INDIANA – The next free youth hunting days are Nov. 27-28. Youth free hunting days are traditionally set the weekend after Thanksgiving when deer, rabbit, squirrel, and other gamebird and furbearer seasons are open.
Any resident age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can take any legal game in season during these youth-free hunting days. To participate, the youth must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age. 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 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.
The youth hunter can take an antlered deer and one (or more) antlerless deer. 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 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 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
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.
To apply for the Muscatatuck NWR hunts, go to on.IN.gov/reservedhunt.