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The Hoosier state is likely most well-known for its wide open agricultural fields, booming RV industry, world renowned Nascar track, and love of basketball. In smaller circles, Indiana is known as a top-ten Boone and Crockett scorer for whitetail deer. A whitetail buck must score at least 160 inches to make this classification, and since 2010, Indiana has averaged 41 of these impressive entries per year.
Indiana hunting is largely focused on the massive white tail deer that are a direct result of the vast agricultural fields that cover the state. These protein rich crops supercharge deer growth, and support huge herd numbers. Deer here are typically taken from tree stands or blinds on field edges or along travel routes, offering a very traditional style of Midwest deer hunting. Hunters must purchase either season specific licenses, an archery license, muzzleloader license, or firearm license to hunt each season, or purchase a deer bundle that allows access for each season as well as three deer, two of which must be antlerless with the third being of either sex. The licensing can be slightly complicated, so feel free to reach out to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or check in with us at HuntAnywhere.com with any questions you may have. If you’d rather run the woods with a .410 or 22, Indiana has countless options for animals of a smaller size than whitetails.
Small game hunting for rabbit and squirrels is very popular in Indiana, and only a small game license is required. This is a great option for those hunters looking for a fun afternoon hunt on the farm, or maybe for those looking to introduce someone to the sport. Hunters typically experience fast and frequent action in a communal environment, making it an easier transition for new participants than a silent and secluded tree stand hunt for deer.
Upland birds like pheasant and quail offer a similar amount of comradery to small game but in a different setting. These birds are often hunted with pointing or flushing dogs and offer excellent table fare. There are some options for wild quail, but most often pheasant and quail are hunted in a put and take fashion. This is where birds are raised to adulthood and then released onto a property right before a hunt. This is typically a guaranteed hunt with frequent action and is sure to provide some great stories around camp afterwards.
If you prefer to don a pair of waders and venture into the marsh, then Indiana’s waterfowl hunting may be more up your alley. Indiana has many lakes and rivers with good numbers of ducks and geese, as well as several wildlife management areas throughout the state that offer great hunting. Anyone hunting these migratory birds must have a base license as well as a HIP registration number, Indiana waterfowl stamp privilege and federal duck stamp (if hunting ducks). Several wildlife areas offer reserved hunts that must be applied for ahead of time but are surely worth the forethought. If you prefer yelps and cuts to quacks and honks, hunting Indiana’s eastern subspecies of turkeys is worth a look.
Turkeys are exceptionally prolific in Indiana and are seen virtually everywhere. Boasting a huge population of 110,000 birds, it is no wonder they are so visible. Indiana offers the unique opportunity to harvest either a hen or a tom in the fall season. If you prefer eating the wild turkey to hunting them, then harvesting a hen in the fall provides fantastic table fare. If you are like most turkey hunters, you go to the turkey woods to hear the “thunder chicken” let out its mating call. That’s right, you want to hear them gobble. With both a fall and a spring season, there is plenty of time to chase these birds. Hunters must purchase either a fall or spring turkey license depending on the date of their hunt, as well as a game bird habitat stamp privilege. Tags are not too expensive and each hunter is allowed one bird per fall or spring season.
Whether you are looking to sweet talk a turkey, point and flush a pheasant, or kill a buck that will go down in history, Indiana has options for hunters of all interests and skill levels. Visit our website at HuntAnywhere.com to look through our extensive list of expert Guides and Outfitters to begin your adventure, and book the hunt you have always dreamed of.