As a result of the all the alluring game species and enormous hunting spaces, Indiana is increasingly becoming a must-visit state for hunters. In view of this, it is only appropriate to furnish prospective Indiana hunters and existing hunters with all the basic information that could give you a head start in your future hunting expedition. Readers can glance through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR’s) website to get all the essential forms and hunting regulation files.
Hunting License in Indiana
In all hunting activities, be it on private or public lands, hunters are required to have a valid hunting license issued by the Department of Natural Resources (see below for exemptions). With respect to some game animals, additional hunting permits and tags may be required. Hunting license in Indiana can be categorized into two: residential hunting license and non-residential hunting license.
Resident Hunting License in the State of Indiana
- According to the Indiana law, to be regarded as a legal Indiana resident the person must have resided legally in the state for 60 or more consecutive days prior to applying for the hunting license. This said person is required to have a permanent or fixed abode of residency in Indiana.
- To prove a residency status, the state requires the applicant to furnish the following: a valid Indiana driver’s license and Social Security number or an Indiana Identification card.
- The state of Indiana, like many other states do, forbids residents from claiming residency privileges for hunting or trapping from another state or foreign country.
Any other persons are regarded as nonresidents.
Nonresident Hunting License in Indiana
- Nonresidents are seen as people who have not legally resided in Indiana for more than 60 days prior to applying for the license, tag or permit. These hunters are eligible for a nonresident hunting license. Again, additional licenses and permits may apply to specific set of game animals.
Note: Irrespective of the type of license or stamp, all hunters must carry on them their licenses when hunting. This license must be duly signed, and hunters are mandated to produce it upon the request of wildlife or other Indiana law enforcement officers.
Hunting License Exemptions
If a person falls under any one of the following categories, he or she is exempt from the hunting license requirements:
- Persons engaging in DNR-Licensed Field Trial
- Resident landowners or resident tenants of a land that has been leased for agriculture. Also, their spouses and children living with the resident landowner and resident tenants. The law does not stipulate any acreage to land.
- Trustees and beneficiaries of the trust property, along with their immediate family.
- Resident military personnel serving full-time. They must be in possession of a valid Indiana driver’s license or an Indiana Voter registration card.
- Youth engaged in free youth hunting weekends.
For non-residents, the Hunting License exemptions are as follows:
- Persons under 18 can hunt or trap or fish with a resident parent or grandparent or legal guardian
- Non-resident military personnel serving active duty in Indiana
- If there is proof of ownership, a non-resident landowner can hunt or trap on their farmland in Indiana. Also, inclusive are their spouses and children living with the non-resident landowner.
Indiana grants reciprocity to states that allow Indiana residents to hunt small game on land they own without a license. It means that those state’s residents who own farmlands in Indiana can equally do same.
Indiana Hunter Education Course
This hunter education certification is compulsory for all persons born after December 31, 1986).
The exemptions to the above are disability and apprentice license holders.
Hunters don’t need to sign up for the Indiana Hunter Education if they can show evidence of a before held license in Indiana or another state. The entire program takes 10 hours to complete.
Some other notable education courses in Idaho include: trapper Education Course, Snowmobile education and boater education.
Applicants can visit this link to obtain all the information pertaining to the course structure and fees.
How to get an Indiana Hunting License
There are primarily four ways hunters can purchase a hunting license in Idaho.
- Certainly, the easiest and fastest way is by phone. Hunters can call this toll-free number: 317-232-4200.
- The next relatively easy option is to make the purchase online using the DNR’s website.
- The third way is in person through any one of the 525 authorized retail outlets. Readers can click this link to search for the nearest vendor in their vicinity.
- The final option is by mail. Applicants can send a check or money order to:
DNR Customer Service Center
402 W. Washington St., W160
Indianapolis, IN, 46204-2739
Alternatively, applicants can visit any one of the numerous regional DNR offices scattered across Indiana.
**It must be noted that buying an Indiana Hunting License online attracts a processing fee. See this link for more details**
How much does an Indiana Hunting License cost
Both resident and nonresident Indiana hunting licenses attract different fees and application requirements. For more details pertaining to these Indiana license categories and their respective prices, please visit this link.
In cases of specific game species, hunters are obliged to buy additional permits and tags in order to hunt those species. Also, all application documents and forms pertaining to Idaho hunting licenses, permits and tags can be found at this link.
Places to Hunt in the State Of Indiana
The State of Indiana has about 96 percent of the land in the hands of private owners. This puts considerable pressure on the available public lands and their usage.
Private Lands and programs: In most cases privately owned lands have stepped up to the plate and got involved in meeting the varied needs of hunters and trappers in Indiana. Example of such a program is the Access Program Providing Land Enhancements (APPLE).
It is highly recommended that hunters get official permission from these landowners before venturing into those properties. Hunters are expected as a matter of good faith and by law, to acquaint themselves with the property’s ground rules and regulations. Landowners and hunters can visit this link to view the various APPLE regions.
Public and DNR Locations: There are about 334 sites under the management of the DNR. This makes a total of 165,300 acres. Some examples are: Wetland Conservation Areas and Wildlife Management Areas. Together, Reservoir properties and State Forests account for more than 200,000 acres. The State of Indiana has an interactive map that shows all of DNR properties, Nature Conservancy and Federal properties.
Some of those favorite hunting destinations in Indiana include:
- Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area: this area comprises over 9,956 acres. The area is bestowed with open water, marshes, and flooded cropland. Common game animals are dove, squirrel, rabbit, quail, deer, woodcock, waterfowl and turkey. Visit this link to find out more information on the location, hunting rules, and permits.
- Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area: With about 8,142 acres of wetland, upland and woodland game habitat, this area is famous for deer hunting as well as quail, squirrel, snipe, waterfowls and doves. It has more than 10,000 sandhill cranes passing through during full migration. The wild turkey is also available during special hunting seasons. Click this link to view entry procedures, property map and hunting regulations pertaining to the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area.
Photo: The Pigeon River, Clark State Forest
Photo credit: IDNR
- Clark State Forest: the area is notable for turkey, small game and grouse. It comprises 24,000 acres of forest area. As the oldest state forest in Indiana, Clark State Forest can be of service to people wanting to hunt whitetail deer, raccoon, ruffed grouse, turkey and woodcock. Kindly click on this extension to view further information about Clark Forest.
- Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area: this area comprises about 12,000 acres. The area is bestowed with rivers stretching a total of 17 miles. This comes with 529 acres of lakes and 263 acres of good fish hunting zones. The Pigeon River Fish area is ideal for wild turkey, deer and pheasant hunting. To view the registration process and permit required for this area, click on this link.
Photo: Brookville Lake
Photo credit: DNR Archives
- Brookville Lake: this area is composed of over 11,000 acres of habitat zones for plants and wildlife. The hunting zones make up about 9,000 acres of woodland, upland, and furbearer species. Rabbits, migratory game birds and waterfowl hunting are allowed. Special waterfowl hunts occur at Elly’s Creek and the Waterfowl Resting Area. Also, Brookville Lake area can be a real family vacation spot considering the fact that it has 25 miles of hiking and over 400 campsites. For more details about this area as well as lake advisories and upcoming events, please visit this link.
To view all of DNR locations along with their latest closings and announcement, please visit this link. Hunters can choose from a long list of DNR lake/reservoirs, fish and wildlife areas, fish and wildlife shooting range, forests, nature preserves, and motorized riding areas.
Hunting Guides and Outfitters in Indiana
Every hunting expedition requires an immaculate resting place in order to be fully prepared come dawn. Indiana State has over years seen flourishing numbers of hunting guides and outfitters. Their services include the provision of permits, training, equipment handling and in some cases lodging. Here are the top 3 well-known outfitters in this Midwestern state:
Some famous DNR accredited inns and lodges devoted to hunters and other wildlife enthusiast are as follows:
Spring Mill Inn
Spring Mill State Park
3333 State Road 60 E
Mitchell, IN 47446
Reservations: 1.877.LODGES 1
Clifty Falls State Park
P.O. Box 387
Madison, Indiana, 47250
Abe Martin Lodge
Brown County State Park
P.O. Box 547
Nashville, IN 47448
General Hunting Regulations
Carefully drawn from Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide (2018-2019 Regulations Guide), are some absolutely crucial and worth knowing Indiana Hunting and Trapping Regulations. It is highly recommended that hunters thoroughly read that guide in order not to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
- Taking more than the daily bag limit of a wild animal in a calendar day is illegal.
- Wild animals cannot be left untagged by the person who killed it.
- A harvested animal cannot be transported on behalf of someone else outside the field without the appropriate tagging.
- Hunting, trapping, chasing or retrieving a game animal from a private property with consent from the owner is illegal.
- The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to search for wild animal is strictly prohibited.
- The use of motor-powered vehicle to chase, hunt and take mammals and birds is forbidden (except for persons with disability hunting permits)
- Hunting furbearers with/from any boat is illegal.
- Killing or wounding any animal without making any reasonable effort to retrieve it is illegal.
- Retrieving a crippled game from a private property without any permission is considered as trespassing.
- In general during deer, rabbit, pheasant, quail, turkey, woodcock and squirrel hunting all hunters are required to hunter orange.
The hunting seasons in Indiana vary depending on the type of game and species. More often than not, the state has over the years been known for the following hunting seasons:
Deer Hunting Season
There are three main deer hunting seasons in Indiana: archery season, firearms season and muzzleloader season. All hunters of deer must hunter orange. The hunting equipment that can be used during the firearms and special antlerless seasons are shotguns, handguns, rifles, muzzleloading long guns, and muzzleloading handguns.
Turkey Hunting Seasons
Hunting turkey requires a valid turkey hunting license and a valid game bird habitat stamp. The various turkey seasons in Indiana can be grouped into fall and spring hunting seasons.
Note: The legal hunting hours for deer and turkey are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Hunters must fill out the tag immediately after killing the game. Hunters have 48 hours to file the hunter report for deer. This can be done online at this link.
Waterfowl/Migratory Birds Hunting Seasons
There are quite a number of waterfowl and migratory birds famously hunted in the State of Indiana. Examples include duck and geese, merganser, mourning dove and woodcock.
Furbearer Hunting Seasons
Some of the species of furbearers that can be hunted in Indiana include coyote, opossum, skunk, red fox, raccoon, and gray fox.
Game Birds Hunting Seasons
There are two main game animals under the game birds season: Pheasant and Quail.
To hunt a pheasant, hunters require an Indiana license and a valid game bird habitat stamp. Hunters must also hunter orange. The daily bag limit is pegged at two male pheasants.
Small Game Hunting Seasons
There are four main animals here: frog, turtle, squirrel, and rabbit.
The youth seasons in Indiana are: youth dear season, youth turkey season and youth waterfowl season. Eligible hunters must be 17 or younger. In all of the youth seasons, the youth must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older when hunting.
- Youth deer season: Both the youth and adult companion must possess a valid deer license. Game animals permitted here are the antlered and the antlerless deer. Both the youth and adult must be in hunter orange. Firearms allowed here is a bow and arrow or a crossbow. An adult companion is prohibited from taking a deer.
- Youth turkey season: Both the youth and adult companion must possess a valid turkey license. Legal firm arms here are shot-gun, bow and arrow or crossbow.
- Youth Waterfowl Season: persons 17 or younger are eligible for this season. For all youth 16 or below require a federal duck stamp.
This link provides additional and more specific details and datelines pertaining to the various hunting seasons in the State of Indiana.
Accommodation for Hunters in Indiana
In addition to the Indiana State Park’s inns and lodges, hunters can rest assured that the following residence and facilities will appropriately take care of all their accommodation needs in Indiana:
Address: 412 W 4th St, Bloomington, IN 47404, USA
Address: 14845 IN-156, Florence, IN 47020, USA
Address: 1105 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203, USA
Ivy Court Inn & Suites
Address: 1404 Ivy Ct, South Bend, IN 46637, USA
Address: 300 South State Road 446, Bloomington, IN 47401, USA
Address: 6200 Melton Rd, Gary, IN 46403, USA
Frequently Asked Questions about hunting in Idaho
Q. I am a novice hunter and I would like to go hunting in Indiana. What license do I need?
A. The state of Indiana has a very good License Finder system that lets you find just the right license to buy. Please visit this link to use the License Finder.
Q. How do I register my hunt in Indiana?
A. Registration of hunted Migratory Bird game is mandatory in the state of Indiana. The state has the Harvest Information Program (HIP) that lets you do the registration online. First of all, you will need a HIP number to do the online registration of the game animal. Call 1-866-671-4499 to get your HIP number.
Q. On what grounds can my DNR-issued hunting license be revoked?
A. Persons convicted of fish and wildlife law violations by a court will have their license revoked. Revocations can come at the discretionary authority of the Department for failing to comply with conditions stated in your license. In addition to Indiana’s Hunting and Trapping Guide (2018-2019), hunters should click on this link to view the latest changes in hunting regulations in the state.
Q. Can I get a refund for licenses or permits?
A. No. Licenses are non-refundable and non-transferable. Hunters are advised to key in the right personal information before making any purchase of license or permits.
Q. What are some of the provisions made for disabled people to hunt in Indiana?
A. Persons with a disability can request for a special permit from the DNR. These permits will allow the holder to hunt from a vehicle or have special vehicle access on public hunting areas. Readers are advised to peruse the Disability Special Hunting Permit document found at DNR’s website. Also, the hunter education class is mandatory for these individuals.
Q. What is an Apprentice license, and how do I get one?
A. Persons without hunter education certification can buy an apprentice license for up to 3 times in a lifetime. After that he/she must sign up for the DNR hunter education course.
Hunters must be the possession of the license at all times while hunting. Holders must also be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years and above. It is forbidden to accompany more than two apprentice hunters at one time.
Q. I have a Hunting License. Do I need something extra to hunt deer in Indiana?
A. Yes. A Hunting License only applies to small game species like the squirrel, red fox, grey fox, coyote, etc. However, the hunting of deer requires a Deer Hunting License. Visit this link to find out more.
Q. I am a tenant who leases farmland for hunting. Will I be eligible for the landowner’s exemption?
A. No. To qualify for this exemption, you must be a farmland owner or lessee of farmland that farms that land.
The State of Indiana seems to be in an immense battle to maintain its past diverse wildlife habitat. As to whether the battle is being won, only time will tell. For now, what we see is a year in year out the decline in the grasslands and prairie population. The good thing is that the state continues to intensify its APPLE (Access Program Providing Land Enhancements) to create more sustainable grasslands across Indiana.
Final verdict: the state of Indiana might be slipping into a shadow of its former self. Nevertheless, there it still has rich and diverse wildlife habitat to meet most of your hunting needs.