IN DNR Gets Clarification On New Rifle Law For Deer Hunting

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has received numerous questions regarding recent legislation that legalizes certain rifles for deer hunting beginning later this year. Most questions have to do with calibers and cartridges allowed under the new law.

Federal-Premium-3006Trophy-Copper-061316House Enrolled Act 1231 that was 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:

  • The rifle must have a barrel length of at least 16 inches
  • The rifle cartridges must have a cartridge case length of least 1.16 inches
  • The rifle cartridge must fire a bullet with a diameter that is .243 inches (6 mm); or .308 inches (7.62 mm)
  • No cartridges with a bullet diameter between .243 and .308 are legal (such as the .270 Winchester)
  • 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, the following:

  • 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.

20 thoughts on “IN DNR Gets Clarification On New Rifle Law For Deer Hunting”

  1. How dumb to allow .300 magnums but not the 270, 7mm-08, etc.!! It appears that these lawmakers know nothing about rifle cartridges and ballistics.

    1. Where does Indiana find nit wits who obviously have no knowledge of ammunition or firearms?

      1. Again, this is still a big step forward for Indiana, as there is a large group ( mostly non hunters ) who are against using rifles at all. The pressure put on the Indiana legislature by individuals and many hunting groups has taken us this far.
        We will continue to eat this elephant one bite at a time.

    2. This is crazy, a 270 win is the gold standard for a deer rifle. A .444 marlin and a 45/70 will bring down a moose! What are those folks thinking.

  2. This is absolutely stupid. Just what it they are trying to accomplish with this?

    1. This is a perfect example of why we should NEVER take our eye off the ball regarding our 2nd amendment rights. This ruling makes it obvious that we have totally ignorant people in positions of power, who, as this ruling proves, can dictate what an “acceptable” caliber is. Explain to me how a 300 win mag is ok but a 270 win is not. I would love to hear their explanation.

  3. Not only the .270 Winchester, which is my favorite of all rifles, but what about the 7mm Remington Magnum. It is smaller than a .300 Magnum. But back to the .270, what makes it banned? It fits the regulations. Most of my reloads are 30/06 brass necked down to .270 diameter. Who are the jackasses that came up with such a law? Not hunters I’ll bet.

  4. Politicians involved in regulating hunting is a recipe for disaster. These restrictions on the rifle caliber shows what an absolute bunch of dumb-asses they are. My 7mm Remington Magnum is certainly between the outer limits of the calibers listed in EVERY measure.

  5. Always wanted to hunt Indiana. But not now. People just think that this is only going to hurt the guy that hunts. That is definitely not true. The hunter leases the land from the land owner, the landowner uses the money to help buy new tractors, the tractor dealership uses the money to hire people , the people use the money to buy groceries, cars, houses, and cars. So every dollar is tied to something else and its millions. So Indiana might want to pay real close attention to the negative effect that this is going to cause to all businesses there.

  6. Makes no technical or practice sense. Politicians!! And common sense do not go hand in hand.

  7. This is a positive step in the right direction. Before this ruling, all rifles used for deer had to be .35 caliber or above and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches. This is the first time there has been no limit on maximum case length for rifles.
    Indiana offers a greater range of choices than the neighboring states, and has repeatedly been more progressive than our neighbors. I believe this will prove to the opponents that rifles with increased limits can be used safely.
    It should be easy to expand the law at a later date to include the calibers betwee the .243 and .30.
    Having said that, it is my opinion that there are several cartridges within these two calibers that are borderline in knockdown power, notably the 6PPC and the 30 Carbine as an example. I will be important for all rifle hunters to use good judgement in matching the cartridge and bullet weight they use to the distance and accuracy skills they need for their hunting situation. The minimum cartridge length is ok for pistol cartridges, but may be too short for the longer range rifle shots.
    In any case, common sense will go a long way toward caliber expansion in the future.
    Thanks, and good hunting.

  8. Well they haven’t thought about how much this might cost the people of Indiana. Everybody from the hunting landowners, outfitters, and hunters to the hotels,restaurants,and other retailers.

    1. You are correct. It can only bring in more money to the economy since it allows more cartridges to hunt with.

  9. This still doesn’t explain if it is for more than just southern Indiana or not. The original bill stated that it was to be for southern Indiana south of Indy.

  10. With homes so close together in northern Indiana, I fear for my families safety. I love to hunt, but put to much power in someones hands and bad things could happen. This should be about common sense safety.

  11. Indiana should be the first state to let the truly good conservationists and ethical hunters that actually take pride in doing what’s right in the woods and respect the fact you have the ability to pass that on to the next generation to make Indiana a bow, crossbow only state, that’s it no firearms for deer. I would support it in a heartbeat.

    1. Firearms are only another tool, as are the bow, or crossbow for use in conservation. Some conservationist have limited physical capabilities due to injuries sustained during their life times, ie. the blind young man who was guided to his first antelope in wyoming. Sounds like you want to limit harvesting to a select group? Would you be interested in making the group smaller? Try touch hunting, that will severly restrict the size of the number of conservationist. If you are unaware of what touch hunting involves, I’ll make it easy so you don’t have to reseaech it. Touch hunting requires you touch your animal with your hand prior to harvesting, no bows,crossbow, or firearms allowed. Yes I have used all aforementioned legal methods as well as thouch hunting. Good luck!

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