Menu Close

Hunting in Indiana

For a thrilling hunting experience, Indiana is the place to be! From deer and turkey to small game like squirrels and rabbits, you’ll find something for everyone.

Boasting some of the best whitetail deer in the Midwest, this season runs from mid-October through early January. With over a million acres of public land available for hunting plus private properties that offer up great opportunities too, there’s no shortage of space here either.

In this detailed guide, we cover all you need to know about hunting in Indiana. You will get to know what types of animals you can hunt, where to hunt them, and their hunting seasons. We also go over the hunting license information in Indiana.

Hunting in Indiana

What Can You Hunt in Indiana?

Indiana is indeed a paradise for hunters of all levels, boasting an array of habitats and plenty of wildlife. White-tailed deer are abundant in the state, making it one of the best spots to pursue your big game hunting dreams.

You can hunt them with firearms or archery equipment during designated seasons. If small game such as rabbits, squirrels, and pheasants tickles your fancy – you’re in luck! Indiana has got you covered here too.

Waterfowlers will be thrilled by what Indiana offers: diverse species like Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks, and teal abound throughout its waters – ready to challenge even the most experienced hunter with firearms or archery gear when the season allows it.

Furbearers including raccoons, opossums, beavers, foxes, river otters, mink, muskrats, and coyotes also call this place home – providing yet another exciting pursuit for those who seek an adventure beyond compare.


White-tailed deer are the only species of Cervidae in Indiana, a family that includes mule deer, elk, and moose. Easily adaptable to various landscapes and habitats, these mammals can be seen across the state.

With reddish-brown fur during summer months fading to grayish brown in wintertime, fawns possess white spots for camouflage. Male deer bear antlers annually – growing them each year before shedding them off late winter.

These creatures have long lifespans with up to 20 years when living in captivity; however wild ones rarely surpass 10 years. Not only do they boast impressive speed reaching 35 mph but also an incredible ability to jump 8 feet or more.

Hunting is an important tool used for managing local populations while providing outdoor recreation opportunities as well as fresh venison every year for over 200 thousand Hoosiers.

Deer Season Indiana

Season Dates
Archery Oct 01 – Jan 07
Youth Sep 23 – Sep 24
Muzzleloader Dec 09 – Dec 24
Firearms Nov 18 – Dec 03
Reduction Zone Sep 15 – Jan 31


Wild turkeys are the descendants of birds that were once found wild in North and Central America. They strongly resemble their domesticated relatives, yet have been shaped by generations of predators to become extremely wary creatures with an ability for quick flight over long distances.

The male turkey has a glossy black body, highlighted by its bright blue head and neck. Females tend to be more muted in coloration, blending into their surroundings better than males do; they also lack the signature black beard on the chest which is usually seen in males.

North America hosts five distinct subspecies of wild turkey: Eastern, Merriam’s from western states, Gould’s from southwest regions, Rio Grande – found in Texas and northern Mexico, and Florida turkeys. Indiana is known for being home to some particularly unique Eastern Wild Turkey populations.

Hunting for turkey requires the right paperwork – a hunting license and permit. Shotguns must carry no more than three shells in their magazine, and hunters need to wear hunter-orange clothing that covers at least 400 square inches of their upper body during the spring season.

Hunting turkeys near structures or public roads is strictly prohibited; however, youth aged 17 years old or younger can take advantage of the specially catered-to youth season. The regulations on wearing hunter orange are still applicable for those hunting between December 9th and 24th.

Turkey Season in Indiana

Season Dates Bag Limit
Spring Turkey Season Apr 26 – May 14 01 Bearded Turkey
Youth Season Apr 22 – Apr 23 01 Bearded Turkey
Fall Archery Season Oct 01 – Oct 29, Dec 09 – Jan 07 01 Turkey (Either Sex)
Fall Firearm Season Oct 18 – Oct 29 01 Turkey (Either Sex)


The Northern bobwhite is a popular bird among hunters, bird watchers, and naturalists alike. This ground-dwelling species often relies on its cryptic plumage coloration for camouflage; males have white throats and chins with a stripe above the eye extending to the back of their heads while females are buffy brown in those areas.

This widely distributed gamebird can be heard singing song-like whistles throughout the Hoosier State – an experience that many people enjoy seeing or hearing.

Though they rarely use flight as a means of escape or protection, you may still get lucky enough to catch sight of one soaring through the sky every now and then.

Hunting Quails in Indiana

Quail Season Indiana

Season Dates Bag Limit
South of I74 Nov 01 – Jan 10 8 per day
North of I74 Nov 01 – Dec 15 4 per day


The cottontail rabbit is easily recognizable from its reddish-brown to gray back and sides with white undersides – plus they have a tail that looks like cotton.

They also have long ears which are great for hearing, powerful hindquarters, and large hind feet. If you want to trap or shoot rabbits legally, you’ll need either a permit from DNR (Indiana Department of Natural Resources) or make sure your methods only fall within open hunting season regulations; firearms usage must adhere to local laws too.

Rabbit Season Indiana

Species Dates Bag Limit
Rabbit Nov 01 – Feb 28 5 per day


Beavers were once a rarity in Indiana, but now they’re as common as ever. Their population has grown considerably – you can now find beavers in almost every Indiana county.

Standing at around 4 feet long – and with adults weighing between 30 and 70 lbs – these are North America’s biggest rodents. They have incisors that grow throughout their life – plus soft backs on said teeth for sharpening when gnawing – allowing them to keep up with whatever task is thrown at them.

With webbed hind feet for swimming and front paws that excel at digging/grooming/carrying objects: there isn’t much these furry critters can’t do.

Beaver Season

Species Dates
Beaver Nov 15 – Mar 15


Coyotes have been around Indiana since before the European settlement and were commonly referred to as “prairie wolves.” Nowadays, these sly creatures can be found all over the state – including urban areas.

With their slender snouts and large ears, they look like a smaller version of a German shepherd dog but with tails that hang below their backs instead of curving up. On average, coyotes weigh in at 25 pounds (from 20-50) and measure 40-50 inches from nose to tail tip. They usually come in grizzled gray or buff color on top with reddish brown muzzles and legs while having creamy white bellies.

Though shy when it comes to humans, coyotes are active during both day and night time – most often at dawn or dusk where they communicate via barking, tipping, or howling.

If you’re looking forward to hunting in Indiana, then you will come across this creature. Make sure to follow all the rules and regulations when you hunt them.

Hunting Coyotes in Indiana

Coyote Season

Species Dates
Coyote Oct 15 – Mar 15

River Otter

River otters are now found abundantly across the great state of Indiana – thanks to conservation efforts put forth by DNR and its partners. In 1995, restoration endeavors were set in motion with the goal of restoring healthy populations in both northern and southern parts of the Hoosier State.

Five years later, these measures paid off when natural reproduction triggered an expansion that’s still going strong today.

As night falls upon us, you can witness these furry critters actively kayaking through their aquatic habitats; boasting dark brown coats lined with thick whiskers and sea-ready webbed feet.

Weights typically range between 11-20 pounds while they’re also capable of holding their breath for up to 8 minutes.

River Otter Season

Species Dates
River Otter No Hunting Season (Only Trapping)


Mink are a semi-aquatic furbearer native to Indiana – members of the weasel family, rarely seen but incredibly common. With a sleek long body and bushy tail making up around one-third of its length, they’re easily distinguishable by their dark brown fur that fades to almost black on their tails.

Males typically weigh 2-4 pounds and reach two feet in length with mature females weighing 1 ½ -2 pounds at about fifteen inches long. A white spot beneath the chin is often spotted along with white spots on the chest or belly adding more character to these creatures’ looks. Their hunting season typically begins in mid-November.

Mink Season

Species Dates
Mink Nov 15 – Jan 31


The raccoon is a medium-sized mammal found throughout Indiana, easily identifiable by its signature black mask. It’s native to North America and loves living around people; you can spot them in both urban and rural areas.

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures that like to spend their days resting. With a coat of grizzled grayish-brown fur, they have variations even among siblings.

They may not be the fastest mammals around but can reach speeds up to 15 mph and make great climbers with their ability to shimmy down trees headfirst like pros.

And when you see them with those long bushy tails – usually ranging from 8-16 inches – sporting alternating rings of light and dark fur, it’s an impressive sight indeed.

Raccoon Season

Season Dates
Raccoon Season Nov 08 – Jan 31
Dog running chase only season (no hunting allowed) Feb 01 – Oct 25

Weasel Season

Species Dates
Long-tailed Weasel Nov 15 – Jan 31

Muskrat Season

Hunting Muskrats in Indiana

Species Dates
Muskrat Nov 15 – Jan 31

Turtle Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Eastern Snapping Turtle Jul 01 – Mar 31 4

Ruffed Grouse Season

Species Dates
Ruffed Grouse Suspended

Opossum Season

Season Dates
Opossum Season Nov 08 – Jan 31
Dog running chase only season (no hunting allowed) Feb 01 – Oct 25

Pheasant Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Pheasant Nov 01 – Dec 15 2

Fox Season

Species Dates
Red and Gray Fox Oct 15 – Feb 28

Striped Skunk Season

Species Dates
Striped Skunk Oct 15 – Mar 15

Squirrel Season

Hunting Squirrels in Indiana

Species Dates Bag Limit
Gray and Fox Squirrel Aug 15 – Jan 31 5

Frog Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Bullfrog and Green Frog Jun 15 – Apr 30 25

Mourning Dove Season

Species Dates
Segment 1 Sep 01 – Oct 15
Segment 2 Nov 01 – Nov 26
Segment 3 Dec 16 – Jan 03

Woodcock Season

Species Dates
Woodcock Oct 15 – Nov 28

Duck Season Indiana

Season Dates Bag Limit
Early North Zone Oct 22 – Dec 11 6 per day
Early Central Zone Oct 29 – Nov 06 6 per day
Early South Zone Nov 05 – Nov 06 6 per day
Late North Zone Dec 26 – Jan 03 6 per day
Late Central Zone Nov 19 – Jan 08 6 per day
Late South Zone Nov 26 – Jan 22 6 per day
Youth & Veteran North Zone Oct 15 – Oct 16 6 per day
Youth & Veteran South Zone Oct 29 – Oct 30 6 per day
Youth & Veteran Central Zone Oct 22 – Oct 23 6 per day

Coot Season

Season Dates
North Zone Segment 01 Oct 28 – Dec 17
North Zone Segment 02 Dec 26 – Jan 03
Central Zone Segment 01 Nov 04 – Nov 12
Central Zone Segment 02 Nov 24 – Jan 13
South Zone Segment 01 Nov 11 – Nov 12
South Zone Segment 02 Dec 02 – Jan 28

Merganser Season

Season Dates
North Zone Segment 01 Oct 28 – Dec 17
North Zone Segment 02 Dec 26 – Jan 03
Central Zone Segment 01 Nov 04 – Nov 12
Central Zone Segment 02 Nov 24 – Jan 13
South Zone Segment 01 Nov 11 – Nov 12
South Zone Segment 02 Dec 02 – Jan 28

Goose Season

Season Dates
North Zone-01 Sep 10 – Sep 18
South Zone-01 Sep 10 – Sep 18
Central Zone-01 Sep 10 – Sep 18
North Zone-02 Oct 22 – Oct 30
South Zone-02 Nov 05 – Nov 20
Central Zone-02 Oct 29 – Nov 06
North Zone-03 Nov 19 – Feb 12
South Zone-03 Nov 26 – Feb 12
Central Zone-03 Nov 19 – Feb 12
Youth & Veteran North Zone Oct 15 –  Oct 16
Youth & Veteran South Zone Oct 29 – Oct 30
Youth & Veteran Central Zone Oct 22 – Oct 23

Snipe Season

Hunting Snipes in Indiana

Species Dates
Snipe Sep 01 – Dec 16

Rail Season

Species Dates
Sora Rail Sep 01 – Nov 09

Teal Season

Species Dates
Teal Sep 09 – Sep 24

Crow Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Crow Jul 01 – Aug 15, Dec 13 – Mar 01 No Limit

Indiana Hunting License Information

It’s essential to understand there are two types of licenses available for hunting in Indiana: resident and non-resident. Residents must prove their residency with a valid driver’s license or state ID, while non-residents need a passport or other government photo ID.

All applicants must be 12 years old and have completed hunter education prior to purchasing the license. An annual hunting license is $20 for residents and $90 for non-residents.

In addition to the base permit, you may require extra tags depending on what game you’re targeting – deer, turkey? For waterfowlers, federal duck stamps are needed too. Licenses can be bought online through the DNR website or at an authorized retailer near you.

Seniors interested in hunting can take advantage of Indiana’s Persons With a Disability Special Hunting Permit. Active-duty military personnel stationed in the state and resident veterans with service-connected disabilities are eligible for discounted licenses, too.

For active military members on leave outside Indiana, no license is required to hunt while back home. Get more information from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.

Where Can You Hunt in Indiana?

Indiana is a haven for hunters in the Midwest. From deer and turkey to waterfowl and small game, no matter what you’re after there’s something for everyone.

Hit up public lands like state forests, wildlife management areas, or national wildlife refuges – even private landowners welcome visitors to their properties with open arms. Let’s take a look at some of the best public places to hunt in Indiana.

Public Hunting Places in Indiana

Hoosier National Forest

If you’re looking to go hunting in Indiana, Hoosier National Forest is the place for you. Located in southern Indiana, this stunning forest has a plethora of wildlife and habitats that make it an ideal spot.

In addition to white-tailed deer and wild turkey, there are also squirrels and other critters just waiting for your hunt. You’ll find varying terrain from open fields to thick woodlands as well as streams and lakes offering excellent fishing opportunities.

Remember though – all hunting regulations must be adhered to; this includes having a valid state license plus following safety guidelines at all times. Additionally, be mindful not to disturb any endangered species or their habitats while out in nature’s paradise.

Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park is an amazing hunting spot in Indiana. It has over 16,000 acres of diverse landscapes that range from rolling hills and deep ravines to thick forests and wide meadows.

You can hunt for deer, wild turkey, rabbit, squirrels – you name it! Plus there are a few areas where you don’t need permits to hunt; these well-marked spots are great for setting up your blind or tree stand. And with plenty of food sources around the park too? Wildlife will be drawn right to you.

Yellowwood State Forest

Yellowwood State Forest in south-central Indiana is an outdoor paradise. Rolling hills, wetlands, and hardwood forests are teeming with wildlife such as deer, turkey, and small game like rabbits and squirrels.

Waterfowl like ducks and geese use the abundant cover for protection during hunting season from September to March each year. Armed with a firearm or bow – though certain areas remain closed – hunters can take advantage of these plentiful opportunities while enjoying nature’s beauty all around them.

Morgan-Monroe State Forest

Hunting in Morgan-Monroe State Forest is an incredible experience, but it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed before heading out. All Indiana hunters must have a valid hunting license and any additional permits required for the species they are pursuing.

Also, familiarize yourself with the regulations at Morgan-Monroe State Forest – some areas may be off limits due to safety or environmental concerns so plan ahead just in case.

When you hit the woods, remember that safety should always come first. Wear bright colors so other hunters can spot you easily and never hunt alone – bring along a buddy or two for extra caution. And of course, abide by all laws related to firearms and ammunition while enjoying this beautiful forest preserve.

Potato Creek State Park

Potato Creek State Park is the perfect spot for hunters of all levels. Whether you’re looking to bag a deer, turkey, waterfowl, or some small game like rabbits and squirrels – this place has got it all. The terrain here offers wetlands, woodlands, and open fields with plenty of variety so you can find the ideal hunting location.

But that’s not all: Potato Creek isn’t just about hunting – camping, fishing, biking, and hiking are also available in this park. You’ll never be short on things to do when visiting! If you need help getting started out there don’t worry; experienced rangers will provide tips on safety regulations as well as advice on where to hunt within the park.

HarrisonCrawford State Forest

Harrison–Crawford State Forest, located in southern Indiana, sprawls over 24,000 acres of wild and untamed land. Its rich ecosystem is home to a wide array of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, turkeys, gray squirrels, and raccoons – not to mention the various species of birds which are also known to frequent the area.

This diverse terrain provides hunters with an exciting challenge no matter their skill level; from archery season all year round to firearms seasons throughout the year – it’s got something for everyone. But before you take up arms against these majestic creatures make sure you have your valid hunting license.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources offers several classes and workshops that can help sharpen your skills so don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.

Private Hunting Places in Indiana

Once you have all your paperwork sorted out, it’s time to start searching for the perfect spot to do some hunting in Indiana. From dense forests and marshlands to open grassy fields and prairies, there are loads of private options available throughout the state. Whether you’re after deer, turkey, quail, or any other game animal – these places offer excellent opportunities.

It’s also important that you take safety into consideration when selecting a private hunting place in Indiana. Make sure that there are no major roads nearby that could put yourself or others at risk – as well as double-check regulations about what weapons can be used in this particular location.

Plus don’t forget those necessary permits from your local Department of Natural Resources office (or online) so everything is above board.