Captive hunting, where hunters shoot animals that are bred within fenced areas on private property, was officially sanctioned in Indiana recently after the governor signed a bill codifying the practice. 

Hunting farm-raised deer and other animals within the state had been in somewhat of a legal limbo for the past 10 years as a court case wound its way through the judicial system. After the state supreme court upheld the private hunting facilities, of which there are seven in the state, the legislature passed a law setting up minimal regulation. 

Any new captive breeding operation must be at least 100 acres, with 80 acre farms grandfathered in, and the fence bordering the preserves must be at least eight feet high.

Computer-assisted hunting by drones or remote hunting over the Internet, as some places have offered, is not allowed. There are no limits, however, on how many animals can be held at any one facility, according to The Journal Gazette.

Other rules include the prohibition of shooting an animal 150 yards within a feeding site. Hunters can not shoot an animal that has been sedated within 24 hours and there is still a hunting season between September 1 and March 1.

The practice of captive bred hunting has drawn criticism from animal rights activities in addition to hunting organizations such as Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young. Critics argue that “canned hunts” or “game ranches” are unethical and have the potential to spread disease. 

The Humane Society of the United States points to some captive hunting facilities that offer the chance to shoot endangered species. The group estimates there are more than 1,000 captive mammal hunting operations in at least a dozen states. 

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