• Common Sense Conservation Since 1938
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To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana's wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action.

Press Releases

150 Years of Indiana Wild Animal Protection and Management Practices Upset by State Court of Appeals

October 30, 2015  

The Indiana Court of Appeals handed down a flawed decision on February 2, 2015, suggesting that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does not have authority to regulate any privately-owned wild animals.  The case was part of the decade-long fight over whether “canned hunting” of captive whitetail deer should be legalized in Indiana.  The appeals court was to decide whether current laws prohibit high-fenced hunting, “canned hunting,” after two lower courts issued conflicting decisions.

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Indiana Wildlife Federation adopts new policies to stop habitat destruction and bolsters its opposition to “Canned Hunting.

For Immediate Release

June 24, 2014

Contact:  Barbara Simpson, Executive Director, Indiana Wildlife Federation

Phone: 317-875-9453

Email: simpson@indianawildlife.org


Members of the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) at their 2014 Annual Meeting approved two policy resolutions supporting “common sense conservation” of wildlife, and wildlife habitat in Indiana.  IWF opposes the construction of the proposed “Mounds Reservoir” near the headwaters of the White River in Anderson, and urges its full membership to also express their opposition.  Damming the White River as proposed would inundate approximately 10 miles of high quality, free flowing river and nearly 1000 acres of adjacent, forested lands.  Several valuable wetlands areas would be destroyed, including the entire Mounds Fen State Nature Preserve, which shelters this rare habitat type, and is currently protected by state law.  One-third of Mounds State Park, featuring a nationally recognized cultural site, would also be flooded.  Constructed around 160 BCE by indigenous peoples of eastern North America, the ceremonial mounds area was inhabited by the Hopewell culture centuries later.

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Conservation Groups File Brief in Canned Hunting Appeal

June 3, 2013
Contact:  Barbara Simpson, Executive Director Indiana Wildlife Federation
Phone: 317-875-9453
Email: simpson@indianawildlife.org

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Three of the leading statewide conservation organizations in Indiana, The Indiana Wildlife Federation, the Indiana Deer Hunters Association, and The Wildlife Society, Indiana Chapter, have filed an Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief supporting Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s appeal of the Harrison County Court decision that erroneously concluded canned hunting is legal and privately owned deer cannot be regulated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).  

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Land Acquisitions Will Open Recreational Opportunities for Hoosiers


Contact: Barbara Simpson, Executive Director. (317) 875-9453, or simpson@indianawildlife.org

(Indianapolis. November 14, 2013) Efforts by the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) yields a half-million dollars to invest in land acquisitions as part of a modified Consent Decree with Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). “This will not only protect and open new lands for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, but will also result in improvements in the quality of our air over time.” states IWF Executive Director Barbara Simpson. “We’re working with a lot of folks to leverage these settlement dollars with other sources of funding to purchase strategic properties which will increase wildlife habitat in permanently protected areas, and will be available to public access.”

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Canned Hunting Court Decision Should Be Appealed

OCTOBER 11, 2013

Governor Pence should appeal the confusing and contradictory court decision in Harrison County that said the deer in Mr. Rodney Bruce’s operation are private property and not subject to State regulation.

Judge John Evans stated that in the high fence/canned hunting operation the “individual hunters comply with DNR’s hunting regulations, including obtaining a deer license, hunting during the proper days of the year, and reporting killed deer to DNR.” This suggests the high fence/canned hunting operation is required to comply with State law. Then follows a contradictory statement that “the deer….are privately owned and are not the property of the State of Indiana. Therefore the animals are not the property of the people of the State of Indiana.” This statement suggests the high fence/canned hunting operation is not required to comply with State law.

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