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General Regulations

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Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. If any errors are discovered after printing, updates will be made to the online version of the Indiana Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2343.htm

We hope you find it helpful.

Have a great season.

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, 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 be different on state-owned property).

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

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

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

Deer-Vehicle Collisions

If a deer dies after a collision with a motor vehicle, an Indiana Conservation Officer or other law enforcement officer, DNR property manager, assistant property manager or district wildlife biologist may issue a permit to an individual to possess the deer.

If a deer is found dead from another cause, an Indiana Conservation Officer or person designated by an Indiana Conservation Officer may issue a permit to possess the deer.

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 leave 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. A sample private landowner permission form is found here.

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 and arrow or crossbow.

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.

Magazine Plugs

When hunting for migratory game birds and waterfowl (i.e., doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, etc.), it is illegal to use a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler that is incapable of being removed without disassembling the gun (see magazine filler).

There are no restrictions on magazine capacity for hunting of any other species.

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.

Laser Sights

Laser sights are legal for all hunting.

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, 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.

Wild Pigs

Populations of wild (or feral, free-ranging) swine have been a problem in pockets around the state. In addition to being a disease/predatory threat to Indiana livestock and poultry production, they are known to cause damage to crops and native plants and are detrimental to native wildlife and habitats. A person can take a wild hog at anytime without a permit from the DNR. Permission must be obtained from the landowner.

USDA-Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), the Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH), and the DNR ask hunters who observe or take wild pigs to report the animal(s) to either the USDA-WS at 1-855-386-0370 or to BOAH at animalhealth@boah.IN.gov.

Reports help the cooperating agences determine necessary control and disease monitoring steps. Reports should include date, best possible location information (e.g., distance and direction to nearest town, county or township, landowner’s name), approximate number and relative size of the pigs, and the observer’s contact information. Digital pictures of the pigs are helpful.

DNR Property Rules

DNR properties sometimes have special rules not included in this book. Call the property you plan to hunt for details.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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