The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has received numerous questions regarding recent legislation that legalizes certain rifles for deer hunting beginning later this year. Most questions have to do with calibers and cartridges allowed under the new law.
House Enrolled Act 1231 that was passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly allows some additional rifle cartridges to be used only on private land during the firearms season.
The new legal cartridges include, but are not limited to, the .243 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester, .300 AAC Blackout and .30-’06 Springfield. Additional requirements are:
- The rifle must have a barrel length of at least 16 inches
- The rifle cartridges must have a cartridge case length of least 1.16 inches
- The rifle cartridge must fire a bullet with a diameter that is .243 inches (6 mm); or .308 inches (7.62 mm)
- No cartridges with a bullet diameter between .243 and .308 are legal (such as the .270 Winchester)
- A hunter may not possess more than 10 such cartridges while in the field
Rifles with pistol cartridges that have been allowed in previous years may still be used to hunt deer on both private and public land.
Additional cartridges that are legal under HEA 1231 include, but are not limited to, the following:
- 6mm BR Remington
- 6mm PPC
- 6mm Remington
- .240 Weatherby
- .243 Winchester
- .243 Winchester Super Short Magnum
- .30 Carbine
- .30 Herrett
- .30 Remington AR
- .30-’06 Springfield
- .30-30 Winchester
- .30-40 Krag
- .300 AAC Blackout (.300 Whisper)
- .300 H&H Magnum
- .300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum
- .300 Savage
- .300 Weatherby Magnum
- .300 Winchester Magnum
- .300 Winchester Short Magnum
- .300 Remington Ultra Magnum
- .308 Marlin
- .308 Winchester
There are other cartridges that meet the law’s specifications, and there are others that do not. A partial list of cartridges that are not allowed under HEA 1231 includes the .270 Winchester, .38-55 Winchester, .444 Marlin, and .45-70 Government.
HEA 1231 is scheduled to expire after the 2020 deer season, at which time the DNR will submit an impact report to the Governor and the General Assembly.