boat that carries passengers on public water for hire must be inspected.
- Accepted the report from the DNR that supports the request to allow the 330 Conibear™ trap to be halfway submerged. Both 312 IAC 9-3-18(f) and 312 IAC 9-10-11 would need to be modified to allow these changes. The DNR plans to request preliminary adoption of these rule changes in a future NRC meeting.
- Accepted a report rejecting a citizen petition seeking to amend 312 IAC 9-7-2(m) to allow underwater spearfishing of all game fish other than black bass at all lakes of at least 100 acres.
More details on all actions taken by the NRC and supporting documents can be found at nrc.IN.gov/2354.htm.
The NRC is an autonomous board that addresses topics pertaining to the DNR and the NRC Division of Hearings.
NRC members include the DNR director, heads of three other state agencies (Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Destination Development Corporation, and the Indiana Department of Transportation), six citizens appointed by the governor on a bipartisan basis, the chair of the DNR’s advisory council, and the president of the Indiana Academy of Science. The Academy of Science president and the agency heads, other than the DNR director, may appoint proxies to serve the commission in their absences.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.