Youth deer season is Sept. 25-26

INDIANA – Youth deer season in 2021 is Sept. 25-26. Youth age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can participate but must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age.

The youth hunter can take an antlered deer and one (or more) antlerless deer. 

Beau Sathre, age 10, of Adams shot this buck on the opening day of youth deer hunting recently. Photo provided

The youth hunter’s antlerless deer limit is determined by the bonus county quota for the county being hunted. A youth hunter can take only one antlerless deer in a county with a bonus antlerless quota of “A” during the special youth deer season. An antlered deer harvested during the youth season counts toward the statewide bag limit of one antlered deer.

The youth hunter must possess a valid deer hunting license while in the field, unless exempt from needing a license. The youth’s adult partner must possess a valid hunting license of any type that is not an apprentice license.

The youth hunter and adult partner must wear hunter orange. The youth hunter may use a legal firearm, bow, and arrow, or crossbow to take a deer. The adult partner cannot take a deer and may not possess a firearm, muzzleloader, bow, and arrow, or crossbow while in the field with the youth hunter, except for a handgun carried lawfully. Only one antlerless deer may be taken on DNR-managed Fish & Wildlife areas and some other DNR properties. The youth hunter must comply with all other deer hunting regulations.

Youth Waterfowl Season

Youth waterfowl season dates for 2021 are Oct. 16-17  (North Zone), Oct. 23-24  (Central Zone), and Oct. 30-31  (South Zone). Youth 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can participate but must be accompanied by an adult. A federal duck stamp is required for all persons 16 years of age or older. A state Waterfowl Stamp is not required to hunt waterfowl or other migratory birds for resident youth hunting or nonresident youth hunting license holders. A HIP registration number is required for all youth hunters during the youth waterfowl season.

The youth’s adult partner must be in close enough proximity to monitor and be able to communicate with the youth hunter at all times. The adult may help the youth hunter with the calling game but may not carry a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow, except for a handgun carried lawfully. The adult must possess a valid hunting license unless exempt from needing a license.

Youth Turkey Season

The youth wild turkey season is April 23-24, 2022.

Youth age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can participate but must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age.

The youth hunter must possess a valid license to take a wild turkey. The adult partner must possess a turkey hunting license and game bird habitat stamp if participating in the hunt (i.e., calling turkeys) unless exempt from license requirements.

The Natural Resources Commission recently gave final approval to administrative rule changes to expand legal equipment for hunters during the spring wild turkey hunting season, and DNR Director Dan Bortner authorized their use by emergency rule in time for this year’s spring turkey season. The changes allow the use of 410 caliber and 28-gauge shotguns in addition to already-legal 10-, 12-, 16- and 20-gauge shotguns. It also expands the legal shot sizes (4,5,6,7, 7.5) to include smaller Tungsten Super Shot #9 and #10. Find out more.

The youth hunter may take only one bearded or male wild turkey during spring, which includes both the youth and regular spring turkey seasons. The youth must comply with all other turkey hunting regulations. The youth hunter may use any legal shotgun, bow, and arrow, or crossbow. The youth’s adult partner must not possess a firearm, bow, and arrow, or crossbow while in the field, except for a handgun carried lawfully.

National Wildlife Refuge Hunts

Big Oaks and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuges will have special turkey and deer hunts for 2021 and 2022 for youth hunters:

Turkey hunt dates:

  • Muscatatuck NWR, April 23-24, 2022
  • Big Oaks NWR, April 24, 2022

Deer hunt dates:

  • Muscatatuck NWR, Sept. 25-26, 2021
  • Big Oaks NWR, Oct. 30, 2021

To apply for the Big Oaks NWR hunt, send a postcard that includes the youth’s name, address, and phone number to:

Big Oaks NWR
1661 W. JPG Niblo Road
Madison, IN 47250

The application deadlines for Big Oaks NWR are April 2, 2022, for turkey, and Oct. 1, 2021, for deer.

To apply for the Muscatatuck NWR hunts, go to on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email