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Bird Hunter at Sunrise going for hunt in a forest with his shotgun rifle

The Crossroad of America: An Indiana Hunting Guide

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Indiana is an absolutely gorgeous and severely underrated hunting state. Drenched from top to bottom in gorgeous nature, beautiful wildlife, and surprisingly forgiving weather, I consider Indiana to be one of the greatest places to chase the most varied amount of game you could ever imagine.

In this guide, we’ll collect all the necessary information you need to know about Pennsylvania hunting, including seasons, licensing information, locations, wildlife, and available resources. If you’re looking for a specific section, feel free to skip ahead using the table of contents below.

Landscape View in of fall trees and a lake
Landscape View in of fall trees and a lake

When is the Indiana Hunting Season?

The hunting season in Indiana is much more relaxed than in most other states, making it a thrilling experience for exploration. In addition to the typical fall season, there are many other times of year when one can venture out into nature and witness a range of different climates and landscapes.

Additionally, you can hunt near anything in this state – including animals such as turtles and frogs that you cannot hunt pretty much anywhere else.

God this state is so fun!

Check out the specific dates below:


Deer: September 17, 2023 to January 1, 2024 (varies by zone and weapon type, go here for specifics!)

Turkey: April 27 to May 15, 2023

Wild turkey (fall season) October 19 to 27, 2023

Deer in rain on plain


Gray & Fox Squirrel: Aug. 15, 2023-Jan. 31, 2024

Pheasant (statewide-cock only): Nov. 1, 2023-Dec. 15, 2023

Quail (North of I-74): Nov. 1, 2023-Dec. 15, 2023

Quail (South of I-74): Nov. 1, 2023-Jan. 10, 2024

Rabbit: Nov. 1, 2023-Feb. 28, 2024


Crow: July 1-Aug.15, 2023; Dec.13, 2023-Mar.1, 2024; no limit

Green Frog & Bullfrog: June 15, 2023-April 30, 2024; daily limit: 25

Eastern Snapping Turtle, Smooth & Spiny Softshell Turtles: July 1, 2023-March 31, 2024


Mourning Dove: Sept. 1, 2023-Oct. 16, 2023; Nov. 1, 2023-Nov. 27, 2023; Dec. 17, 2023-Jan. 2, 2024

Snipe: Sept. 1, 2022-Dec.16, 2022

Woodcock: Oct. 15, 2022-Nov. 28, 2022

Sora Rail: Sept. 1, 2022-Nov. 9, 2022

Early Teal: Sept. 10, 2022-Sept. 25, 2022

Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto)



Ducks, Coots, Mergansers: Oct. 22, 2023-Dec. 11, 2023; Dec. 26, 2023-Jan. 3, 2024

Geese: Sept. 10, 2023-Sept. 18, 2023; Oct. 22, 2023-Oct. 30, 2023; Nov. 19, 2023-Feb. 12, 2024


Ducks, Coots, Mergansers: Oct. 29, 2022-Nov. 6, 2022; Nov. 19, 2022-Jan. 8, 2023

Geese: Sept. 10, 2022-Sept. 18, 2022; Oct. 29, 2022-Nov. 6, 2022; Nov. 19, 2022-Feb. 12, 2023

Indiana Hunting Licenses

Hunting licenses are required for anyone who wishes to hunt in Indiana and is a crucial way to ensure hunter safety, nature conservation, and wildlife regulation. To make it easy for you, we’ve collected the most frequently asked questions regarding the Indiana hunting licenses below.

indiana hunting card

How to Obtain an Indiana Hunting License

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is responsible for issuing hunting licenses. Licenses can be obtained online or through a licensing agent which you can find here.

Hunters can choose from a variety of license types, including general hunting licenses, archery licenses, muzzleloader licenses, and special permits for specific species. There’s also a bunch of different variations of licenses depending on your age and residency status, so keep that in mind.

When do Indiana Hunting Licenses go on sale?

Hunting licenses in Indiana typically go on sale in April of each year and are valid from April 1 of that year through March 30 of the following year. The earlier you apply for your hunting license the better!

What are the Indiana Hunting License Requirements?

Obtaining a hunting license in Indiana is a breeze. For the most part, you just need to have successfully completed a hunter education course, which you can sign up for here.

Also, if you’re born before 1986 you don’t even need the course – but we recommend you go get it anyways.

Forest in the autumn. Nature in Poland during fall.

How much is an Indiana Hunting License?

The cost of an Indiana hunting license varies depending on the type of license and the hunter’s age and residency status. A standard adult resident license costs $25 and non-resident $150 (150% worth it though).

Resident Hunting License: $25

Nonresident Hunting License: $150

Senior Resident Hunting License (age 65 and older): $1

Apprentice License (for first-time hunters): $7

Youth Hunting License (for ages 17 and under): $7

State Park Deer Management Assistance Permit (DMAP): $30

State Park Deer Reduction Zone License: $30

Migratory Waterfowl Stamp: $9.75 (required for waterfowl hunters age 16 and older)

Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp): $25 (required for waterfowl hunters age 16 and older)

Deer License Bundle (includes archery, firearms, and muzzleloader licenses): $65 for residents, $295 for non-residents

Best Places to Hunt in Indiana

Indiana offers absolutely beautiful scenery and stunning views, with some of the most varied wildlife out of any other state in the continental United States. Although there are quite literally hundreds of areas you can head out in the wild, here are some of our most recommended spots to explore:

Hoosier National Forest

The Hoosier National Forest is situated in southern Indiana and spans over 200,000 acres. It provides a range of opportunities for hunting deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbits, and other wildlife. The forest has assigned areas specifically for hunting purposes and also offers various camping and outdoor recreational activities.

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge

The Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Indiana is a hunting location frequently visited for waterfowl and deer hunting. The refuge spans over 11,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, wetlands, and grasslands.

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Indiana offers waterfowl hunting, as well as hunting opportunities for deer, turkey, and small game. With a size of over 7,000 acres, the refuge has specific areas designated for hunting.

A game hunter looking through the reeds with his sniper rifle

Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area

The Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area located in northeastern Indiana is well-known for hunting deer, turkey, and small game. It spans over an area of 12,000 acres with specific zones demarcated for hunting. Additionally, visitors can engage in fishing and camping activities as well.

Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area

In Central, there is a hunting spot called Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area. It spans more than 5,000 acres, allowing you to hunt deer, turkey, and small game. There are specific places designated for hunting within the area; additionally, camping and fishing are also permitted!

Private Hunting Preserves

There are also a number of private hunting preserves throughout Indiana that offer hunting opportunities for deer, elk, bison, and other game. These preserves typically require a fee to hunt and may have specific hunting seasons and regulations, but definitely something worth looking into as an opportunity to explore more of Indianas beautiful nature away from other hunters!

nature in fall

Why Indiana Hunting

Just to: Indiana is one of the and most varied states to which you can take your passion hunting. It not only has more varied seasons than any state, it also has a much wider variety of wildlife for you to pursue.

If you’re looking for a new experience outside of the usual deer and waterfowl, I cannot stress how cool of an opportunity a good trip into Indiana’s gorgeous wildlife is. I also consider Indiana one of the best states to go hunting with other non-hunters, simply because most of the spaces are camper-friendly and the nature and hikes are just beautiful.

I’ve heard so many wonderful experiences from the depths on Indiana’s nature, from felling 10-point bucks to literal frogs. How cool is that??

Next time you’re planning a trip out-of-state for hunting, consider Indiana.

Looking for information on hunting in other states? Check out our other state guides here.

Happy Hunting!

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