Bizarre Hunting Gun Rules of the Hoosier State

Caleb discusses the bizarre and seemingly arbitrary rules which regulate what firearms can and cannot be used to hunt deer in Indiana:

The list of approved Indiana deer hunting equipment can be found here if you’d like to read the whole list. The short summary is “.357 Magnum and up in rifles, but no rifle calibers, and .243 and up in pistols, plus slug barreled shotguns”. It’s weird and nonsensical, but it’s the law for better or for worse.

Tam, who never fails to make me smile, weighs in on the issue (emphasis mine):

No scoped .30-’06s, no old Winchester “thutty-thutties”, not so much as a single shot Thompson/Center rifle if it’s chambered in an honest-to-O’Connor bottlenecked rifle cartridge suitable for Bambi zapping.

You know where this leads? This leads to crazed young men taking measurements of exotic AR-15 cartridges and thinking strange thoughts, that’s where it leads.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • SpudGun

    I wish I had an insightful comment on this matter, but I’ve only ever been hunting once and I sat in a wet bush (not the good kind) for four hours and was bored poo-less.

    I find fishing just as boring, but at least I can drink.

    Hopefully, someone can explain the reason for the restrictions. I am mystified.

    • scott

      Can you use a 9mm rifle for deer hunting in indiana?

  • alex

    yeah I live in Indiana…and it sucks…last year I used a 12 gauge slug…and this year I;m gonna use a mussel loader…dang these are some crazy rules!

  • dg

    Were moving in the right direction though at least were allowed rifles finally. Its nice to finally use a 357 lever gun.

  • Matt Groom

    Arbitrary laws are unenforceable and are therefore to be ignored.

  • Komrad

    Us Illinois flat landers can’t use a rifle on anything. The only thing I know of that is legal to hunt with a rifle is coyotes. The DNR specifically stated that you can hunt coyotes with rifles “including large capacity semi-automatic rifles.” That’s one plus. You might be able to hunt hogs and invasive species with rifles too, but I’m not sure. The part that really annoys me is that it is legal to hunt with pistols chambered in rifle cartridges. That defeats any perceived safety created by the ban on long range rifle hunting. Its call the
    Department of
    Results for a reason.

  • “You know where this leads? This leads to crazed young men taking measurements of exotic AR-15 cartridges and thinking strange thoughts, that’s where it leads.”

    I am not crazed. I am eccentric and motivated.

    • DrStrangegun, LOL

  • The point of the restrictions is to keep people from hunting in Indiana, as much as possible. I’m sure it keeps a lot of out-of-state hunters (probably with bolt-action, rifle-caliber rifles) from traveling to Indiana.

  • I was told the restrictions were to limit range due to the land being so flat for most of the state.

    These regulations caught a former coworker when he went hunting. He was relatively new to the state at the time. He had bagged a sizable deer and got it taken away and had to go to court and pay a fine.

  • Sam Suggs


  • Sam Suggs

    I would intentionally violate just to be a dick