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General Information

Hunting Regulations Icon Indiana Hunting

Bag and Possession Limits

It is illegal to take more than the daily bag limit of a wild animal in a calendar day.

The possession limit is two times the daily bag limit for species other than migratory birds (including waterfowl), deer, and wild turkey, beginning the second day of the season.

The possession limit does not apply to a wild animal that is processed and stored at an individual’s primary residence, except for waterfowl and migratory birds.

It is illegal to carry, transport or ship outside Indiana, in open season, in one day, a wild animal that the individual has taken in open season in excess of the possession limit.

A harvested wild animal that is left unattended while in the field, not in the immediate vicinity of the individual who took the animal while in the field, or gifted to another person must have a tag attached or be in a container or bag that has the following information: the name and address of the person who took the animal, total number and species of wild animals taken, the date the wild animals were taken, and the signature of the person who killed the animal(s).

You cannot transport a harvested wild animal for another person that is in excess of your bag limit unless the animal is tagged as described above.

You may carry the carcass of a wild animal for another person while in the field or transporting from the field as long as the person who killed the animal is present with you.

When transporting pheasant, the head and head plumage of the bird must remain attached until processing.

Legal Hunting Hours

Turkey: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset (hours may differ on state-owned property).

Deer: One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Furbearer: Hunting/Running: noon of season’s first day to noon of last day.

Small Game: No hunting hours, except for rabbits on designated DNR properties in February.

Waterfowl (ducks and geese): One-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours may differ on state-owned property.

Trapping: 8 a.m. of season’s first day to noon of last day.

Wild Animals Found Dead

If a deer, wild turkey, river otter, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, eastern cottontail rabbit, bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, or furbearer (e.g., beaver, coyote, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, skunk, long-tailed weasel) dies after a collision with a motor vehicle, an Indiana Conservation Officer or other law enforcement officer, DNR property manager or assistant property manager, or wildlife biologist (wildlife.in.gov/2716.htm) may issue a permit to an individual to possess the dead animal.

An Indiana Conservation Officer or a person designated by the Conservation Officer also may issue a permit to possess one of these animals if it is found dead from another cause.

Disturbing Nests or Dens

It is illegal to disturb the den or house of a wild animal by shooting, digging, cutting, or chipping into the nest, hole, burrow, den, or other home of a wild animal with the aid of smoke, fire, fumes, chemicals, a ferret or other small animal, or with any mechanical device (other than a lawfully set trap) introduced into the hole, burrow, tree, den, where the animal is hidden or sheltered.

A person must not wear or use a device to climb poles or trees, or possess an ax or saw while in the field at night for the purpose of dislodging a wild animal from a location where the animal has hidden itself for security or protection, or in which the animal maintains a nest or den.

Trespassing

It is illegal to hunt, trap, chase or retrieve game on private land without the consent of the landowner or tenant.

Always ask permission before entering private property.

Use of Drones

State law prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to search for, scout, locate, or detect a wild animal as an aid to take that animal during the hunting season and for 14 days prior to the hunting season for that animal. There are a few exceptions for purposes such as agricultural production, nuisance wild animal control, and scientific research.

An “unmanned aerial vehicle” means an aircraft that A) does not carry a human operator, and B) is capable of flight under remote control or autonomous programming.

Party Hunting

Party hunting is illegal. In a party hunting arrangement, a hunter not only shoots to fill his/her license but also shoots additional game to fill the licenses of other hunting party members.

Spotlighting

It is illegal to shine a spotlight, searchlight or other artificial light for the purpose of taking, attempting to take or assisting another person to take a deer, or to shine such a light while in possession of a firearm, bow or crossbow.

It also is illegal for a person to deliberately cast a spotlight or other artificial light from a motor vehicle if in possession of a firearm, bow or crossbow.

Laser Sights

Laser sights are legal for all hunting.

Hunting from a
Vehicle or Boat

Mammals and birds may not be taken or chased from, by the use of, or with the aid of any motor-driven conveyance (including boats), except:

  • By an individual authorized to hunt from a stationary vehicle with a Persons with Disabilities Hunting Permit.
  • To check traps that are lawfully set and maintained.
  • To hunt waterfowl from a motorboat if the boat is beached, resting at anchor, tied to a stationary object, or otherwise without motion, except as provided by wind, water current or hand-operated oars or paddles.

It is illegal to hunt furbearers from any boat.

It is illegal to ride an off-road vehicle with a loaded firearm (unless it’s a handgun and on private property in accordance with Indiana Code 14-16-1-23).

Wanton Waste

It is illegal to kill or cripple any wild animal without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the animal to include in your daily bag limit. It is illegal, however, to enter private property without permission to retrieve downed game. Before hunting, individuals should make sure they have permission to track game on land adjoining their hunting area.

Handguns

While hunting, an individual may carry a handgun without a handgun license in accordance with Indiana Code 35-47-2-1 at iga.IN.gov. It is not legal to take a deer with a handgun except during the firearms and special antlerless seasons, and during the muzzleloader season with a muzzleloading handgun, and in compliance with DNR regulations.

Shooting Across
Roads or Waters

It is illegal to hunt, shoot at or kill any animal or to shoot at any object from within, into, upon or across any public road. It is illegal to shoot across a body of water, except in the lawful pursuit of wildlife.

Harassment of
Hunters, Trappers

It is illegal to intentionally interfere with the legal taking of a game animal by another person on public land, or on private land without permission of the landowner.

Selling of Wild Game

Protected or regulated wild animals, live, dead, or the meat there from, cannot be sold, traded or bartered. (Exceptions: lawfully taken furbearers, river otters, squirrel tails, deer hides, antlers, hooves, and cured gamebird feathers may be sold).

DNR, Federal Property Rules

Hunting and trapping regulations may vary on some state or federal properties. Please check with the property manager for current regulations before hunting or trapping on state or federal areas.

Violation Penalties

A violation of a fish and wildlife law or regulation is a Class C infraction. If it is done with knowledge or intent, it is a Class C misdemeanor.

Any person who takes a deer or wild turkey in violation of any regulation will be penalized $500 in addition to any other penalty under the law and can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor or Class A misdemeanor (with a prior conviction). Equipment such as guns and vehicles used in intentional violation of fish and wildlife laws may be seized for evidence and, upon conviction, confiscated at the discretion of the court.

Where to Hunt

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife manages 334 sites in Indiana covering almost 165,300 acres.

These properties include Fish & Wildlife Areas, Wetland Conservation Areas, Wildlife Management Areas, and other satellite locations. Reservoir properties and state forests add another 200,000-plus acres.

The combination provides various hunting opportunities for the public. To find a hunting spot near you, visit wildlife.IN.gov/5427.htm

Trapper Education

The DNR offers trapper education courses that describe basic methods for trapping furbearers, handling the catch, and the responsibilities of the trapper. The course takes approximately six hours to complete.

To find information on classes in your area, go to www.register-ed.com/programs/indiana/agency:25?.

Hunter Orange Requirements

To meet fluorescent orange (or “hunter orange”) clothing requirements, hunters must wear one or more of the following items that is solid fluorescent orange in color and exposed at all times as an outer garment: vest, coat, jacket, coveralls, hat or cap. Minimal logos or patches are allowed.

Camouflage-patterned fluorescent orange garments do not satisfy the requirement.

Fluorescent orange must be worn when hunting:

  • Deer
  • Rabbit
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Turkey (when fall turkey season overlaps a deer firearms season)
  • Woodcock
  • Squirrel (Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2018)