Anyone looking to hunt in Indiana is required to obtain a hunting license, which is an important part of hunting just about anywhere. Whether it's rifle hunting for deer or searching out ducks with a shotgun, Indiana is a great state to enjoy some outdoor recreation during the fall. The best way to be prepared for an Indiana hunt is to plan ahead and know the rules before you go. If you're going hunting this season in the Hoosier State, make sure to brush up on your knowledge of the latest relevant hunting laws as required by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. From the costs of certain licenses to what you can hunt and when, these are the basics every hunter should know before heading out in Indiana.
Indiana Hunting License Requirements
Although most hunters will need to purchase a license before hunting in Indiana, there are a few exceptions. Residents who farm their own land or farm leased land--as well as their immediate family members--do not need to purchase a license to hunt that land only. Residents in full-time military service do not need a hunting license when on leave, and youth participating in special free hunting days are exempt as well. Non-residents under the age of 18 can 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 can also hunt with a resident license.
Indiana also offers exemptions for non-resident landowners who meet certain criteria. Residents and non-residents participating in DNR-licensed field trials can do so without a hunting license. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 is required to complete a hunter education class before purchasing an Indiana hunting license--although apprentice licenses are available.
Where to Buy an Indiana Hunting License
The easiest way to purchase an Indiana hunting license is to use the Indiana Fish & Wildlife Online License System and then print your documents. You can also buy one in person at more than 500 retail locations throughout the state. If you prefer snail mail, you can send in payment and information to the DNR Customer Service Center. Or you can call into 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?
The Indiana DNR that announced license prices for 2022 have gone up from previous years to better fund wildlife management projects, educate new outdoorsmen, and maintain public access sites. Indiana hunting licenses are valid for the calendar year.
Annual hunting licenses for residents now run $20 -- up from $17 since 2006. A combination hunting and fishing license rings in at $32.
Deer archery, crossbow, and firearm licenses are each available for $39, or hunters can purchase a deer license bundle for $91. Both spring turkey and fall turkey licenses run $32, while 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 a youth annual hunting license will cost $20. Non-resident deer license bundles ring in at $550, with other specific deer licenses varying in price. Spring and fall turkeys are $175 each for non-residents over the age of 18 and $32 for non-resident youth.
What Can You Hunt in Indiana?
Indiana is most often a destination for whitetail hunters, but the state offers other game as well. Wild turkeys are present in much of the state as are foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, minks, muskrats, weasels, opossums, and beavers. Hunters will also find small game such as rabbits, squirrels, frogs, and turtles in Indiana.
A variety of waterfowl and migratory birds, including mourning doves, woodcocks, geese, and ducks, are open to hunting during select seasons. Game birds such as pheasants, quail, and crows are also in Indiana.
Hunting Seasons in Indiana
Indiana's 2022 deer season kicks off in deer reduction zones on September 15 and runs through January 31, 2023, followed by a youth hunt on September 24-25. Archery season runs a full three months from October 1 through January 1. Firearms season is November 12-27, and muzzleloader season runs December 3-18.
The fall 2022 turkey archery season--with a bag limit of one bird of either sex--is open statewide from October 1-30 and again from 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-May 14, 2023 with a bag limit of one bearded bird.
Furbearer hunting seasons vary:
- Red and gray fox: October 15-February 8
- Coyote and striped skunk: October 15-March 15
- Raccoon and opossum: November 8-January 31
- Mink, muskrat, and weasel: November 15-January 31
- Beaver: November 15-March 15
Rabbit season runs from November 1 through February 28, and squirrel season runs from August 15 through January 31. Game turtle season is open from July 1 through March 31, while game frog season is open June 15 - April 30. Waterfowl and migratory bird seasons vary by species and which zone of the state you're hunting, but seasons generally fall between September and February. Pheasant season in Indiana runs from November 1-December 15 this year. Quail in the north zone falls on those same dates, but the south zone season extends through January 10. Crow season is July 1-August 15 as well as December 13-March 1.
Remember, it's up to you to know and understand all of the most recent regulations and be current with all needed licenses before you start hunting anywhere. Indiana can be a memorable place to hunt, and there's good reason to do it year after year.
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