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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ind. Gov't - SB 109 - "the unsatisfactory culmination of years of debate"

That is the conclusion on the canned hunting bill likely to become law this law, reached in this Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorial today:

Sporting world, rejoice!

To ensure that canned hunting is “regulated,” a bill passed by the Indiana Senate last week would legalize the practice of shooting penned, domesticated deer. To ensure that no one misses out on an opportunity to make money from people willing to pay big money to shoot big bucks, Senate Bill 109 would allow the number of these so-called “hunting preserves” to proliferate around the state.

But in a big nod to the querulous few who have tried to bring the concept of sportsmanship into the canned-hunting debate, the Senate’s bill would prohibit stalking and slaughtering these penned trophies-to-be for 24 hours after the deer are drugged. Yes, drugged. That, you see, wouldn’t be a “fair” chase.

In an especially courageous ethical step, the bill now being rushed through the legislature’s short session would prohibit hunters from shooting deer over the Internet. Computer-assisted hunting with drones or remotely controlled rifles would not be allowed.

If, as seems very likely, this bill becomes law, it will be the unsatisfactory culmination of years of debate. In addition to the sportsmanship question, there’s been concern that keeping herds of deer in high-fenced shooting ranges could increase the danger of disease that could destroy both domesticated and wild deer.

A battle between the preserves and the Department of Natural Resources left the matter in limbo until last year, when an appellate court ruled that the DNR did not have authority over the facilities.

To ensure that the facilities get at least a bit of regulation, even some opponents of the practice are throwing in the towel this time around. Sen. John Broden, D-South Bend, told The Journal Gazette’s Niki Kelly that he supported SB 109 even though “my preference would be to ban this activity altogether.”

But by passing a law regulating the practice of canned hunting, the legislature would be legitimizing the illegitimate. Canned hunting isn’t sporting or humane, and it shouldn’t get the Indiana legislature’s seal of approval.

ILB: The editorial might also have noted that once SB 109 becomes law, there can be no turning back for Indiana.

For background, start with this ILB post from Jan. 22nd.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 26, 2016 01:09 PM
Posted to Indiana Government