Anyone looking to hunt in Indiana must obtain a hunting license, which is an important part of hunting just about anywhere. Whether hunting deer with a rifle or searching for ducks with a shotgun, Indiana is a great state to enjoy outdoor recreation in the fall. The best way to prepare for a hunt in Indiana is to plan ahead and know the rules before you go. If you go hunting this season in Hoosier State, be sure to brush up on the latest relevant hunting laws as required by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. From the costs of certain licenses to what and when you can hunt, these are the basics every hunter should know before heading to Indiana.
Indiana Hunting License Requirements
Although most hunters will need to purchase a license before hunting in Indiana, there are a few exceptions. Residents who cultivate their own land or leased land, as well as their immediate family members, do not need to purchase a permit to hunt only on that land. Residents on full-time military service do not need a hunting license while on leave, and youth participating in special free hunting days are also exempt. Nonresidents under the age of 18 may hunt with a resident license if a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian is an Indiana resident. Active duty military personnel who are stationed in Indiana may also hunt with a resident permit.
Indiana also offers exemptions for nonresident property owners who meet certain criteria. Residents and non-residents participating in MNR-authorized field trials may do so without a hunting license. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 must complete a hunter education course before purchasing an Indiana hunting license – although learner licenses are available.
Where to Buy an Indiana Hunting License
The easiest way to purchase an Indiana hunting license is to use the Indiana Fish & Wildlife online licensing system and then print your documents. You can also purchase one in person at over 500 outlets across the state. If you prefer postal mail, you can send payment and information to the DNR Customer Service Center. Or you can call the DNR Customer Service Center and purchase your license over the phone at 1-800-457-8283.
How much does an Indiana hunting license cost?
The Indiana DNR which announced license prices for 2022 has increased from previous years to better fund wildlife management projects, educate new outdoor enthusiasts and maintain public access sites. Indiana hunting licenses are valid for the calendar year.
Annual hunting licenses for residents now cost $20, up from $17 since 2006. A combined hunting and fishing license costs $32.
Archery, crossbow, and firearms licenses are each available for $39, or hunters can purchase a set of deer licenses for $91. Spring and fall turkey permits are $32, while the waterfowl stamp lien and game bird habitat stamp lien are now $11 each.
For non-residents, an annual hunting license will cost $90, a 5-day hunting license will cost $50, and an annual youth hunting license will cost $20. Non-resident deer license packages ring in at $550, with other specific deer licenses varying in price. Spring and fall turkeys are $175 each for non-residents over 18 and $32 for younger non-residents.
What can you hunt in Indiana?
Indiana is most often a destination for whitetail hunters, but the state also offers other game. Wild turkeys are found throughout much of the state, as are foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, minks, muskrats, weasels, opossums, and beavers. Hunters will also find small game like rabbits, squirrels, frogs, and turtles in Indiana.
A variety of waterfowl and migratory birds, including mourning doves, woodcocks, geese and ducks, are open for hunting during certain seasons. Game birds such as pheasants, quails and crows are also found in Indiana.
Hunting seasons in Indiana
Indiana’s 2022 deer season kicks off in deer reduction areas on September 15 and ends on January 31, 2023, followed by a young hunt on September 24 and 25. The archery season lasts three full months, from October 1 to January 1. Gun season runs from November 12-27 and muzzleloader season runs from December 3-18.
The 2022 fall turkey archery season – with a bag limit of one bird of either sex – is open statewide from October 1-30 and again from December 3 to January 1. A fall gun season for select counties runs from October 19-30. . The spring turkey season will run from April 26 to May 14, 2023 with a bag limit of one bearded bird.
Fur hunting seasons vary:
- Red and gray fox: October 15-February 8
- Coyote and striped skunk: October 15 to March 15
- Raccoon and opossum: November 8 to January 31
- Mink, muskrat and weasel: November 15 to January 31
- Beaver: November 15-March 15
Rabbit season runs from November 1 to February 28 and squirrel season from August 15 to January 31. The game turtle season is open from July 1 to March 31, while the game frog season is open from June 15 to April 30. Waterfowl and migratory bird seasons vary depending on the species and the area of the state you are hunting, but the seasons generally fall between September and February. Pheasant season in Indiana runs from November 1 to December 15 this year. Quails in the northern zone fall on the same dates, but the season in the southern zone extends until January 10. Crow season runs from July 1 to August 15 and from December 13 to March 1.
Remember that it is your responsibility to know and understand all the latest regulations and be up to date with all necessary licenses before you start hunting anywhere. Indiana can be a memorable place to hunt, and there are good reasons to do so year after year.