HTDA Voices Heard In Indianapolis

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On 08-15-07 HTDA Officers Chris Powell and Jerry Moll testified in front of an attentive crowd of policy advisors who make up the Natural Resources Advisory Council (NRAC). The council is a legislated committee of Indiana Sportsmen and Citizens who serve as a citizen’s advisory council for rule proposals within the DNR. More information on the DNR Advisory Council including a list of council members can be found at their website: http://www.in.gov/nrc/advisory

The HTDA Treasurer Jerry Moll framed the proposal that asked for all closures of the current Indiana raccoon running season to be removed. Several points were brought including the fact that coonhound owners are the only sporting group that are restricted from training and exercising dogs year round. Also brought up was the fact that there is no current data to show that running of tree dogs has any impact on non target wildlife such as deer and their movement, small game and other non game species. The HTDA presented a study from South Carolina supporting this stance. Along with the study the Council was provided numerous emails from several sportsmen supporting the proposal. The proposal was laid out in a very simple, easy to understand presentation. 

Immediately following the presentation, opposing voices were heard. The opposition had no data to back their stance. Their opposition was one based solely emotion, perception and politics. The opposing groups included members from deer hunting groups, trapping groups and bird hunting groups. 

Countering the opposition, President Chris Powell systematically, ran through the list of concerns and attempted to put troubled minds at ease. Also speaking in support for the proposal were members of the Indiana Beagler’s Alliance. 

When the dust settled the Advisory Council voted to defer from making a recommendation for or against the proposal based on the lack of time to review the material. Chairman Pat Early called the proposal a “social issue” based on the fact that there were conflicts between resource users and since no real data showing any impact on Indiana’s Natural Resources were presented. 

So where do we go from here? This issue has been sent back to the Division of Fish and Wildlife who will draft a proposal that will inevitably give Hoosier tree dog enthusiasts more days in the field with their dogs. The HTDA will continue to work for the future of all hunting in the state of Indiana in particular, tree dog sports. 

Chris Powell-HTDA President