As Indiana’s humid summer days fade away to the crisp mornings of fall, one thing’s for certain: It’s hunting and trapping season for much of our favorite game.
Some of my fondest memories of growing up in southern Indiana involve getting together with a few buddies to head out for a squirrel hunt. Clad in layers of blaze orange, we’d be out early in the morning — shortly after sunrise — when the squirrels would first peek their heads out.
Back in the day, my friends and I were not the most patient group. But squirrel hunting was perfect for us because it helped us channel our energy into a sport that refined our focus and our perseverance. We bonded over our hits — and our more frequent misses — and enjoyed the peaceful time that a forest can provide like no other place.
Once I got older and started a family of my own, I brought my son along on squirrel hunts. Together, we’d head down the road to Monroe Lake, where we’d follow the same time-tested tradition of Hoosier hunters before us across the state. Those quiet moments brought us closer together and helped forge a lifetime of memories that I will always cherish.
One great thing about squirrel hunting is that it doesn’t take a ton of time or gear. Mostly, it just requires a little patience.
So, gather up your friends and family, and take this as your invitation to get outside to make a few memories of your own in the woods.
Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
This year’s cover and theme touch a place close to my heart. Nearly 10 years ago, I brought home my first feist, my first squirrel dog, for my 8-year-old son, so they could squirrel hunt together on Saturday mornings in the fall. Over the years, that dog has grown from a hunting companion into a family pet that we love for many more reasons than what she does in the woods. My family’s relationship with our dog has turned into a lifelong bond.
Fifteen years ago, my job with the Division of Fish & Wildlife was to determine how to introduce more people to hunting because we were seeing a decline in participation. I had always thought the path to introducing new folks to hunting was through small game because that was the path I followed. I still cannot think of a better way to introduce people to hunting than by bringing a dog and the whole family along for a fun outdoor activity.
Even without a dog, squirrel hunting is a simple, quiet walk in the woods to focus on listening and watching for movement in the scenic environment around you. The relaxation isn’t even the best part of the experience—squirrel meat is some of the finest fare that you can put on your table. My family loves squirrel pot pie, buffalo squirrel dip, squirrel and noodles, and the traditional pan-fried squirrel and gravy.
Over the years, we have shared our dogs and our squirrel hunting trips with a lot of people. Our experiences are priceless, the relationships we build are meaningful, and our bounty is yummy.
If you’re interested in gaining experience hunting squirrel, there’s no better place to practice than at a learn-to-hunt event hosted on our public land. No matter how you hunt, you’re in for an incredible adventure.
Director, DNR Fish & Wildlife
To Hunters & Trappers in the Hoosier State
Welcome to the 2023-2024 Indiana DNR Hunting & Trapping Guide. We hope you find it helpful as you prepare for the upcoming hunting and trapping seasons.
Any corrections or updates to information published in this guide will be made to the online version found at hunting.IN.gov.
This guide provides a summary of Indiana hunting and trapping regulations. If you need complete versions of Indiana rules and regulations for hunting and trapping, they can be found in Indiana Code, Title 14, Article 22 (iga.IN.gov) or in Indiana Administrative Code, Title 312, Article 9, (IN.gov/legislative/iac).
Information in the guide includes season dates, bag limits, license requirements and costs, legal hunting hours, approved hunting equipment, and more. Articles found within this guide are written by Indiana DNR staff who are experts in their work.
All funds made from selling Indiana hunting and fishing licenses go directly back to conservation. Your license funds are used for wildlife management and research, habitat management and restoration, land acquisition, public access, shooting ranges, fish stocking, DNR law enforcement, and more. We thank all hunters, anglers, trappers, and recreational shooters in Indiana for their continued support of the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The funding stream you provide helps make conservation of Indiana’s natural resources a success.
Finally, good luck this hunting and trapping season. We hope it’s your best one yet.
Poachers give all hunters & anglers a bad name.
Help us stop
If you witness poaching or know someone who is stealing Hoosiers’ wildlife, call the Turn In a Poacher (TIP) hotline: 1-800-TIP-IDNR.
- You do not have to provide your name or contact information.
- Rewards of $500 are available if your information leads to the arrest of someone who has taken fish and/or wildlife illegally. TIP also provides rewards for pollution cases that lead to the death of fish or wildlife.
- TIP is monitored 24 hours a day—you may call any time.
Choose Your Volunteer Adventure!
Contribute to the conservation of Indiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats while sharing skills, experiences and community.
We need your help:
- Keeping our properties clean, healthy, and free of invasive species.
- Assisting with office duties.
- Participating in special volunteer workdays and events. Find
opportunities at events.IN.gov/dnr.
- Teaching a new generation to enjoy outdoor recreation.
- Contributing to research projects, surveys, and State hatcheries.
- Sharing your observations with the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
Visit on.IN.gov/wildlife-monitoring to find out how.