Lawmakers Ready to Settle Debate on High-Fenced Hunting Preserves

Jan 26, 2015

Advocates for high-fenced deer hunting preserves want lawmakers to finally end the debate over their existence in a battle that goes back a decade.  A House committee heard testimony on the bill Monday.

Legislation to legalize and regulate high-fenced deer hunting preserves has failed in past sessions.  But Shelbyville Republican Representative Sean Eberhart, the bill’s author, is more hopeful for success after a summer study committee recommended its passage. 

Groups such as the Humane Society and the Hoosier Environmental Council say they’re concerned about a link between the preserves and the spread of chronic wasting disease. 

But Shawn Taylor, who owns one of the preserves, says there are significant safeguards in place.

“We’re testing 100 percent of them.  We’re more or less a research facility for the state of Indiana.”

Groups including the Indiana Deer Hunters Association, the Indiana Conservation Officers Association and the Indiana Wildlife Federation voiced their opposition to the bill.  They cite ethical concerns about hunting animals bred solely to be hunted in the preserves.  The House committee opted not to vote on the measure this week.