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Online harvest reporting to stay

– The Indiana Natural Resources Commission has approved an online reporting system for hunters to check harvested white-tailed deer and wild turkey, a program that had operated since April on a trial basis.

The CheckIN Game system, at www.checkingame.dnr.in.gov, was used by about 2,000 hunters during the spring turkey season, and more than 11,600 used the online or phone-in options for the deer firearms season that began last week.

Other actions taken by the NRC during its bimonthly meeting at Fort Harrison State Park: adoption of a rule to allow three antlerless deer to be taken under the deer license bundle; a one-day extension of the fall archery season for wild turkey; changes to commercial fishing activities, including the fishing guide license and roe harvester and roe dealer licenses.

New hunting dates?

The NRC also preliminarily adopted a rule change that, if finalized, will modify some hunting season dates for deer, pheasant, quail and rabbit. The change would:

•Move the starting date of deer archery season to Sept. 15 and make it illegal to use a crossbow from Sept. 15 to 30. Archery season would continue through the first Sunday in January of the following year, and crossbows would be legal from Oct. 1 through the end of the archery season.

•Add a primitive muzzleloader season starting the first Monday in January and continuing for six additional days. The bag limit would be combined with the regular muzzleloader season (one deer of either gender).

•Set the statewide pheasant season from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

•Set the quail season from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 in the north zone and Nov. 1 through Jan. 10 in the south zone.

•Make rabbit season a single statewide season from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28.

•Change size and bag limits for black bass and walleye at certain locations; add hunter orange clothing requirements for ground blinds; and remove the peregrine falcon from the state endangered species list.

•Amend various fish and wildlife licenses and permits covering turtle possession, field trials, scientific purposes, nuisance wild animal control, falconry, shooting preserves, wild animal possession and migratory bird depredation.

The NRC Division of Hearings will establish a public comment period for the rule changes that received preliminary adoption and conduct at least one public hearing before the proposals are brought back to the NRC for consideration of final adoption.

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