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Game Birds

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Pheasant

Pheasant season is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2015. A valid hunting license and Indiana game bird habitat stamp privilege are required to hunt pheasants. Hunter orange clothing requirements (see Hunter Orange Requirements) must be met while hunting pheasants. The daily bag limit for pheasants is two male (cock) pheasants.

It is illegal to shoot female pheasants (hens), except during put-and-take hunts in designated areas. If you take a pheasant, you must leave the head and head plumage attached while you are transporting the bird. There are no equipment or ammunition restrictions for pheasant hunting. A 12- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with 4- to 6-size shot is recommended.

Put-and-Take

Pheasants are released for put-and-take hunting on Atterbury, Glendale, J. E. Roush Lake, Pigeon River (west of State Road 3), Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac FWAs. There is a per-person fee to participate in put-and-take hunts. The bag limit for put-and-take pheasant hunting is two birds of either sex , except at Pigeon River, Willow Slough and Winamc FWAs, where the limit is two roosters only. A hunter filling his/her limit in the put-and-take hunt may not take any more pheasants that day.

Hunters can reserve put-and-take pheasant hunts online from Sept. 1 until midnight on Nov. 30 at wildlife.IN.gov. Hunts are no longer available first-come, first-served at the property.

Hunters can select the date, property, and area for their hunt.

Pheasant hunters in designated put-and-take areas are prohibited from harvesting game animals other than pheasants on days when pheasants are released and hunted. This restriction is only for pheasant hunters and only in their designated units.

Game Bird Areas

The Division of Fish & Wildlife conducts special reserved pheasant hunts on game bird habitat areas in northern Indiana (Benton, Jasper, Newton, Porter, Warren and White counties). Hunters can apply online at wildlife.IN.gov.

Quail

Quail hunting is divided into two zones — north and south. Interstate 74 is the dividing line.

The North Zone season is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2015, with a bag limit of 4 birds. The South Zone season is from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 10, 2016, with a bag limit of 8 birds.

The daily bag limit at North Zone fish & wildlife areas and at Mississinewa Lake and Salamonie Lake properties is 2 quail. The daily bag limit at South Zone fish & wildlife areas and at Patoka Lake is 4 quail.

A valid hunting license and an Indiana game bird habitat stamp privilege are required to hunt quail in Indiana. Hunter orange clothing requirements (see Hunter Orange Requirements) must be met while hunting quail.

There are no equipment or ammunition restrictions for quail hunting. A 12- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with 6- to 9-size shot is recommended.

Some DNR properties may have additional regulations for quail hunting. Check with the property for details.

Ruffed Grouse

The ruffed grouse hunting season has been suspended statewide due to a continuing population decline.

Long-term research indicates ruffed grouse will drop below “viable population levels” in the next few years in portions of its existing range in south central Indiana. No drumming male ruffed grouse were heard on 14 of 15 roadside survey routes in 2013-15, and only one grouse has been heard on those routes in four years.

Advancement of forest succession (maturity) is a major reason for the decline. Prospects are dismal, and extirpation seems possible.

Other Wild Birds

English sparrows, European starlings, monk parakeets, and feral pigeons (except homing pigeons) may be killed at any time.

Brown-headed cowbirds, common grackles, red-winged blackbirds, Brewer’s blackbirds and crows may be controlled without a permit when they are damaging trees or crops, or creating a public health hazard in accordance with federal regulations. All other non-game species of birds not otherwise covered in this regulation are protected by state or federal law and may not be killed These provisions do not override any local ordinances restricting the use of firearms and other equipment.

Crow

Crow hunting season is July 1 through Aug. 15, 2015 and Dec. 13, 2015 through March 1, 2016.

Crows may be taken outside of the hunting season only if they are damaging trees, crops, livestock or wildlife, or creating a public health hazard. There are no restrictions on use of calls or decoys.

You are not required to have a state stamp privilege or federal stamp.

You may take crows with a bow and arrow, crossbow or firearm.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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