« Ind. Courts - "Court to review life sentence in teacher's slaying" [Updated] | Main | Environment - "Invasive Asian carp spawning in Louisville" »

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Competing canned-hunt bills deserve hearing"

From an editorial today in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Monday, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana’s current law does not prohibit “high-fence hunting of deer.” The DNR and Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who allied with the agency, have not yet decided whether to appeal.

So things are looking up for this year’s version of a standards bill, HB 1453, introduced by Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville. The only question, Eberhart told the Indianapolis Star, is whether the bill would grandfather in the four existing high-fenced hunting operations or allow more of the facilities to open.

Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, wanted to offer another choice besides legitimizing the concept of high-fence hunting with a clear set of rules. He introduced another bill, HB 442, that would simply ban canned hunting.

“I don’t think that it’s a sport,” said Miller. In addition, “we are endangering the deer population” outside the fences.

Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, chairwoman of the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday she doesn’t intend to give Miller’s bill a hearing. Glick said she doesn’t want to ban the preserves because it would hurt farmers in the state who raise white-tail deer to sell to such operations.

Instead, she will focus on Eberhart’s measure, with a hearing to ensure all the issues are addressed. “I’d rather have that bill than an absolute ban at this point in time,” Glick said. No solution will please all, she observed. “There are some people who are opposed to hunting in its entirety.”

That’s true, but you don’t have to be a tree-hugger or a vegetarian to think these preserves should be denied state sanction. Honest-to-goodness hunters who take offense at the canned-hunting concept and fear for the health of Indiana’s deer population need to be heard from in this debate, too.

Miller’s bill deserves a sporting chance. Like those penned-in deer.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 5, 2015 09:33 AM
Posted to Indiana Government