Rifles for deer hunting in Indiana next year?


November 13, 2006, 05:52 PM
I heard an unsubstantiated rumor today that beginning next year, Indiana will allow rifles shooting pistol-class cartridges to be used for deer hunting. Can anybody substantiate that?


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November 13, 2006, 06:08 PM
Nope, don't know nothin', but I say rumor is good nuf for ya to go pick out a nice Marlin 94 in .44 mag. ;) :D

November 13, 2006, 07:25 PM
Must suck being in a state that doesn't allow rifles for hunting :(

November 13, 2006, 08:00 PM
Well, yeah, it does. I try to off set that by using an Omega front loader. So far, that's as good as it gets. My first deer was with a flintlock Hawkin, so the laws kinda forced me to do something that I wouldn't have otherwise, and it's quite a memory. But I do look forward to using my Win 94 (.357) if this is true.


November 14, 2006, 08:56 AM
I shot one with my Rossi 92 in .357 once and it did a good job. Was a small doe, though, but the wound was impressive with a 158 grain hard cast SWC.

I never really understood the not using a rifle thing in states like Indiana. Are there no open areas? Are you hunting in the back yard in a crowded neighborhood? Weird. There's houses back behind me where I hunt and I use rifles. I am set up facing the big ranch in front of me, no houses anywhere I can see to shoot, but still, it's not in the middle of nowhere. I've never been past New Albany north in Indiana, but I can't imagine it's any more crowded than most of the eastern half of Texas.

November 14, 2006, 10:30 AM
Thie was voted on in the year and is subject to change.
Check out this link.



El Tejon
November 14, 2006, 03:09 PM
Finally, at long last, of course, this is sort of legalizing what may already be transpiring . . . er, so I have heard.:uhoh: :neener:

MCGunner, you are not alone. Funny how we can use a .308 to shoot coyotes with but not deer. However, one can use a centerfire rifle to shoot Bambi if you have a predation permit. Is your head hurting yet?:D

This is a welcome change and a step to ridding us on the silly "no centerfire rifle" rule.:)

November 14, 2006, 04:25 PM
There seems to be a trend of once shot-gun only areas converting to rifle. I think Iowa has gone rifle and western Minnesota has done so just this year. I can't imagine the country's getting less populated. Don't know what the reasoning is. Maybe the shotgun is just too ineffective at controlling a growing farm-country deer population.

Crazy Uncle Al Gore
November 14, 2006, 05:21 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but how are slugs any less likely to travel long distances and hit people than rifles. They travel just as far don't they. They are just inaccurate at a longer range. We are worried about stray rounds right? That's why we ban rifles in states like Ohio and Indiana. It just doesn't make since to ban rifles, but what do I know. :confused:

El Tejon
November 14, 2006, 05:44 PM
Algore, the centerfire rifle prohibition is only for normal deer hunting. It does not apply to a predation permit or to critters like coyotes. I have never understood this logic (or lack thereof).

IDNR Magic: At regular firearms deer season my 6.5x55mm is too dangerous; however, if I take it along to shoot coyotes or to shoot deer on a Christmas tree farm, centerfire rifle is okey-dokey and safe to fluffy bunnies and THE CHILDREN.:scrutiny:

November 14, 2006, 07:23 PM
I suspect that they were trying to make it simple. Pistols less than .357 mag were not allowed. Any other pistol was. Shotgun slugs are short range rounds (circa 1960's). Muzzle loaders shoot round balls and are relatively short range firearms.

Then companies come out and make "pistols" in .308. Shotguns have 2,000 fps sabots. Muzzle loaders have sabots that are equivalent to mid-range centerfires.

I'm not real excited about high powered rifles. As much as I'd like to use a 30-06 to deer hunt, I can't imagine every guy around here with one. Too many houses, people, and livestock.

This deal about pistol rounds only in pistols/rifles has been floating around for a year or two. I've got a .357 Herret that I'm going to use Saturday on opening day. I would be outlawed with the new legislation. I'd trade that for a chance to use my .45 LC rifle.

November 14, 2006, 11:04 PM
Shotgun slugs don't go nearly as far as rifle bullets. They start out at a much lower velocity and have terrible ballistic coeficients.

In Ohio, for handguns, one is limited to straight walled cartridges. These will have more of a range than shotguns but still the velocity in general is lower than that of many rifles and the ballistic coeficients are low by rifle standards.

In my opinion, there is a big difference in a few people hunting varmints and nuisance deer with rifles and in loosing a whole horde of hunters on a flat state (like IN and OH) with rifles on the opening day of deer season. There would no doubt be rifle bullets landing in populated areas which would do nothing for the popularity of hunting. The deer harvest would also probably rise considerably which might be bad from a conservation standpoint.

November 15, 2006, 06:55 AM
Shotgun slugs don't go nearly as far as rifle bullets. They start out at a much lower velocity and have terrible ballistic coeficients.

I just got some 12 gauge 300 grain Hornadys. 2,000 fps. Sighted at 150 yards they drop 6" at 200.

Due to frontal area they'll drop off faster at 200+, but they still approach mid range rifle loads within the first 200 yards. Something like a .308 may skip for over a mile if it hit a rock, water, etc. If somebody took a shot over the crest of a hill, it would go several miles.

If you are on public land in Michigan opening day, you'll understand why you don't want every guy in the woods having a centerfire rifle. I'm not all that concerned about an occasional varmint hunter, particularly with rounds that fragment. It's Bubba with the semi-auto 30-06 blazing away that gets me jumpy.

November 15, 2006, 08:18 AM
Are you saying the 308 will shoot several miles or that shotgun slugs will go that far? I would take "several" to mean at least 3 miles and I doubt a shotgun slug would do that (maybe I'm wrong).

Also, I think many Bubbas would be using other than "mid-range" rifle loads. They would be using full house 300 Win. Mags.

Maybe there should be a law on the maximum power of a cartridge for deer (before you flame me, I'm only kidding).

November 15, 2006, 01:38 PM
The deer harvest would also probably rise considerably which might be bad from a conservation standpoint.

The number of bonus doe licenses in my county is up to 8(!) this year (Hendricks), plus the eastern third is in the urban archery zone, so that's 3 more, IIRC, plus the normal firearms license, archery license, and muzzlloader license; so technically I could harvest 14 deer in Hendricks county.

Problem is that you have to know a land owner and get permission. It's no wonder the bag limit is so high.

I won't be hunting in my own county this year. That tops all.

November 15, 2006, 03:43 PM
I read an article in a recent issue of Deer & Deer Hunter that takes the shotgun vs rifle is safer thing to task. in looking at neighboring counties in states that have both rifle and shotgun deer hunting, the counties allowing hunting with centerfire rifles often have less non intentional shootings and fatalities than in the shotgun only counties.

The shorter range of a shotgun limiting non intentional shootings vs centerfire rifles arguement sounds good, but doesn't seem to be born out in fact.

There are some shotgun (and muzzleloader) loads that are outdistancing the 30-30s, 35 rems and 45-70s that unless you are shooting spitzer ammo it may be moot.

as shotgun and muzzleloading sabot ammo has gotten hotter, the trend of accidental shootings has gone down significantly from the days when buckshot or pumpkin balls were what you put through your shotguns. And there are more hunters out in less open spaces.

Face it, the yahoos that blaze away will blaze away whether it's a 30-06 or a 12 guage. in fact, the 30-06 may require less "kentucky windage" so their is less chance off someone blindly flinging lead over the next hilltop. :rolleyes:

November 15, 2006, 04:58 PM

I suppose though, if you have a center fire rifle you are more likely to wait for an open shot (or to confirm the target/what is beyond :what: ) rather than saying, "I'd better get this one before it gets out of range!"

November 15, 2006, 06:48 PM
I have written to ODNR (ohio) about allowing rifles that chambered the shells they let us shoot in handguns (.357 and above, straight walled). In fact, the way the game laws now read some of the big handguns that take the 444 marlin and 45-70 are now allowed.

For some odd reason, one of the guns I like to shoot the most, and would love to hunt deer with is my Marlin 1894 in 44 mag.

I have an 1894C in .357 that would be great for Son #2 to hunt deer with close range

November 16, 2006, 09:28 AM
It's Bubba with the semi-auto 30-06 blazing away that gets me jumpy.

I understand that statement. But, I still hear shotgun hunters blasting away with auto-loaders and the pump action without the required plug for a three round maximum load. Like any other state their aren't enough game wardens to check on legal hunters on crowded opening day. My Marlin 1894C .357 is still waiting to come out if and when rifles are approved in Ohio. I probably have a better chance at seeing an albino deer before that will happen in such a conservative state. I just add it to the list of why "Ohio Sucks".

November 19, 2006, 08:13 AM
Indiana has some nice bucks and a good buck, doe ratio because of the rifle ban. A good in line 50 cal especially those with 150 grains is good to go for almost all white tail shots IMO. A person could take almost an unlimited number of deer in Indiana with the county by county quota's based on car wrecks, limited only by time to hunt. If you see a change to rifles it will because the insurance companies (huge lobby) wants all the deer killed off.
Be careful what you ask for.
just my 2 cents
Cork in MS

El Tejon
November 19, 2006, 04:58 PM
This weekend I was out buying guns when this subject was raised. I am having problems understanding the, by my term, "terrain argument."

The argument against centerfire rifles is: "Well, the northern half of the State is mostly flat, so you need to use shotguns there [or all over Indiana]."

I point out that Way Out West in flat as an ironing board, e.g. Tejas, yet they use centerfire rifles there. Plus, what 9 out of 10 flannels hunt from tree stands where one is shooting down into the earf. In addition, if it is flat does that not call for longer shots? With a centerfire rifle cannot one place his shot with greater accuracy and thus be safer? Last time I went out it was on a flatish, rolling Christmas tree farm and I smacked a fat buck with a 140 grain 6.5x55. No danger to anyone.

It seems to me that the terrain argument against centerfire rifles undercuts itself and is made by people unfamiliar with shotguns slug ballistics or Rule #4.

Someone help me understand please.:scrutiny: :confused:

November 19, 2006, 08:33 PM
I just got back from deer hunting all day today.

I've got mixed feelings. As nice as it would be to have the '06, I still have go with what we've got IMO.

Last season opening day I had a 12 pointer standing broadside at 180 yards. Real windy. Too chancy with the muzzle loader and I let it go. What I realized later is that he was on a slight rise and it was uphill (slightly) to where he was standing. If I'd had the '06 and cracked off a shot there is a house about 1/2 mile away directly in line.

It isn't the idea of any significant difference at 150 yards or less. It's the ability to carry to 1/2 mile or more that bothers me.

My post above about shotgun slugs proves that they can be quite potent to 200 yards. BC and frontal area should limit overall range. Same with BP. When you get into the high power rifles, it's ramps up to a different level IMO.


El Tejon
December 4, 2006, 08:09 PM
Indiana hunters: Indiana Department of Natural Resources is taking public comments on proposed modifications to game regulations as to the use of (some) centerfire rifles. Contact Ms. Jennifer Kane, IDNR, at (317) 232-0156 to make your comments known. A public hearing is likely in late January or sometime in February. I plan to be there with charts and graphs!:)

I called and related:

1. DNR magic ballistics makes no sense. If I can use a centerfire rifle against coyotes or deer with a predation permit, why can I not use it in regular firearms season.

2. The "terrain argument" is a specious farce.

3. If I can use a .308 pistol, why can I not put a stock on it so I can control my weapon and be safer to fluffy bunnies and THE CHILDREN?

Apparently those against the use of pistol caliber carbines was lead by something called the Indiana Deer Hunters Association. Anyone know these folks and who we need to contact so we can explain the pro-centerfire rifle position?

December 4, 2006, 08:55 PM
El T:

Here it is:



P.S. I've never heard of them.

El Tejon
December 4, 2006, 09:08 PM
red, right, should have provided the link thingy, thanks.

Who are these people? How many members are they? Why are they against the use of centerfire rifles? How did they determine their membership was against the use of centerfire rifles?:confused:

December 5, 2006, 01:14 AM

It is interesting, yet perplexing, to read about all the different ways we deer hunters have to hunt in different states.

Here in Georgia, and especially on my club, virtually EVERY hunter carries a centerfire rifle and always have. Most use .30-06, with an assortment of other good calibers (.270, 7mm Rem. Mag, .260 . . . even a .40-70). For backup rifles, I see a .30-06 Model 742, several .30-30s, a Ruger .44mag., a Savage .303, etc.

I'm the only one that primarily handgun hunts, and I use a Model 29 w/ Holosight. My rifle is a 1973 Remington 700LH in .270 . . . though just as often I'll tote my Ruger Deerfield carbine in .44mag w/ red dot sight.

The only one seen this year on the club was a day during the rut when I decided to tote my 1969 smoothbore Ithaca slug gun. It is sighted dead on at 100 yards and shoots a one-hole clover leaf at 100 yards! Devastating on the deer I've shot with it.

Frankly, the hunters in my club wouldn't think about toting a shotgun, or even a handgun cartridge (except me). Then again, in our deep Georgia woods, we don't have to worry about an errant shot traveling flat, and low to the ground and hitting something 1/2 mile away.

Each state has some crazy laws though. Mine allows all CENTERFIRE handguns . . . as long as the bullet is a hollowpoint. Can you imagine shooting a deer with a .32ACP hollowpoint? Yet, it is legal. Just as strange, the wonderful .44mag hard cast Keith-style flat nose bullet in 300 grain is NOT legal . . . though it is the most effective deer handgun bullet I've ever shot! Go figure!

Good luck up there with your proposed changes. I don't think you have much to worry about with the flatter-shootin' rifles . . . if folks ain't shooting towards houses and such! You'll learn to love what you've missed!!! Then again . . . us Georgia hunters would also fall in love with slug guns if we were "forced" to use 'em.

Hope you all have a great season!


El Tejon
December 5, 2006, 08:08 AM
Thanks, S&W.

I think we shouldn't have any problems with centerfire rifles just like you don't down there in Georgia. As far as "shooting towards houses", that applies to blackpowder bullets, shotgun slugs, centerfire rifle bullets during predation permit hunting or varmit hunting.

I think that is what I am most upset about the anti-centerfire rifle argument (as the other arguments destruct by themselves): the magic ballistics theory that a shotgun slug, muzzleloader bullet, or a centerfire rifle bullet (during varmit or predation) is a harmless fluffy powder puff.:rolleyes: If we can use centerfire rifle for lots of other game (including centerfire rifle bullets from "handguns" during regular firearms season), how would rescinding the inane ban hurt anything?:banghead:

December 5, 2006, 05:34 PM
Consider, for example, the Hornady .44 XTP. Fine in Indiana if it comes out of a handgun, or out of a muzzleloader with a sabot, but yet, not legal from a lever action carbine. That's what I hope will change.

Having said that, I've been out every weekend during gun season this year, and it's amazing how many quick three-shot strings I hear - I mean like three shots in 2 or three seconds. Can't be a lot of aimed fire going on there, and my mental picture is that someone is busting up whitetails and blasting at them on the run. I don't hunt like that, and I don't like it. Too much chance of a wounded animal. So, I'm a bit apprehensive that the boom-boom-boom crowd may switch to .44 auto carbines. We'll see.


El Tejon
December 5, 2006, 09:28 PM
And they cannot "boom boom boom" with a slide action or self-loading shotgun?:confused:

December 6, 2006, 07:27 PM
El T:

My last post was not very clear. It is exactly the pump and auto SGs that I've been hearing. I mostly hunt in Harrison Crawford State Forest and a little in the Hoosier National Forest. Firearms season sounds like a war. I even heard some shooting that sounded like full auto last weekend. Two round bursts. Bam-bam. Bam-bam. Bam-bam.

Anyway, I generally support the pistol-caliber rifle idea. My only reservation is that now we'll likely have guys out there popping off even more unaimed fire. I've taken a couple of deer that were hit in the butt, usually with an exit wound in the hip, and usually with a broken hip joint or thigh bone. Not a pleasant situation. I just don't want to see an increase in that type of hunting.

I truely enjoy the muzzleloader season much more than gun season. The firearm restriction and the colder weather really cut down on the number of hunters, and I don't see nearly as many people kicking thru the brushy areas trying to bust up whitetails.


December 6, 2006, 07:31 PM
Nope, don't know nothin', but I say rumor is good nuf for ya to go pick out a nice Marlin 94 in .44 mag.

Didnt they make a lever in .50ae also?

El Tejon
December 7, 2006, 10:10 AM
red, if it is behavior that you seek to modify then you have to change the culture.

To combat "recon by fire" methodology of the Banjos, why not lobby the organizations such as the NRA or Indiana Deer Hunters Association to put on clinics to teach hunting tactics and sportsmanship? To me it seems that education is more productive that attempting to control a fungible technology.

December 7, 2006, 04:46 PM
Good point, and well taken. Seems like that would/could also be addressed in hunter safety classes. I'm old enough to have never taken one.


December 11, 2006, 12:17 PM
Apparently those against the use of pistol caliber carbines was lead by something called the Indiana Deer Hunters Association. Anyone know these folks and who we need to contact so we can explain the pro-centerfire rifle position?

I've posted a few items on their forum at www.hoosierhunting.com and it's pretty unbelievable what the rational is behind many of their arguments. I'm not sure what a real 'member' is, but I sure couldn't figure it out.

My guess is that the pres. of the assoc. decides what the group thinks since there is virtually no general concensus on any issue and very little in the way of factual argument.

No wonder I 'could' shoot squirrel with my .270 but I can't use a .44 Mag levergun to hunt deer.

December 11, 2006, 12:27 PM
Didnt they make a lever in .50ae also?

I belive that the .500 S&W Mag case specifications meet the currently proposed cartridge spec for the caliber and case size of 1.625" with a bullet of .357" or larger.

Thus far, nothing specific as to whether or not firearm type (Carbine, Lever, Bolt, Single Shot, etc..) will be a limiting factor, but the specification allows that big dude so I can see a rifle in that caliber hitting the shelves.

Simple Man
December 22, 2006, 12:33 PM
The funny thing is that Indiana has allowed hunting with high powered rifle cartridges out of pistols for the last few years. We can hunting with a 30-06 or any other HPR cartridge as long as it's out off of a pistol platform. But now that we would like to hunt with pistol cartridges off of a rifle platform it's a no no. So let me some this up, less trajectory and more stability than the HPR pistols but the IDHA says no way.

El Tejon
December 22, 2006, 03:25 PM
Simple, that is my understanding of their position of IDHA.

Centerfire rifles for coyotes but not deer. (Now write this down) We have to stick to pistols in .308, or just use centerfire rifle in predation deer hunting.

Do chime in if any of this DNR nonsense makes any sense.:rolleyes: :D

December 22, 2006, 07:27 PM

June 7, 2007, 08:17 PM

Rule change, Rifle with Pistol cartridges for deer in 2007 on way to Attorney General and Governer office.


El Tejon
June 11, 2007, 02:50 PM
Hoozah! Rally, boys!:cool:

Excellent first step. Now let's legalize centerfire rifle and end IDNR's magical ballistics theory.:D

June 11, 2007, 03:30 PM
Dang!!! Now i'm gonna have to go out and buy a lever action in .357mag or .44mag!:evil::D

El Tejon
June 12, 2007, 03:49 PM
You mean you don't have a few already?:what:


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