Ubelhor: Hunting Preserves Bill Moves on to Second Reading

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 7:00 pm

Start Date:  1/25/2012    
End Date:  1/25/2012    

Greene County

Lawrence County

Martin County

Orange County

Washington County

Hunting Preserves Bill Moves on to
Second Reading
 
STATEHOUSE – A bill authored by Rep. Matt Ubelhor (R-Bloomfield) has passed through the House Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 8 to 4 and onto second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill, HB 1265, provides for game hunting on enclosed hunting preserves. Owners of hunting preserves breed and raise deer to live in an enclosed, but spacious area that mimics their natural environment. Individuals and groups are invited to hunt on the preserves, which are maintained to mimic open-area hunts. Hunters that visit the preserves are not guaranteed a kill, and animals are given an equal chance to escape within the boundaries of the high-fenced area.

Additionally, the preserves have been identified as economic amplifiers, which entice out-of-state hunters to pay thousands of dollars to hunt on these high-fenced properties.

“In a struggling economy, it makes sense to create legislation that will result in increased business within our state,” said Rep. Ubelhor. “I believe that this bill will mean more money for Hoosiers, and more business for the state.”

Although only four hunting preserves are currently operational, the bill would open up the practice for new businesses granted they follow ethical and health guidelines. This would provide deer farmers throughout the state to expand their current customer-base and subsequently increase their businesses’ revenue.

The bill has garnered support from various groups and organizations including the Indiana Deer and Elk Farm Association, Indiana Farm Bureau and over 100 deer farmers around the state. Supporters believe the preserves would provide a positive fiscal impact for the state, and do not violate ethical guidelines protecting wild animals.

“I hope to see this legislation enacted so that hunting preserves can flourish in the Indiana economy,” said Rep. Ubelhor. “Deer farmers around the state depend on purchases by hunting preserves, and this legislation will solidify the continued presence of their livelihoods.”

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Rep. Ubelhor serves District 62, which includes Orange, Lawrence, Martin, Washington, and Greene counties. For the 2011 legislative session, Rep. Ubelhor is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.