Bonus Antlerless Deer

Hunting Regulations Icon Indiana Hunting

Antlerless Deer Bag Limit

To maintain a healthy and thriving deer population in Indiana, strategic herd management is done on a county basis. The primary strategy in counties where deer populations need to be reduced is increased harvest of female deer. The bonus antlerless county quotas are set to allow hunters the opportunity to actively participate in deer herd management by harvesting additional antlerless deer.

Bonus antlerless county quotas have been set for the 2020-2021 Indiana deer hunting season.

Bonus antlerless quotas are determined based on a variety of factors: hunter harvest trend data, crop damage reports, deer-vehicle collisions, and landowner and hunter surveys that measure individual satisfaction level with deer populations in each county.

In addition to the basic bag limits for the license that was purchased, hunters can purchase bonus antlerless licenses if they wish to take additional antlerless deer. No more than one deer can be taken per bonus antlerless license. Bonus antlerless licenses can be used in any season, except the Reduction Zone Season and prior to Nov. 26 for counties designated as “A.” One must use the equipment that is legal during that season.

Bonus licenses may be used in any county, but you may not take more than the county quota for bonus antlerless deer in any specific county. The map on the right indicates county quotas for bonus antlerless deer. Bonus antlerless licenses may not be used on DNR-managed Fish & Wildlife Areas, but may be used on some other DNR properties. Contact the property or go to wildlife.IN.gov for details.

County quotas range from A to 3. For counties designated as an A, a bonus antlerless license can be used to take one antlerless deer from Nov. 26, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021 (the last four days of regular firearms season, plus muzzleloader season and the remainder of archery season). Bonus antlerless licenses cannot be used in A counties prior to Nov. 26. For counties designated 1 to 3, hunters may take additional antlerless deer but cannot exceed the county quota. Counties without a Bonus Antlerless Quota of “A” are eligible for the special antlerless firearms season (Dec. 26, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021).

Antlerless deer harvested with the deer license bundle must be used toward the bag limit for bonus antlerless deer in that county as well as the archery, muzzleloader, and special antlerless firearms bag limits. For example, during archery season the third antlerless deer harvested counts toward the bonus antlerless county quota, in firearms season any antlerless deer harvested must count toward the antlerless quota, and during muzzleloader season, the second antlerless deer counts toward the county quota.

Special Antlerless Firearms Season

The special antlerless deer firearms season is from Dec. 26, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021 in all counties except those with a County Bonus Antlerless Quota of “A”. While this season was initially implemented to increase deer harvest, data shows it gives hunters additional opportunities to hunt antlerless deer in participating counties without significantly increasing harvest. Hunters may use the deer license bundle to fulfill bag limits during the special antlerless season but must purchase additional antlerless licenses after bag limits have been reached. Hunters who do not have a bundle license must purchase a separate bonus antlerless license to hunt in the special antlerless firearms season and have one license for each additional deer.

Youth/Lifetime License Holders

Comprehensive lifetime hunting/fishing and resident youth hunt/trap license holders are not required to purchase bonus antlerless deer licenses since they are included in those license types. Lifetime/youth license hunters must follow the bonus antlerless bag limits and all other deer regulations.