Indiana Bowhunter Association

Position Statement

Why We Care About Cervid Shooting Preserves:  A Position Statement of the Indiana Bowhunters Association

The Indiana Bowhunters Association (IBA) has taken a very deliberate and methodical approach to researching the issue of Cervid Shooting Preserves in our state. This research included participating in the year-long Citizens Advisory Council for Captive Cervids, as sponsored by the IDNR, Division of Fish & Wildlife and Representatives Friend and Adams

After more that a year of exhaustive research and objective fact-finding, we have came to the conclusion that Captive Cervid Shooting Preserves are not a wise thing for our state, and should be eliminated at the earliest opportunity.

Here is a synopsis of our reasoning for this conclusion:

There are four basic categories of fault that we find with this issue:

1) Privatization of Wildlife – It is a widely held belief among most all professional wildlife managers that we have spoken with (with the notable exception of those who have an interest in Shooting Preserves) that the long-term survival of our wildlife depends greatly on the concept of wildlife belonging to all of society as a whole.

2) Disease – This is a critical point in our determination. What we have found is that

a) There are no live tests that will guarantee an animal does not have CWD. None. No way to know that an animal being trucked in for a shooting preserve isn't a carrier of CWD waiting to escape, or simply contaminate the soil.

b) There is no known method for decontaminating the habitat once CWD has been introduced (read again - no way to get it out of the soil once there, none. Period)

c) There are no known methods for eliminating the disease from a population other than complete depopulation (then go back and read Nbr 2 again).

We believe that these are real biological concerns, and the risk of introducing this devastating disease to our deer herd is not acceptable.

3) Social Acceptance – Almost all surveys which we have seen show a high level of disapproval of shooting cervids behind a fence. The non-hunting public will have a hard time distinguishing between true fair-chase hunting and Shooting Preserves, which will be extremely detrimental to the survival of our hunting heritage.

4) Financial Impact Risks – Hunting in general, and deer hunting in particular represent a very significant contribution to our economy.Our research shows over $265 million dollars spent annually in Indiana by hunters in pursuit of their hobby. Deer Hunting alone represents over $137 Million to our economy. This financial contribution dwarfs any potential economic contribution made by the legalization of Cervid Shooting Preserves.

We realize that this is a controversial issue and merits a careful review of the facts prior to making any decision.For this reason, we have attached along with this Summary a detailed review of the data which we have based our decisions upon. Please take a moment to review this document. We appreciate your concern over this issue and your continued support of our Hoosier hunting and wildlife conservation heritage.

Respectfully,

The Officers and Chairmen of the Indiana Bowhunters Association

Founded in 1965, the Indiana Bowhunters Association is dedicated to the preservation, and promotion of the bowhunting heritage in Indiana as well as the conservation of our natural resources.Type your paragraph here.