It has long been the law in Indiana that only shotguns could be used in the modern gun seasons. However, all that is about to change. As of July 29th, Indiana state law now allows rifles, chambered to handgun cartridges, to be used in the modern gun seasons. There will still be some restrictions on these guns on public land, including: Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Crane Naval Support Center, Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge.
Indiana has always had the philosophy that short to medium range weapons were best for the state’s deer hunting season. This law change will stay with that philosophy as the cartridges made legal are classified in the “medium range” category. The new law allows for rifles that fire the following cartridges, all handgun cartridges: .357 Magnum, .38-40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .480 Ruger, .475 Linebaugh, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W.
There will be no restrictions on the action of the rifles, or on the number of cartridges that can be loaded in the rifle.
The new laws will be in force immediately, and the first opportunity for the new calibers to be used will be the youth hunt scheduled for September 29th and 30th, 2007. The regular modern firearm deer season this year will run from November 17th through December 2nd.
For more information, visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources web page.