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Old Apr 16th 2015, 05:50 PM   #61
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN

This Democrat, Senator Tallian, explains how she is staunchly opposed to what she calls "canned hunting" and makes it clear that is WHY she is voting YES for the amended bill......because she believes it is their only hope to limit high fenced hunting. It's two minutes long and worth watching, for those who don't fully understand what happened when this great bill was amended and destroyed at the last minute.

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Old Apr 19th 2015, 08:44 AM   #62
  Apr 2013
  Hazen ND USA

Something is missing. You guys had a good Bill, until it was Amended. The Senator or Representative that did the Amending doesn't have to tell you who requested the Amendment but if pressed.......should.


Names please.
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Old Apr 22nd 2015, 09:46 AM   #63
 ToddM's Avatar
  May 2009
  Fulton, Michigan

So now what?* What is the plan?
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Old Apr 22nd 2015, 04:48 PM   #64
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN

Buck Fever: Dead bill didn’t kill captive-deer debate

Ryan Sabalow,

2 days ago



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Robert Scheer/Star 2013 file photo.

Indiana deer breeder Russ Bellar stands with one of his bucks at his Peru, Ind. more

After more than a decade of legislative and legal wrangling, Indiana is no closer to a solution to the controversy created by its captive-deer industry.

Division remains so sharp on the issue and positions so rigid that legislative leaders who thought they had crafted a workable compromise were exasperated even before their bill failed Tuesday for the second year in a row in the Indiana Senate.

Opponents wanted a complete ban on high-fence hunting ranches. Proponents wanted to open the door to more of them. In the end, nobody won.

“You can hope that maybe next year we can come back and we outlaw the whole thing all together,” testified Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury. “I think that’s a Pollyannaish view of everything.”

The a 27-23 “no” vote sets the stage for the Indiana Supreme Court to make a definitive ruling on whether the Department of Natural Resources overstepped its authority when conservation officers tried to ban high-fence hunting a decade ago.

Opponents of captive hunting may have seen the bill’s defeat as a victory, but it may have left them no closer to achieving their goals. There’s uncertainty no matter which way the state’s top court rules.

In an investigation last year, The Indianapolis Star uncovered the health risks associated with transporting potentially diseased animals across state lines, and a lack of fair-chase hunting rules on private preserves.

The deer industry also has reasons to support a solution. The four preserves in the state are operating in a cloud of uncertainty, without clear guidelines or regulations in place.

And there’s a lot at stake for the hundreds of Indiana deer breeders, who want a stable local market for the trophy deer they raise.

Court offers no solution

The only reason the state’s four fenced hunting preserves are in business today is that a court granted them an injunction preventing the DNR from closing them down a decade ago.

The preserves argue that the DNR doesn’t have oversight over the deer on their properties, which they consider to be livestock.

Recently, two lower courts have sided with the preserves. But a political fight is imminent no matter which way the state’s top justices rule, should they decide to take up the case.

If the judges side with preserves, the hunting methods on high-fenced properties would remain unregulated. An owner could allow a client to shoot a drugged deer in a tiny pen, or only minutes after unloading it from a truck.

The General Assembly could find itself back at the same impasse. For years, bills that would formally regulate the preserves have been shot down faster than a 12-point buck on opening morning. While the bills have seen broader support in the House, the Senate’s top Republican, David Long, isn’t shy about expressing his disdain for high-fence hunting.

He has blocked legislation or spoken out strongly against captive hunts, which he has compared to dog fighting.

“I personally oppose these deer preserves,” Long said during testimony Tuesday before the Senate’s vote. “I’m never going to change my position on that. I don’t believe in them.”

But if the judges rule that the DNR does have oversight, it’s hardly a sure thing that the DNR will do what it tried to do a decade ago: make the preserves extinct in Indiana.

Politics will come into play in that scenario, too.

For one, there’s no guarantee that Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who appoints the DNR’s director, will allow the agency to enforce a ban on preserves.

Pence has said that while he’s uncomfortable with an expansion of the high-fence hunting industry, he’d keep “an open mind about legislative efforts to permit existing facilities to continue to operate.”

Asked directly last week whether he’d eventually support a DNR ban on high-fence hunting, Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault declined to answer.

“We will let the judicial process work,” she said in an email. “And the governor will reserve comment until after a final decision has been made on the appeal pending before the Indiana Supreme Court.”

If Pence blocks the DNR’s ban, the agency would likely be forced to adopt hunting regulations on the preserves, a process that’s sure to be contentious.

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission, a 12-person board whose members are appointed by the governor, sets the hunting regulations the DNR enforces.

If it ever gets that far, the commissioners would no doubt hear the same heated testimony that’s been repeated year after year in the General Assembly.

The sides are clearly drawn

On one side, there are the animal-rights activists, wildlife conservationists and hunting associations who want nothing less than a complete ban on what they call “canned hunting.” On the other, there are the deer breeders and their powerful Farm Bureau lobbyists who want preserves to be allowed to expand unfettered so deer farmers can keep selling farm-raised trophy bucks worth thousands of dollars.

In other words, the same factions who were unhappy for completely different reasons with the final version of HB 1453.

The compromise bill the Senate killed Tuesday would have made a monopoly out of the four preserves, which upset some in the deer-breeding industry who’d pushed for an expansion.

And high-fence hunting opponents had won concessions, such as a ban on imports of deer from out-of-state and a provision forbidding hunting drugged deer, but they held out for a total ban.

In the end, the bill was so disliked that even its Senate sponsor, Susan Glick, R-LaGrange, said she was exasperated by the vitriol.

“This is the bill that everybody loves to hate,” she testified. “I’m beginning to hate it myself.”

And based on Indiana’s history, there’s nothing to stop Hoosiers from locking horns over the captive-deer issue for years to come.

Call Star reporter Ryan Sabalow at (317) 444-6179. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSabalow.

Two sides react to the failure of House Bill 1453

“The businesses currently engaged in selling whitetail deer for hunting inside fenced enclosures are not some kind of victims. They have tried for years to change the laws prohibiting their business practice and each time been rejected by the people of Indiana. The honest reality is that these businesses are only in operation today because of the political influence of paid lobbyists. Citizens deserve their voice be heard. Allow the DNR professional staff of wildlife biologists and conservation officers to do the job they are passionately committed to doing — protecting and properly managing Indiana's fish and wildlife resources. Simply stated, it is time the political will of our legislators and governor reflect the will of Hoosiers!” — Jeff Wells, president of the Indiana Conservation Officer Organization.

“We are disappointed with the Legislature’s refusal to clarify a statutory scheme that everyone acknowledges is uncertain and confusing. We are also disappointed with the legislative process that led to the bill’s non-passage in the Senate. We had worked tirelessly towards a compromise that made common sense and was much more restrictive than other states. This compromise addressed all of the major concerns brought forth by those in opposition. At a time when Indiana should be inviting new business opportunities, the Legislature has created more uncertainty for small business owners and rural farmers who rely on this industry for their livelihood.” — Bryan H. Babb, attorney representing the hunting preserves challenging the DNR’s ban.
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Old Sep 15th 2015, 12:37 PM   #65
 Bell's Avatar
  Apr 2014
  Greensburg, IN

Any legislation has to pass through the natural resource committee in both the house and senate. There are friendly's in place to stop bad legislation. Indiana's deer ranchers will win this fight. The Supreme Court will rule against the state on this issue. We will prevail.

We better be on guard this session. The opposition will try to sneak a bill.
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