TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - With many deer hunters in and around our community, it's important we always practice safe hunting.
However, one form of hunting can be a problem, and that is called "spotlighting".
"Spotlighting or jack lighting is the practice of shining a light from a motor vehicle into a deer or another animal's eyes and then shooting them from the roadway."
Max Winchell has worked for the DNR for more than 20 years.
He says there is a fine line on what you can and can't do, but your safest bet is to not have a firearm on you.
"It is legal in Indiana to shine a spotlight in search of wildlife from a motor vehicle, you just can't be in possession of a firearm or bow."
Winchell says this is a problem for multiple reasons.
"When you're looking at night, you don't know what's beyond your target, obviously it's not fair to the animal, it's not fair chase. It's just not a legal method of taking a deer."
And it's not just a simple ticket you get either.
It's something that can stay on your record.
"Most wildlife crimes are A, B, or C misdemeanors, and it just depends on each scenario what the penalty might be."
So, what's the best advice?
"You know, do it right. Go out, scout, enjoy it with your family and the tradition that it is, and not turn it into something that's not ethical, and not enjoyable to others."
And by doing so, you'll keep hunting safe and fun for everyone.
If you witness someone spotlighting, you can call either of these numbers for the DNR: 812-827-9536 or 1-800-TIP-IDNR