Youth Hunting Opportunities in Indiana

Affordable Licensing for Youth

Resident Youth Hunt/Trap License In Indiana, young outdoor enthusiasts aged 17 or younger have access to a cost-effective hunting license tailored to their needs. Priced at $12, the Resident Youth Hunt/Trap License encompasses all hunting and trapping licenses and stamp privileges. This comprehensive license covers various activities, including small game, deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl hunting. For those aged 16 and older engaging in waterfowl hunting, a Federal Duck Stamp may be required, and all hunters of migratory birds must possess a free Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, as per Waterfowl & Migratory Bird Regulations.

This license option is also extended to nonresident youth aged 17 or younger who have an Indiana resident parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.

Nonresident Youth Licensing Nonresident youth not eligible for the $12 license can acquire the appropriate nonresident youth license—annual hunting, deer, turkey, or trapping—at the resident adult license rate. This presents a cost-effective option compared to nonresident adult licenses.

Dedicated Youth Hunt Dates

Youth-Focused Hunt Dates Indiana recognizes the importance of fostering youth participation in outdoor activities. Special hunt dates are designated for youth aged 17 and younger. These dates provide exclusive opportunities for young hunters to engage in various hunting experiences.

DNR-Managed Property Events

Youth-Friendly DNR Properties Numerous DNR-managed properties host dedicated youth hunting events, creating a supportive environment for young hunters. These events aim to enhance the outdoor experience for youth and contribute to skill development.

Accessing Additional Information

For More Details For detailed information on youth hunting opportunities, specific hunt dates, and DNR-managed property events, refer to Stay informed about the exciting possibilities and initiatives tailored for youth engagement in Indiana's rich outdoor heritage.

Free Youth Hunting Days in 2023

Exclusive Opportunities for Young Hunters

Mark Your Calendar In 2023, Indiana presents two free youth hunting weekends: Sept. 2-3 and Nov. 25-26. These designated days offer young residents aged 17 or younger a unique chance to engage in hunting activities for the legal game in season.

Youth Eligibility and Accompaniment

Youth Participation Criteria To participate in the free youth hunting days, individuals must be residents aged 17 or younger on the hunt date. Accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old, the youth hunter can pursue legal games without the need for a hunting license, Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, or any state stamp. However, adherence to all other hunting regulations is mandatory.

Waterfowl Hunting Considerations

Federal Duck Stamp Requirement For those interested in waterfowl hunting during these free youth hunting days, a federal duck stamp is mandatory for all individuals aged 16 and older.

Adult Partner Responsibilities

Supervision and Support The adult accompanying the youth hunter plays a crucial role. They must be nearby, ensuring continuous monitoring and effective communication with the youth. While adults can assist in calling games, they are restricted from carrying a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow—except for a lawfully carried handgun. Importantly, the adult must hold a valid hunting license, unless exempted.

Embracing the Youth Hunting Experience

Seize the Opportunity These free youth hunting days are designed to encourage youth participation, offering a supportive environment for skill development and outdoor exploration. Embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories and instill a love for the outdoors in the next generation of hunters.

Note: All participants must comply with relevant state and federal regulations.

Youth Deer Season: September 23-24, 2023

Exclusive Deer Hunting Opportunities for Youth

Key Dates Mark your calendars for the Youth Deer Season on September 23-24, 2023. This special season is reserved for properly licensed youth hunters, providing a unique opportunity for young enthusiasts to engage in deer hunting activities.

Eligibility and Accompaniment

Youth Participation Criteria Youth aged 17 or younger on the hunt date are eligible to participate in the Youth Deer Season. To ensure a safe and guided experience, all youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old.

Harvesting Opportunities

Antlered and Antlerless Deer During the Youth Deer Season, the youth hunter has the privilege of harvesting both antlered and antlerless deer. The antlered deer counts toward the statewide bag limit of one antlered deer, while the number of antlerless deer harvested is determined by the bonus antlerless quota for the county being hunted.

Licensing and Hunter Attire

License Requirements and Safety Measures To hunt deer during this season, the youth hunter must possess a valid license unless exempt from needing one. The adult partner accompanying the youth must also hold a valid hunting license of any type (excluding an apprentice license). Both the youth hunter and adult partner are required to wear hunter orange for increased safety.

Approved Hunting Methods

Versatile Weapon Options The youth hunter has the flexibility to use a legal rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, air gun, bow, and arrow, or crossbow to take a deer during the Youth Deer Season.

Adult Partner Responsibilities

Supportive Role While the youth hunter actively engages in deer hunting, the adult partner has a supportive role. They cannot take a deer and are prohibited from possessing a firearm, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, or crossbow—except for a lawfully carried handgun.

Special Regulations on DNR-Managed Properties

Antlerless Deer Restrictions It's important to note that on DNR-managed Fish and wildlife areas and certain other DNR properties, only one antlerless deer may be taken during the Youth Deer Season.

Compliance with Regulations

Adherence to Deer Hunting Regulations The youth hunter is expected to comply with all other deer hunting regulations in addition to the specific guidelines outlined for the Youth Deer Season.

Seize the opportunity during this dedicated season to create memorable experiences and foster a love for responsible and ethical hunting practices.

Note: All participants must adhere to relevant state and federal regulations.

Youth Waterfowl Season 2023: Oct. 21-22 (North Zone), Oct. 28-29 (Central Zone), Nov. 4-5 (South Zone)

Exclusive Waterfowl Hunting Experience for Youth

Save the Dates Prepare for an exhilarating waterfowl hunting experience during the 2023 Youth Waterfowl Season. The season unfolds on Oct. 21-22 (North Zone), Oct. 28-29 (Central Zone), and Nov. 4-5 (South Zone), offering exclusive opportunities for properly licensed youth hunters.

Eligibility and Accompaniment

Youth Participation Criteria Youth aged 17 or younger on the hunt date are eligible to participate in the Youth Waterfowl Season. To ensure a safe and guided experience, all youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old.

Essential Stamp and Program Requirements

Federal Duck Stamp and HIP Number A Federal Duck Stamp is mandatory for all individuals aged 16 or older participating in the youth waterfowl season. Additionally, a Harvest Information Program number (HIP) is required for this specific season. Remarkably, a state Waterfowl Stamp is not necessary for resident and nonresident youth license holders during the youth waterfowl season.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Zones

Distinct Zones, Common Thrills The youth waterfowl season is divided into North, Central, and South Zones, each with its own set of dates. Plan accordingly based on the designated zone for an unforgettable waterfowl hunting adventure.

Adult Accompaniment

Guidance and Support Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult partner who is at least 18 years old. The adult plays a crucial role in ensuring a safe and enjoyable hunting experience for the youth.

Compliance with Regulations

Adherence to Waterfowl Hunting Regulations All participants, both youth and accompanying adults, must adhere to state and federal regulations governing waterfowl hunting. Ensure that you meet all requirements for a seamless and lawful hunting experience.

Create Lasting Memories

Embrace the Spirit of Waterfowl Hunting The Youth Waterfowl Season is not just an opportunity to harvest waterfowl; it's a chance to create lasting memories, instill a passion for conservation, and foster a love for the great outdoors.

Seize the moment, and embark on a waterfowl hunting adventure with the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

Note: Participants are encouraged to review and comply with all relevant state and federal waterfowl hunting regulations.

National Wildlife Refuge Youth Hunts

Big Oaks and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) are hosting exciting youth hunts in the upcoming years, providing an opportunity for young hunters to engage with the outdoors. Here are the key details:

Youth Deer Hunts

Muscatatuck NWR:

  • Dates: Sept. 23-24, 2023
  • Restrictions: Exclusive for youth hunters; adults cannot hunt or carry firearms during this period.

Big Oaks NWR:

  • Dates: Oct. 28, 2023
  • Optional Workshop: A special youth deer hunt workshop is available for drawn hunters and their families on Oct. 27, 2023.

Youth Turkey Hunts

Muscatatuck NWR:

  • Dates: April 20-21, 2024

Big Oaks NWR:

  • Dates: April 21, 2024
  • Optional Workshop: An additional youth turkey hunt workshop is offered for drawn hunters and their families on April 20, 2024.

Application Details

To participate in the youth hunts at Big Oaks NWR:

  • Application Method: Send a postcard to Big Oaks NWR, 1661 W. JPG Niblo Road, Madison, IN 47250.
  • Include the youth's name, address, and phone number.
  • Deadline: Oct. 1, 2023, for the deer hunt; April 1, 2024, for the turkey hunt.

For Muscatatuck NWR hunts:

These opportunities not only provide a chance for young hunters to develop their skills but also offer educational workshops to enhance their overall experience. Join us in creating lasting memories in the heart of nature.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.