What you need to know before you go

Anyone looking to hunt in Indiana must obtain a hunting license, which is an important part of hunting almost anywhere. Whether it’s deer hunting with a rifle or duck hunting with a shotgun, Indiana is a great state for outdoor recreation in the fall. The best way to be prepared for a hunt in Indiana is to plan ahead and know the rules before you go. If you’re going to hunt this season in the Hoosier State, be sure to brush up on your knowledge of the latest relevant hunting laws as required by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. From the cost of certain licenses to what you can hunt and when, here are the basics every hunter should know before heading out to Indiana.

Indiana Hunting License Requirements

indiana hunting license

Although most hunters will need to purchase a license before hunting in Indiana, there are some exceptions. Residents who farm their own land or leased land, as well as members of their immediate family, do not need to purchase a license to hunt only on that land. Residents in the full-time military do not need a hunting license when on leave, and youth participating in special free hunting days are also exempt. Nonresidents under the age of 18 may hunt with a resident license if a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian is an Indiana resident. Active duty military members who are stationed in Indiana may also hunt with a resident license.

Indiana also offers exemptions for nonresident landowners who meet certain criteria. Residents and non-residents participating in DNR-licensed field trials may do so without a hunting license. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 must complete a hunter education class before purchasing an Indiana hunting license, although learner licenses are available.

Where to buy an Indiana hunting license

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The easiest way to purchase an Indiana hunting license is to use the Indiana Fish and Wildlife Online License System and then print your documents. You can also buy one in person at more than 500 retail stores statewide. If you prefer postal mail, you can send the payment and information to the DNR Customer Service Center. Or you can call the DNR Customer Service Center and purchase your license over the phone at 1-800-457-8283.

How much does an Indiana hunting license cost?

indiana hunting license

The Indiana DNR that announced 2022 license prices has increased over previous years to better fund wildlife management projects, educate new nature lovers and keep sites publicly accessible. Indiana hunting licenses are valid for the calendar year.

Annual hunting licenses for residents now cost $20, up from $17 since 2006. A combined hunting and fishing license costs $32.

Deer archery, crossbow and firearm licenses are available for $39, or hunters can purchase a deer license package for $91. Both spring and fall turkey licenses are $32, while the waterfowl stamp privilege and game bird habitat stamp privilege are now $11 each.

For non-residents, an annual hunting license will cost $90, a 5-day hunting license will cost $50, and an annual youth hunting license will cost $20. Non-resident deer license packages are $550, with other specific deer licenses varying in price. Spring and Fall turkeys are $175 each for nonresidents 18 and older and $32 for nonresident youth.

What can you hunt in Indiana?

indiana hunting license

Indiana is often a destination for whitetail hunters, but the state offers other game as well. Wild turkeys are present throughout much of the state, as are foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, mink, muskrats, weasels, opossums, and beavers. Hunters will also find small game such as rabbits, squirrels, frogs, and tortoises in Indiana.

A variety of waterfowl and migratory birds, including mourning doves, woodcocks, geese and ducks, are open for hunting during select seasons. Game birds such as pheasants, quail, and ravens are also found in Indiana.

Hunting Seasons in Indiana

indiana hunting license

Indiana’s 2022 deer season begins in the deer reduction zones on September 15 and runs through January 31, 2023, followed by a juvenile hunt on September 24 and 25. The archery season lasts three full months, from October 1 to January 1. Firearms season is November 12-27, and muzzleloader season runs December 3-18.

The 2022 fall turkey archery season, with a bag limit of one bird of either sex, is open statewide October 1-30 and again December 3-January 1. A fall firearms season for select counties runs from October 19-30. The spring turkey season will run from April 26 to May 14, 2023 with a bag limit of one bearded bird.

Hunting seasons for furriers vary:

  • Red and gray fox: from October 15 to February 8
  • Coyote and striped skunk: from October 15 to March 15
  • Raccoon and opossum: from November 8 to January 31
  • Mink, muskrat and weasel: from November 15 to January 31
  • Beaver: from November 15 to March 15

Rabbit season runs from November 1 to February 28, and squirrel season runs from August 15 to January 31. Hunting turtle season is open from July 1 to March 31, while hunting frog season is open from June 15 to April 30. Waterfowl and migratory seasons vary by species and what part of the state you’re hunting in, but seasons generally fall between September and February. Pheasant season in Indiana runs from November 1 to December 15 this year. Quail in the northern zone fall on those same dates, but the season in the southern zone extends until January 10. Crow season is from July 1 to August 15, as well as from December 13 to March 1.

Remember, it is up to you to know and understand all the latest regulations and be up to date on all necessary licenses before you start hunting anywhere. Indiana can be a memorable place to hunt, and there are good reasons to do so year after year.

READ MORE: 5 States Getting Better on America’s Best Deer Hunts List

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