Typically, hunting on state-owned properties in Indiana is something you can't do. While there are some that do allow it across the state, it's always important to check with officials of the park or fish and wildlife area you'd like to hunt in before stepping foot inside the property. One way you can enjoy the thrill of the hunt on state property without needing to make sure you can in the first place is through reserved hunts which you can apply for soon through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The Department recently announced it will open the application window this Sunday (August 20th, 2023) through its website. Hunters will have the opportunity to hunt for deer and various birds at several state parks as well as fish and wildlife areas across the state.

2023 Reserved Hunts and Locations

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The following locations will host hunts later this year, according to the Indiana DNR:

Waterfowl Hunts at Fish & Wildlife Areas:

  • LaSalle, Kingsbury, Hovey Lake, Goose Pond, and Kankakee. Province Pond Wetland Conservation Area, managed by J.E. Roush Lake FWA

Deer Hunts at Fish & Wildlife Areas:

  • Firearms season deer hunts at Deer Creek and Fairbanks Landing

Deer Hunts at State Parks:

  • Chain O’Lakes, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, O’Bannon Woods, Ouabache, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial state parks and Raccoon Lake. Cave River Valley Natural Area, which is managed by Spring Mill State Park

Game Bird Area Hunts in November

  • Hunts on GBAs in northern Indiana (Benton, Jasper, Newton, Warren, and White counties). These are not put/take pheasant hunts.

Youth-Only Game Bird Area Hunts in November

  • Benton, Jasper, Newton, Warren, and White counties in northern Indiana. Hunters must have an adult at least 18 years of age present while hunting. These are not put/take pheasant hunts.

Hunts on Indiana Private Land Access

  • IPLA will offer reserved hunts for game birds, squirrels, waterfowl, and firearms deer on private lands.
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How to Apply for a Reserved Hunt in Indiana

Applications for reserved hunts can only be submitted online through the DNR website and will be accepted until 11:59 PM on Sunday, September 24th. It's important to know, just because you apply does not mean you'll get the opportunity to hunt. Due to the expected large number of hunters who will apply, the DNR will use a computer program to randomly select an unspecified number of hunters for each hunt. The results will be posted "within two weeks after the application period closes" and everyone who registers will be notified by e-mail when the results are available to view.

There are two other important pieces of information you should know before you apply. You can only submit one application per hunt, and you won't be able to change anything on your application once you've submitted it. So, be sure to look it over a few times to make sure all your contact information is correct. I'd hate to see you be selected then never know because you left a letter out of your e-mail address.

For all the guidance on the hunts and to apply, visit the Indiana DNR website.

[Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources]

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