Indiana legislators take aim at penned hunting

November 30, 2010

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Two Indiana lawmakers want to ban a controversial kind of hunting that’s already restricted in 20 states.

The so-called penned hunting involves allowing dogs to hunt foxes or coyotes in a confined, but usually large, space. Currently, Indiana’s only penned facility is in Linton, Indiana, southwest of Indianapolis. It’s The facility covers about 300 acres.

Representative Linda Lawson, a Democrat from Hammond. Lawson, who is also a Hammond police officer, calls the practice inhumane and plans to introduce a bill to have it banned after the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes Jan. 4. She plans to co-sponsor the bill with state Rep. David Cheatham, D-North Vernon. But Lawson may have a hard time pushing that bill since hunting is so popular in the Hoosier state.  

Opponents of such a ban say dogs aren’t encouraged to kill the animal they’re chasing but it does happen. Folks like Lawson say it happens a lot.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources currently allows this so-called “penned hunting.”

At a meeting in mid-November, the Natural Resources Commission, which oversees the DNR, approved a preliminary measure to set rules to allow and regulate pens. But, it placed a moratorium on the creation of new pens until January 2012 to allow for more public input before officials regulations are put in place.