Come here, my deer
tate Rep. Heath VanNatter, R-Kokomo, was a happy guy last week when a Harrison County judge opened the way for “canned” deer hunts in Indiana.
VanNatter, who was a key sponsor of a bill to legalize so-called “high fenced” deer hunting preserves last year, quickly posted news of the judge’s decision on his Facebook page.
“It’s good for Hoosiers when out-of-state hunters come in and pay thousands of dollars to hunt. For rural areas of Indiana it is a good way to create jobs,” VanNatter wrote.
Several hunting groups had prevailed on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources years ago to oppose the preserves, arguing that fenced-in deer herds were likely to spread Chronic Wasting Disease to wild Indiana deer.
The Harrison County decision, which ruled the DNR overstepped its bounds in banning the preserves, makes it more likely the preserves will eventually be legalized. The DNR has yet to decide whether they will appeal the Harrison County decision.
Expect the topic to be revisited when the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes next year. Gov. Mike Pence has already said he would be “open” to the legislation, which we take to mean he’d sign it.