Indiana officials say operations are running smoothly at newly licensed fenced-in deer hunting preserves across the state, which lawmakers formally legalized this year.
The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports that nine preserves have been licensed under the new law. The preserves are in Whitley, Huntington, Boone, Marshall, Harrison, Kosciusko, Blackford, Miami and Decatur counties.
Fenced-in hunting preserves previously operated in a legal gray area. The state Department of Natural Resources in 2005 tried to shut them down.
But lawmakers during the legislative sessions approved a bill that explicitly legalized them and put the Indiana Board of Animal Health in charge of regulating them.
Animal rights supporters and some hunting groups have long criticized the fenced in preserves because animals are essentially trapped when they are killed.