By Jack Spaulding
Indiana’s woodland stick-and-string crowds have the green light for hunting wild turkey. Indiana’s archery phase of the season came in Oct. 1 and will run to Oct. 22. Archery equipment can be used the entire season.
A lot of Hoosier archers will be looking to double up out of their deer season tree stands and take a wild turkey during the legal hunt dates. New this fall is the addition of all or portions of 13 counties to the fall turkey-hunting range for hunting with archery equipment.
Firearms for wild turkey will be allowed from Oct. 18-22 in select counties.
Counties open to fall turkey hunting with firearms remain the same as for last year’s season.
Indiana Conservation Officers are again reminding Hoosiers spring turkey-hunting licenses are not valid for fall turkey hunting. Hunters must have a resident or non-resident fall turkey license and a gamebird habitat stamp privilege unless exempt from needing a license.
Indiana comprehensive lifetime hunting or comprehensive youth hunting licenses can also be used to hunt fall wild turkey. Some farmland owners or active military personnel on leave are eligible for resident license exemptions.
Non-resident hunters from states requiring an Indiana resident to purchase an additional license to hunt turkeys must also purchase an annual non-resident hunting license to hunt turkeys in Indiana.
Residents of the adjacent states of Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio need an annual non-resident hunting license, a non-resident fall turkey license and a gamebird habitat stamp privilege. Wisconsin and Michigan residents are OK with a non-resident fall turkey license and a gamebird habitat stamp privilege.
The fall turkey bag limit is one wild turkey of either sex per fall. Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Hunters must immediately tag their turkey with a paper stating the hunter’s name, address, date of kill and sex of bird.
Turkeys must be taken to a check station within 48 hours. The tag issued by the check station must be affixed to the leg of the turkey through a section of skin or flesh until processing.
Some DNR properties with high hunter use or high spring hunter demand may limit fall turkey hunting. All other spring turkey hunting regulations, such as restrictions on shot sizes, legal weapons, baiting, dogs and electronic calls and decoys, will be in effect for the fall season.
New counties or portions of counties opened to bow hunting are highlighted within parentheses below:
Counties where bow hunting will be allowed are: Bartholomew, (Benton), Brown, (Carroll), Cass, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Dekalb, Dubois, (Elkhart), Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fountain, Fulton, Gibson, (Grant - west of Interstate 69), Greene, Harrison, (Howard), (Huntington - north of State Road 124 or west of Interstate 69), Jackson, Jasper - north of State Highway 114 or east of Interstate 65, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, (Kosciusko), LaGrange, (Lake), LaPorte, Lawrence, Marshall, Martin, (Miami), Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton - north of State Highway 114, (Noble), Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, (Porter), Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Ripley, St. Joseph, Scott, Spencer, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, (Wabash), Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wayne and (White).
Counties where fall wild turkey hunting with a firearm will be allowed from Oct. 18-22 are: Brown, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Dubois, Floyd, Franklin, Greene - east of the White River, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Perry, Pike, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Switzerland, Warrick and Washington.
Hunting licenses are available at most DNR offices and sporting goods stores or at www.in.gov/dnr/indianaoutdoor
Access the fall turkey hunt range map online at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild
Fish and wildlife rules meeting
Individuals and sportsmen will have the chance to voice their opinions on rule changes as the Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to Indiana’s fish and wildlife administrative rules on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. EDT in Indianapolis.
Changes to urban deer zones, squirrel season, rabbit season and spring wild turkey hunting locations are some of the rule changes being considered.
The creation of a spring youth turkey season is one of the rule proposals continuing DNR’s efforts to provide additional hunting opportunities for youth.
The hearing will be at the Indiana Government Center South, Conference Center Room 18, 402 W. Washington St. Public hearings have not yet been scheduled for the other rule proposals receiving preliminary adoption by the Natural Resources Commission earlier this year.
Preliminarily adopted rule changes are online at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/about
Written comments can be sent online to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail, send comments to: Hearing Officer, Natural Resources Commission, 402 W. Washington Street, W272, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Comments must be received no later than close of business on Oct. 24.
A copy of the public hearing report will be available at www.IN.gov/nrc prior to final consideration by the Natural Resources Commission. The NRC will likely consider the new rules for final adoption in November. If approved by the attorney general and governor, the changes will become effective in 2007; the first youth spring turkey hunting season will take place in the spring of 2007.
This farm news was published in the Oct. 11, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.