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Wild Turkey

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License Requirements

To hunt wild turkey, a valid turkey hunting license and a valid game bird habitat stamp privilege are required.

Those that have a lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, or resident 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.

You can assist another hunter by calling only if you are licensed to hunt turkeys, regardless of whether or not you have harvested a turkey yourself.

Season and Bag Limits

Spring 2015 - The spring season is April 22 through May 10, 2015. The bag limit is one bearded or male turkey for the spring season. Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide.

Fall 2014 - 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):
    Statewide from Oct. 1 – 26, 2014 and Dec. 6, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015.
  • Fall firearm: Oct. 15 – 19, 2014 in the following counties only:
    • DeKalb, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben.
  • Fall firearm: Oct. 15 – 26, 2014 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 Season

Information about the youth season is on page 13.

Legal Equipment

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

Hunting Hours

Wild turkeys may be hunted only from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All DNR-managed 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.

Tagging & Checking

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 must register the turkey at an official check station or online through the CheckIN Game system (www.CheckINgame.DNR.IN.gov or call 800-419-1326) within 48 hours of the kill.

Go to www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/6271.htm for a searchable list of available check stations in each county.

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.

For an online printable version of a temporary transportation tag, see www.wildlife.in.gov/files/turkeytag.pdf

Hunter Orange

Archery hunters must meet fluorescent (hunter) orange requirements while hunting turkeys Dec. 6-21, 2014 and from Dec. 26, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015.

Fair Chase

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.

Fall Wild Turkey Sex and Age Determination

If no obvious leg spur:

  • use breast feathers to determine sex and wing tips to determine age (amount of barring and shape of 9th and 10th primary tips)If obvious leg spur, then bird is a male:
  • adult male: 1/2 inch or longer
  • juvenile male: less than 1/2 inch

Art by Dave Hamilton.

Used by permission of MO DOC

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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