Indiana Hunting Laws and Regulations: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re interested in hunting, there are a few things you have to know first. Laws and regulations vary from state to state, and not knowing the rules of where you’re hunting could lead to major troubles. Here’s everything you need to know about Indiana’s hunting laws and regulations. 

When is hunting season in Indiana?

In Indiana, the hunting seasons vary depending on the type of game you’re hunting. The most popular game is deer, and this hunting season typically lasts from September to January. This season is known as the deer reduction zone season and during this time, hunters can find deer in urban areas and along highways. Check the reduction zone map to know where you can hunt during this time. The majority of the hunting seasons take place sometime during the late fall or winter, though there are a few types of game you can hunt in the spring. Wild turkey season is usually in April, and frogs can be hunted almost year-round. 

Each hunting season also has a limit on how many of each game you’re able to hunt. During deer reduction zone season, hunters can bag one antlered deer and nine antlerless deer or 10 antlerless deer. During quail season (which typically lasts for six weeks in the late fall), hunters can harvest either four or eight quail per day, depending on which side of Interstate 74 they’re hunting on. 

What weapons can be used? 

The weapons you can use vary depending on the hunting season. Hunters can use any approved hunting weapons during deer reduction zone season, including archery, crossbow, and handgun (as long as the weapons are allowed by local ordinances). Deer archery season is slightly shorter and during this time, hunters may use archery weapons. Indiana’s youth season for deer hunting lasts only a weekend, but during this time, youth hunters can use archery, crossbow, muzzleloading long gun, shotgun, and rifle. 

Indiana gun laws state you must have a license to carry a handgun, but the law also allows for exceptions. One such exception is when you’re hunting, which means you can have a handgun during firearms seasons even if you don’t have a license. Make sure you’re always complying with local ordinances; for example, you cannot use a handgun to hunt on military property.  

What licenses will I need?

The license you’ll need depends on your age and the type of hunting you’ll do. If you’re under 17 years old, you can apply for the Youth Hunt/Trap license, which allows you to hunt deer, turkey, waterfowl, and trout and salmon, during the appropriate seasons. This license only costs $7, so it’s a great gift for a family member looking to hunt this season. 

If you’re an adult looking to hunt deer, you can purchase a license specific to the type of gear you’ll use, like a deer archery license or a deer firearms license. An individual license will cost you $24, or you can purchase the deer bundle license for $65, which allows you to use any approved weapon. Whichever license you choose, you’ll still have to buy a separate license during the deer reduction season. The Indiana website makes it easy to search by game type, age, and equipment, so you’ll never be confused about which type of license you need to purchase. 

Now that you understand the laws of hunting in Indiana, it’s time to grab your rifle, shooting sticks, and license and head out to hunt. Hunting allows you to connect with nature and your food source, and you’re helping maintain the state of local wildlife.