Indiana Rule Changes for 2015– Centerfire Rifle!

Update: 3/29/2016

  What Indiana DNR failed to do the Indiana Legislature has accomplished.  See

Indiana Passes New Deer Rifle Rules


Update: 5/20/2015

It is looking like the rule changes are going to be nixed. See Indiana Deer Rifle Changes Nixed :

I just got a tip that Indiana has approved the use of Centerfire Rifle in a much broader range of cartridges by removing the maximum length rule. Basically anything from 243 WIN to 45-70 will be legal.The change is for next deer season (2015), not this one (2014).


Here’s the verbage:

Allows additional rifles to be used by reducing the bullet size required to .243 and eliminating the maximum rifle cartridge case length. This will allow high-powered rifles such as the .30-30 and .45-70 during the deer firearms seasons. Full metal jacketed bullets would be unlawful because since they do not expand when fired, and therefore, do not kill as humanely.

Here’s the link. There is a LOT more going on, so if you plan to hunt Indiana next year, you need to read it:

Administrative Rule (Regulation) Changes


Update: 12/7/2014

 A lot of you have written me, asking for my opinion on this.  A lot of you have told me you do not like the change.  Here are my thoughts on it all:

Shotgun vs Rifle

Let me know what you think.


Update: 1/4/2015

Dang! You people just keep coming! Okay. Here’s another item one of my PA buddies sent me :

More on Shotgun vs Rifle

I wonder some times about how a country founded on concepts like freedom and liberty can be populated with people who want to make a new law every time there is a problem.

Update: 5/20/2015

It is looking like the rule changes are going to be nixed. See Indiana Deer Rifle Changes Nixed :

"Indiana Rule Changes for 2015-- Centerfire Rifle!", 3 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.


Indiana Rule Changes for 2015– Centerfire Rifle! — 27 Comments

  1. Well I think using high powered rifles in IN. Is just getting carried away a little bit! We already have muzzleloaders with awesome accuracy out to 200 yards, what more does a good hunter need? I say let’s keep it simple and leave what’s not broke alone. And as far as traditional well thAt went out the window a long time ago in muzzleloading and archery! There will be a lot of lead flying next year! Lay low.

    • That’s your opinion personal I’m tired of living in a free country that is less free than most third world countries lead by dictators because candy ass greed and stay at home mom’s with nothing better to do this country has gone to hell because of lobbyists and padding government pockets would we have put up with this in 1776 think about it time for a big change in this country maybe a new start new government no congress let the people vote for laws not representives

  2. I’m a retired military man and I have hunted all over the United States and I think the high powered rifle is the only safest way to go the shotgun I think is more dangerous than the high power rifle. in South Carolina they have to be 10 feet in the tree stand in order to use high powered rifles. most regular shotguns don’t shoot slugs very accurately therefore causing more accidents including more dear

  3. Richard, I couldn’t agree with you more. The statistics support your premise as well. Morbidity (death and injury) stats are the same. Recent tests of shotgun slugs show they may carry farther after a ricochet than centerfire rifle bullets.

    It is good to see Indiana doing this, and I hope Ohio also does not take too long to make this change. The new Pistol Caliber Rifle rule is a huge step.

  4. I hunt in Indiana and Indiana is to flat where I hunt muzzleloader 44 MAG work just fine. I am opposed to high power rifle, I think people could get shot. James A Neuenschwander

  5. James, I hunt just across the river in Northern KY, and hunted IN for years prior to getting my land in KY. The topography has nothing to do with it. What does count is that KY has allowed any center fire cartridge for 2 generations and experienced no greater morbidity than OH or IN.

    For all the talk I hear from Hoosiers and Buckeyes, you’d think us guys hunting in KY would be facing a gigantic circular firing squad on Opening Day. It just is not so.

    Remember too, that KY and IN now have had at least a full generation of hunters with mandatory Hunter Ed. Mortality goes waaaay down when hunters don’t shoot at noises, don’t shoot at the sky, etc.

  6. Yes finally!! I hope it passes one shot is all you need yet we have 200000 guys running around with shotguns with five rounds shooting at everything!
    How come u can hunt everything in indiana but deer n turkey with a 50 cal bmg sniper rifle and Moines complaining about that.
    Listen a 45-70 is a bull gun if it was designed for thousand yard shots our military would still be using them!
    My 50 cal muzzleloader is set up at 300 yards with 4 in grouping it’s as dangerous as anything else!
    Listen it opens the door for handicap people youth women and people with disabilities to carry a smaller lighter gun, your car says it will do 150 do you do that no so yes these guns can reach out but not everyone will do that.
    Shame on you for assuming your fellow hunters are that bad at shots and judgement .

  7. That’s a great point, Nathan. I can’t agree more.

    It was much easier to teach my boys how to shoot a deer with a 30-30 than with a smoothbore 12 GA. KYHillChick also liked shooting the 30-30, but would never go near a slug load.

  8. It makes sense to go ahead with this. The anti gun grabbing crowds can lose for once. Allowing free men to hunt with real guns is a step in the right direction for Hoosiers.

  9. The issue that I have with the …bureaucrats that I have emailed is that none of them can tell me how they define a ‘high-powered’ rifle or shotgun.

    Without this definition, there is nothing to compare a given hunting rifle or shotgun to in order to determine if it meets a state’s definition of what a ‘high-powered’ rifle or shotgun is.

  10. The term “high-powered rifle” is rather loose in common usage. The Civillian Marksmanship Program has “high-power” competition, but CMP allows .223 into those matches. Indiana will not allow anything smaller than .243. At the time of its conception, in the late 19th century, “high-powered” meant brass-cased smokeless powder rounds with jacketed bullets. The distinction was clear when you compared it to an earlier black powder cartridge. Nowadays hardly anyone shoots a “low-powered” rifle. Nearly every modern centerfire rifle is high-powered now.

  11. I don’t see any reason to put a rifle season in indiana.who wants to shoot a deer from 200/300 yards what fun is that. Our deer herd is already on the decline if you haven’t seen it than you don’t spend 60/70 days hunting like I do.better back off the does or we’ll be hurting for deer in a few more years.

    • Just because it is legal to shoot centerfire rifle does not mean everyone will be plinking at deer at extreme ranges. Your average deer is still going to be taken within 80 yards. I seriously doubt this is going to cause a serious herd reduction.

  12. Sounds like to me as an indiana resident in the southern part of our state the ones not wanting high powered are either our cowards or scared of change or not sure about their ability to hunt with or shoot one. We’re allowed to use high powered during coyote season etc. I see no problem with this new law I actually welcome it with open arms other states allows it so it’s time indiana moves out of the stone age an accepts change. This is a law/rule that I have wanted for a long time you have a lot of respectful hunters as myself who have been hunting since they were 7 years old. It’s the ones that shoot at anything and everything that give the rest of us a bad name. Or the ones who don’t take the time to Scott and area 1-2 or 3 weeks prior to deer season that wait till opening day and say this is a good spot without knowing the lay out or if anyone else is hunting the area. I’m a big bow hunter who gave up gun season and just hunts bow the whole season but this may change that for me and bring me back to gun season will put an exciting twist on things again.

  13. I could care less about what is being hunted with. I generally take my bow regardless. I would rather the state/DNR’s focus being directed towards the deer population. It’s ridiculous that I can legally kill 19 doe by simply driving no more than an hour to surrounding counties. But this is about HPR so my opinion on that is…..nope. I don’t see the use for it. I don’t mind the straight case, it seems more kids are hunting because they can shoot a .357 or .44 mag at a younger age and not be scared off by the recoil of a shotgun. I don’t see the need for the big guns though. But…’s just my opinion.

  14. Look, I’ve told others. Don’t tell me this. The issue is still open for debate. I just posted the link for making official comment on the proposed rule.

    I’m a Buckeye that hunts in Kentucky, so I really don’t have a whole lot of pull. Let the boys in Indy know what you think.

    To those of you in favor of this thing: If you don’t agree with this fellow, let Indy know you support the rule changes. Comment is still open, and the anti-HPR crowd could stuff the comment box.

  15. i hope it does NOT pass. can you imagine what it would be like on public land? lol. i am already nervous about going on state property during ARCHERY season, at kingsbury FWA the tree stands are so close together that 2 or more people shoot at the same deer quite often with bows, and everyone cuts everyone else off. if the high powered rifle change goes through you could just sit on a fire lane and shoot deer at 1000 yards…. that is not hunting. please dnr… stop trying to ELIMINATE our deer heard in Indiana.

  16. Public land? So far, in places like Wisconsin, the change to centerfire rifle has seen a decrease in morbidity. Almost no one shoots deer at 1000 yards. The average shot will remain inside 80 yards.

    Quit being hysterical. KY, just across the river, has none of the problems you fear and I hunt there every season.

  17. I think it is great that a person can now use a rifle for deer. I had stopped hunting because I could not use my 30-06. It is high time this change was made. Good for you Indiana. No one shoots at deer beyond 150-200 yards anyway.

  18. Those of you in my you have to remember only southern Indiana is a lot like central Indiana it is really flat and basically just fields so here the average kill will be more around 150 yards. Plus add on the fact that houses are not more than 1500 yards away it makes it more dangerous to use a high power end rifle.

  19. I seriously doubt Hoosiers can be trusted less to be responsible hunters than your neighbors in Kentucky. Don’t you think it is a bit insulting?
    My neighbors’ houses are less than 1500 yards away, and we hardly ever kill each other. Over basketball? Maybe, but certainly not deer hunting.

  20. Don’t have a problem with the new guns as much as I do those using them where Iv hunted no one knows what a property line is or how to read a map to know where there supposed to be hunting

  21. Well as a hunter, i hunt a state that alows shotgun or high power rife. Its my choice to use what i want during that sesson. I don’t see indiana add a nother season. They wil just open it up to the hpr during theat season. I live in Indiana i hope it does long as they limit the type of platform rile, like no AR platform, limit the number of rounds in the rifle to five rounds.

  22. Last year was first time with CVA Scout single shot 44 mag with Centerline Scope used here in Indiana. It is perfect for deer hunting and in my opinion is the most accurate firearm I’ve ever owned. If you need more than this you’re not a hunter. It’s more exciting to have a deer in close where you watch it come to you.

    • I quite agree. If you think a 44 Mag is cool, then you should see what a 30-06 does inside 10 yards. But you’ll have to come to Kentucky to find out. Look, I’m for whatever you want. I’m just sorry Indiana didn’t see it that way.

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