To hunt wild turkey, Indiana residents need a resident turkey hunting license and a valid game bird habitat stamp privilege. Those that have a lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, or youth hunt/trap license can hunt turkey and do not need to purchase the game bird habitat stamp because it is included with those license types. A separate turkey hunting license is required when hunting during each turkey hunting season – one for the spring season and one for the fall season. Game bird habitat stamp privileges are good for both spring and fall seasons in the same calendar year.
Nonresident hunters wishing to hunt turkeys in Indiana must purchase a nonresident turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp. In addition, if an Indiana resident is required to purchase another license in order to hunt turkeys in a nonresident’s state, the nonresident must purchase an annual nonresident hunting license in order to hunt turkeys in Indiana. Here are the license requirements for residents of surrounding states:
Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio residents must purchase an annual nonresident hunting license, a nonresident turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp.
Wisconsin and Michigan residents must purchase a nonresident turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp.
Season and Bag Limits
Spring - The spring season is April 24 through May 12, 2013. The bag limit is one bearded or male turkey for the spring season. Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide.
Fall - The bag and possession limit for the fall seasons is one bird of either sex, regardless of hunting equipment used or what portion of the season. Fall archery season is statewide. Fall firearm season has specific dates for specific counties (see below).
- Fall archery (including crossbows): Oct. 1–28, 2012 and Dec. 8, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013 – Statewide.
- Fall firearm: Oct. 17–21, 2012 in the following counties only:
- DeKalb, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben.
- Fall firearm: Oct. 17–28, 2012, in the following counties only:
- Bartholomew, Brown, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Dubois, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Gibson, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Sullivan, Switzerland, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren, Warrick, Washington.
Youth age 17 years or younger can hunt wild turkeys during a special season on April 20 and 21, 2013. The youth hunter may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow. The adult accompanying the youth hunter must be at least 18 years of age, must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while in the field, and must possess a turkey hunting license and game bird habitat stamp if participating in the hunt (i.e. calling turkeys) unless otherwise exempt from license requirements by state law. The youth hunter may take only one bearded or male wild turkey during spring, which includes both the youth and regular spring turkey seasons. The youth must be properly licensed to take a wild turkey and comply with all tagging and check-in requirements.
Turkeys can be hunted only with:
- A 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½.
- A muzzleloading shotgun not smaller than 20-gauge and not larger than 10-gauge, loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7½. Combination loads using shot sizes other than these are illegal.
- Bow and arrow
- A crossbow
Wild turkeys may be hunted only from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All Fish and Wildlife Areas, Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes have spring season hunting hours one-half hour before sunrise until noon for properties on CDT and until 1 p.m. for properties on EDT. Call the property for additional information.
Immediately upon killing a turkey, the hunter must complete a temporary transportation tag on paper stating the hunter’s full name, address, sex of the turkey, license number (if applicable), and the date the turkey was taken before transporting the turkey from the field. The hunter register the turkey at an offical check station or online through the CheckIN Game system within 48 hours of the kill. If the turkey is taken to a check station, a permanent seal will be given and must be fixed to the leg of the turkey. If the turkey is registered online through the CheckIN Game system, a confirmation number will be generated and must be recorded on the temporary transportation tag.
Archery hunters must meet fluorescent (hunter) orange requirements while hunting turkeys Dec. 8 – 23, 2012 and from Dec. 26, 2012 through Jan. 5, 2013. See hunter orange clothing requirements.
While hunting wild turkey, it is illegal to use or possess: a dog; another domesticated animal; a live decoy; a recorded call; an electronically powered or controlled decoy; or bait. An area is considered baited for 10 days after the removal of the bait, but an area is not considered to be baited that is attractive to wild turkeys resulting from normal agricultural practices.