DNR aims to clear up possession limit rules

DNR aims to clear up possession limit rules
DNR aims to clear up possession limit rules
The Department of Natural Resources has proposed rule changes to clear up ambiguity regarding possession limits for legally taken fish and wildlife that have a bag limit, without adversely affecting wildlife species or unnecessarily encumbering legal anglers and hunters.

"There are varied opinions and interpretations of the existing possession limit rule that cause confusion within the fishing and hunting public" said Col. Scotty Wilson, director of DNR Law Enforcement. "Therefore, we're seeking a rule change to clearly define possession restrictions where a bag limit is established and at what point legally taken wild animals no longer count toward a possession limit."

The Natural Resources Commission, an autonomous board that must approve rule changes requested by the DNR, granted preliminary adoption of the proposed change at its July 19 meeting. The measure is open for public comment on the NRC website (www.in.gov/nrc/2377.htm), which also includes full text of the proposed rule language. Public comments will be included in a report to the NRC prior to consideration of final adoption at a future date.

A nine-month review of current regulations by two DNR divisions – Law Enforcement and Fish & Wildlife – prompted the agency to seek the change, which would exempt from the possession limit restriction legally taken wild animals that have been processed and stored at an individual's primary residence.

Several other state wildlife agencies that were contacted as part of the review already have adopted similar rules.


Currently, daily bag limit is defined (Indiana Code 14-8-2-18) as the quantity of individual wild animals that may be taken in one day of a specified season or during the entire season. For example, the daily bag limit for Northern pike is three. The daily bag limit for rabbits is five.


Confusion begins with possession limit, which is intended to be twice the daily bag limit.

However, common questions asked of the DNR point to the challenge of a universally accepted definition:

  • Does possession limit apply only in the field, while at camp, cabin, or hotel?
  • Does it include fish and wildlife stored at my home in my freezer?
  • Do last season's rabbits still in my freezer count against this year?
  • If I currently have two times the daily bag limit in my freezer, can I hunt/fish for that species again before using some of it?
  • If not, what are the requirements for becoming legal? Do I have to eat it, give it away, or simply dispose of it to become "legal"?
  • Does part of a wild animal, such as two hind legs of a rabbit, count as a full rabbit?

Current fishing regulations complicate the issue, depending on where fish are caught. Daily bag limits only apply to public waters. Fish taken from private ponds or impoundments may be taken in any quantity.

"This proposal will clarify language that seems to make criminals out of someone simply because he or she is an avid and successful hunter or angler" Wilson said.


These changes would not apply to migratory birds and waterfowl. U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities interpret possession limit to include processed and stored specimens. Wilson said, "At this time we feel it would be too problematic to have state and/or federal laws that contradict each other on these particular species."

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

Major League Fishing pros Alton Jones, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi and James Watson share their thoughts on how to approach fishing a new lake for bass.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

We know we have to follow legal regulations, but how do you apply personal ethics to the hunt? Stories

The Gray Area of Hunting in America

Andrew McKean - April 27, 2020

We know we have to follow legal regulations, but how do you apply personal ethics to the hunt?

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting 

All Stories

3 Coyote Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 28, 2017

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting All

It was a difficult question for a young hunter to ask, and the answer didn't come any easier. Stories

Deer Camp Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Jeff Johnston - February 04, 2020

It was a difficult question for a young hunter to ask, and the answer didn't come any easier.

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos Gomez. In this article, Gomez recounts his experiences from his first nighttime poaching bust. Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now