Administrative Rule (Regulation) Changes

Wildlife Rule Package

The Natural Resources Commission gave preliminary adoption to a number of wildlife-related rule amendments on September 18, 2017. View the proposed rule language at: http://www.in.gov/nrc/files/item_4_nrc_sept_2017.pdf

Public comments can be submitted to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) at: http://www.in.gov/nrc/2377.htm and Click on “Comment on this rule” next to the FW Biennial Wildlife Amendments or mail them to the following address:

Natural Resources Commission
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave., Room N103
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2200

All comments sent to the Natural Resources Commission regarding these rule changes will be provided to Commission members and Department of Natural Resources staff and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report. The final report with the request for final adoption is expected to be presented to the Natural Resources Commission in 2018.

Any rule changes approved by the NRC would not take effect until after final adoption and approval by the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s Office. The approved permanent rule changes are not expected to take effect in 2017.

Below is a summary of the proposed rule changes:

312 IAC 9-2-2: Hunting from a boat
Allows the hunting of fox and gray squirrels from a motorized boat as long as the boat is not under power when shooting the animal.   Consent of the landowner would still be required to take a wild animal on a person’s property. 

312 IAC 9-2-11: Taking animals on state parks and historic sites
Allows the taking of the following species of wild animals on state parks and historic sites that are causing damage or posing a health or safety threat: raccoons, skunks, opossums, coyotes, foxes, beavers, muskrats, mink, and squirrels.  Only authorized DNR employees or a person given written permission that has a nuisance wild animal control permit or trapping license (for furbearers taken during the season) could take the animal. 

312 IAC 9-2-16: Release of captive-bred native and exotic species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, and mussels
Prohibits the release of captive-bred native and exotic species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, and mussels except as authorized by permit.  This would prohibit the release of exotic species into the wild, such as San Juan rabbits, boa constrictors, alligators, and other animals that did not come from the wild in Indiana.  

312 IAC 9-3-12, 9-3-13, 9-3-14: Furbearer hunting and trapping starting and ending times
Removes starting and ending times for the hunting and trapping seasons for furbearers (foxes, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, striped skunks, beavers, mink, muskrats, long-tailed weasel). The seasons still start and end on the same dates.

312 IAC 9-3-14.5: Possession of furbearer hides and carcasses
Allows the hides and carcasses of legally harvested furbearers taken during the season to be kept year-round by hunters and trappers without a special authorization or permit.

312 IAC 9-3-18.1:  Bobcat Hunting & Trapping Season
Authorizes a bobcat hunting & trapping season. There would be a bag limit of one bobcat per person and a statewide quota, and the season would be open only in a restricted number of counties in Southern Indiana.

312 IAC 9-3-18.2: River Otters
Removes the starting and ending time for the otter trapping season, allows the hide to be possessed at any time of year, and clarifies requirements for otters taken outside the season or in a county where the season is not open.

312 IAC 9-3-18.4: Possession and sale of badgers
Removes the reference to bobcats since a season is proposed under 312 IAC 9-3-18.1.

312 IAC 9-3-18.5: Exotic Mammals
Removes the references to exotic mammals in the family bovidae and cervidae and restrictions on cervidae as the result of changes to IC 14-22-1. The DNR no longer has authority over legally owned captive-bred cervidae and certain species of captive-bred bovidae by state law in IC 14-22-1. Also removes the restrictions on possession and release of exotic mammals listed in this rule, such as those licensed by the USDA – Animal Care Division.

312 IAC 9-8-18.7: Bats
Adds provisions to specify when bats can be taken as the result of the proposed changes to the list of endangered species of mammals in 312 IAC 9-3-19. Little brown bats, tri-colored bats, and northern long-eared bats are proposed to be added to the state’s list of endangered species and have the potential to be found in man-made structures; provisions are includes to allow for their take in certain situations without a permit.

312 IAC 9-3-18.8:  Black Bears
As the result of two black bears moving into Indiana over the past couple of years, this new rule lists black bears separately instead of in 312 IAC 9-3-18.6 as an exotic mammal.  Black bears no longer qualify as an “exotic mammal” under the state’s definition in IC 14-8-2-87. The restrictions on possession of live bears and hides of bears obtained legally from another state remain the same.

312 IAC 9-3-19: Additions to the endangered species list of mammals
Adds the following three species to the state’s list of endangered species: the little brown myotis (bat), northern long-eared myotis (bat), and tri-colored bat.

312 IAC 9-4-2:  Migratory Birds
Corrects the HIP registration in 312 IAC 9-4-2 so that it is required only for the species of birds required under federal law (50 CFR 20.20).  Also allows a live migratory bird to be captured and humanely removed from a building when it is trapped in the interior of a building and release it immediately outside the building or give it to a licensed rehabilitator (312 IAC 9-4-2), which is consistent with federal regulations in 50 CFR 21.12. 

312 IAC 9-4-11: Fall Wild turkey season
Adds three (3) counties to the fall wild turkey firearms season – Elkhart, Kosciusko, and Noble counties.
Allows the hunting of turkeys on properties managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife between 4:30 am and 1:00 pm during the spring wild turkey season. 

312 IAC 9-4-14: Endangered Species of Birds
Adds the rufa red knot to the state’s list of endangered species of birds since it is on the federal endangered species list and migrates through Indiana, using several counties in northwest Indiana as stopover sites.  Removes the osprey from the list since 50 or more nesting territories have been documented for more than three years, meeting the criteria for delisting. Ospreys are still protected by state and federal law.

312 IAC 9-9-4: Endangered species of invertebrates
Removes the following seven (7) species of mussels from the state’s list of endangered species since they are considered to be extirpated from the State of Indiana:  pyramid pigtoe, orangefoot pimpleback, pink mucket, tubercled blossom, longsolid, and white wartyback.

312 IAC 9-10-4: Game Breeder License
Allows either the National Poultry Improvement Plan certificate or the certificate of veterinary inspection to import bobwhite quail or ring-necked pheasants into Indiana, and removes the language referencing cervidae since the DNR no longer has authority over legally owned captive-bred cervidae by state law.

312 IAC 9-10-11: Nuisance wild animal control permit
Requires raccoons, opossums, and coyotes captured under a nuisance wild animal control permit to be euthanized.  Allows the capture and release (relocation) of an endangered species, requires the carcass of a black bear taken under this permit to be given to the DNR, and requires the reporting of the taking of more than five (5) individual bats from any one building or structure from June 1 through July 31.

312 IAC 9-10-12: Fur Buyer’s licenses
Removes the additional requirements for documentation of the possession of bobcats since a season has been proposed in this rule package in 312 IAC 9-3-18.1.

312 IAC 9-10-25: Deer Control permit
Established a separate rule for the deer control permit that would specify the requirements for obtaining a permit, including the time frame in which the deer could be taken, methods that could be used, and disposition of the deer, including the antlers.

312 IAC 9-10-26: Possession of endangered species
Establishes a permit to allow the possession of endangered species for propagation in captivity and release into the wild or other special purposes to further conservation activities for the restoration of the wild animals as authorized by state law in IC 14-22-34-15.

312 IAC 9-11-2: First permit to possess a wild animal (under a wild animal possession permit)
Removes the reference to compliance with IC 14-11-4 since that law was changed in 2016 and notice is no longer required to adjacent landowners to possess a Class III wild animal.  Additional changes are made to clarify current requirements.

Fisheries Rule Package

The Natural Resources Commission gave final adoption to a number of fisheries-related rule amendments on September 18, 2017. View the proposed rule language here http://www.in.gov/nrc/files/lsa17262_proposed.pdf.

The rule changes approved by the NRC will not take effect until after final adoption and approval by the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s Office. The approved permanent rule changes are not expected to take effect in 2017.