INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal to allow the use of high-powered rifles for deer hunting in Indiana likely is dead after wildlife officials have recommended against it.

Officials at the state Department of Natural Resources say the proposal has prompted a contentious debate among hunters. They say they don't support the proposal because it has become a “social issue” that has drawn strong opposition.

But the Indiana Natural Resources Commission sets the hunting and fishing regulations enforced by the state's conservation officers. The Indianapolis Star reports it's possible that the commission could toss the agency's recommendation, but those familiar with the 12-person board say that happens very rarely.

The proposal would allow hunters to use any center-fire rifle caliber larger than .243 during the annual firearms deer season in Indiana.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com