Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On May 19, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Upper Midwestern States Manager, Nick Buggia, submitted a letter supporting two citizens’ petitions requesting regulatory changes before the Indiana Natural Recourse Commission (NRC). The first would allow the use of .28 gauge and .410 bore shotguns loaded with Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) No. 9 ammunition during turkey season, and the second would amend the rules governing the types of muzzleloaders that can be used for deer hunting via a change in the definition of a muzzleloading gun.
CSF supported the expanded use of .28 gauge and .410-bore shotguns using No. 9 TSS for turkey hunting because of its value in hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3). National participation in hunting has been declining over the past 30 years. This change provides increased opportunities for the hunting community and may help increase youth participation while retaining those already active in the sport. Typically used by youth and smaller-framed hunters, most .28 gauge and .410-bore shotguns provide a lighter firearm that generates less recoil. Such shotguns are often used as an introductory firearm for novice sportsmen and women or used by older individuals looking to reduce recoil. Recent advances in shotshell technology have resulted in these smaller chamberings now being capable of ethically and efficiently harvesting a turkey.
CSF also supported the amendment to remove the current regulatory code language pertaining to muzzleloaders that requires both the powder and bullet to be loaded only from the muzzle. The new FireStick technology allows both the powder and primer to be safely loaded and unloaded from the breech end while the bullet is loaded from the muzzle, like traditional and modern in-line muzzleloaders. This allows the powder to stay dry, ensuring a consistent and reliable ignition of powder and improved accuracy.. This increased reliability and simplicity allows muzzleloaders to be more accessible and user-friendly without creating an unfair advantage since such designs do not increase the number of shots or effective range when compared to many of the common in-line muzzleloaders that Indiana hunters are already using.
The Natural Resource Commission approved both petitions and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will now move forward with creating rule language that will be presented to the NRC at a future date for consideration and preliminary adoption.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?