By Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana hunters harvested 123,664 deer during the 2015 season, according to newly released data. This is a 3 percent increase from the 120,073 deer taken during the 2014 season. The antlered deer harvest was 10 percent higher than the 2014 harvest, while the antlerless harvest was 1 percent lower than in 2014. The overall 2015 deer harvest ranks as the 10th highest in Indiana history. The 2015 antlerless deer harvest ranks 11th highest. For the first time, all harvested deer were checked in electronically . . .
Firearms season was the most productive, accounting for 72,555 deer, or 59 percent of the total harvest.
Archery season accounted for 32,753 deer, or 26 percent, followed by the muzzleloader season with 10,784 (9 percent), special antlerless firearms season with 5,105 (4 percent) and youth season with 2,467 (2 percent).
To view the full report online, click here.
The total number of deer taken with a firearm during the deer reduction zone season was incorporated with the firearms season total, while the total taken with archery equipment was included in the archery season total.
Harvest exceeded 1,000 deer in 58 counties, 2,000 in 17 counties and 3,000 in one county.
New Rifle Rules for 2016-17
The Department of Natural Resources has received numerous questions regarding recent legislation that legalizes certain rifles for deer hunting beginning later this year.
House Enrolled Act 1231 passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly allows some additional rifle cartridges to be used only on private land during the firearms season.
The new legal cartridges include, but are not limited to, the .243 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester, .300 AAC Blackout, and .30-06 Springfield.
Additional requirements are 1) The rifle must have a barrel length of at least 16 inches; 2) The rifle cartridges must have a cartridge case length of least 1.16 inches; 3) The rifle cartridge must fire a bullet with a diameter that is .243 inches; (or 6 mm) or .308 inches (or 7.62 mm); 4) No cartridges with a bullet diameter between .243 and .308 are legal (such as the .270 Winchester); and 5) A hunter may not possess more than 10 such cartridges while in the field.
Rifles with pistol cartridges that have been allowed in previous years may still be used to hunt deer on both private and public land.
Additional cartridges that are legal under HEA 1231 include, but are not limited to: 6mm-06,
6mm BR Remington, 6mm PPC, 6mm Remington, .240 Weatherby, .243 Winchester, .243 Winchester Super Short Magnum, .30 Carbine, .30 Herrett, .30 Remington AR, .30-06 Springfield, .30-30 Winchester, .30-40 Krag, .300 AAC Blackout (.300 Whisper), .300 H&H Magnum, .300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum, .300 Savage, .300 Weatherby Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .300 Winchester Short Magnum, .300 Remington Ultra Magnum, .308 Marlin, .308 Winchester, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x54mmR,
There are other cartridges that meet the law’s specifications, and there are others that do not. A partial list of cartridges that are not allowed under HEA 1231 includes the .270 Winchester, .38-55 Winchester, .444 Marlin, and .45-70 Government.
HEA 1231 is scheduled to expire after the 2020 deer season, at which time the DNR will submit an impact report to the Governor and the General Assembly.