Deer Hunting Questions & Answers

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Can I use my firearms license to take an antlerless deer?

No. The firearms license can only be used to harvest an antlered deer and can only be used during the firearms season.

Do I need to purchase a hunting license (general = small game species) in addition to my deer hunting license in order to hunt deer?

No. A hunting license only covers small game species like rabbit, squirrel, red fox, grey fox, coyote, etc. A deer hunting license must be purchased to hunt deer. See hunting guide for more information.

Can I use my firearms license during muzzleloader season?

No. The firearms license can only be used during firearms season.

Can I use my muzzleloader license during firearms season?

No. The muzzleloader License can only be used during muzzleloader Season

Do I have to buy a firearms, archery, or muzzleloader license before I buy a bonus antlerless license?

No. The bonus antlerless license can be purchased separately.

Is a bonus antlerless license valid for all seasons?

No. The bonus antlerless license is valid for the archery, firearms, muzzleloader, and late antlerless seasons only, and it is valid only for antlerless deer (See property restrictions). The bonus antlerless license cannot be used to fulfill the deer reduction zone bag limit.

Do I have to shoot an antlered deer before I shoot an antlerless deer? (or vice versa)

Yes and no. There is no required sequence in harvesting deer for statewide seasons (youth, archery, firearms, muzzleloader). If a hunter is using a deer reduction zone license in a deer reduction zone, the hunter must take an antlerless deer with a deer reduction zone license prior to taking an antlered deer. The “earn-a-buck” requirement only applies to deer reduction zone bag limits, which are in addition to statewide bag limits.

How many bonus licenses can I use?

There is no statewide limit for bonus antlerless deer. You may not take more than the bonus county antlerless quota for bonus antlerless deer in any specific county. Antlerless deer harvested with archery, crossbow, muzzleloader, or deer reduction zone licenses do not count as bonus antlerless deer. Antlerless deer harvested using a deer bundle license may apply to the bonus antlerless county quota depending on which season you harvest the deer. Any antlerless deer harvested in firearms season counts towards your bonus antlerless county quota. For more information, see the Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide.

Is my bonus antlerless license valid for the archery season?

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Yes, except for counties designated as “A.” The bonus antlerless license can be used during the archery season using any legal archery equipment including crossbows. You may not use a bonus antlerless license in counties designated as “A” until the last four days of the firearms season. (See property restrictions)

Is my bonus antlerless license valid for the firearms season?

Yes. The bonus antlerless license can be used during the firearms season using any legal firearm. For counties designated as “A”, a bonus antlerless license is valid beginning the last four days of the firearm season. (See property restrictions)

Is my bonus antlerless license valid for the muzzleloader season?

Yes. The bonus antlerless License can be used during the muzzleloader season using any legal muzzleloading equipment. (See property restrictions)

Is my bonus antlerless license valid for the deer reduction zone season?

No. The bonus antlerless License cannot be used to fulfill the deer reduction zone bag limit. You must buy a deer reduction zone license to hunt in these zones when working towards deer reduction zone bag limits.

How many licenses can I buy? How many deer can I harvest?

You are permitted to buy one firearms License, two archery or crossbow licenses, one muzzleloader license, and 10 deer reduction zone licenses. Each county has a bonus antlerless bag limit ranging from zero to eight. You are permitted to purchase and use the number of bonus antlerless licenses that each county allows. Each license will allow you to harvest one deer (exceptions: youth licenses, deer license bundle, lifetime license). Check the deer season bag limit summary in the hunting and trapping guide.

How much do the licenses cost?

Each deer license costs $39 for an Indiana resident and $240 for a non-resident. In addition, the second and subsequent bonus antlerless licenses cost $24 for residents and $39 for non-residents. See all license fees.

How much does a deer license bundle cost?

The resident deer license bundle costs $91, the nonresident deer license bundle costs $550, and the nonresident youth deer license bundle costs $91. A resident youth should purchase a youth hunt/trap license for $12 which covers all deer seasons and bag limits. See all license fees. I bought a(n) archery, crossbow, firearms, muzzleloader, deer bundle, and/or deer reduction zone license. Will the first bonus antlerless license I buy be discounted?

No. Your first bonus antlerless license will cost you $39 for a resident or $240 for a non-resident. Your second and subsequent bonus antlerless licenses will cost $24 for a resident or $39 for a non-resident.

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What kind of license do I need to buy for the deer reduction zone?

A deer reduction zone, resident youth hunt/trap, lifetime comprehensive hunting, or lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing license is required to hunt in the deer reduction zones unless you meet a license exemption.

Can I use an archery, crossbow, deer bundle, firearms, muzzleloader, or bonus antlerless license to hunt in a deer reduction zone?

Yes and no. Hunters may harvest deer with these licenses in deer reduction zones (during the appropriate seasons), but those deer will go toward the hunter’s archery/crossbow, firearms, muzzleloader, or bonus antlerless county bag limit. Only deer harvested under a deer reduction zone license count toward the hunter’s deer reduction zone bag limit.

What kind of license do I need to have for the special antlerless firearms season?

You need a bonus antlerless license, deer license bundle, lifetime comprehensive hunting license, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing license, resident youth hunt/trap license, or meet a license exemption. When archery and deer reduction zone seasons overlap the special antlerless firearm season, you may also continue to hunt those seasons with the appropriate licenses.

What kind of license do I need to have in order to hunt with a crossbow?

A crossbow license is required to hunt with a crossbow during the archery season unless that individual has a valid resident youth hunt/trap, deer license bundle, lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting, and fishing license, a bonus antlerless license, or is exempt from needing a license. Hunters may also use crossbows when hunting with a deer reduction zone license, as long as there are no local restrictions against crossbows in the area they plan to hunt.

What kind of license do I need to buy to register for the military/refuge deer hunts?

In order to register for the military/refuge hunts, you need to possess any valid deer hunting license, including all resident deer licenses, non-resident deer licenses, youth license, or lifetime comprehensive license.

What kind of license do I need to hunt on a military/refuge deer hunts?

In most situations, it is best to use a military/refuge license because the harvested deer will not count against your statewide bag limits. You may, however, use a resident or non-resident deer license (archery, crossbow, firearm, muzzleloader, deer bundle, youth hunt/trap, lifetime comprehensive, bonus antlerless license), but these licenses can only be used when the military or refuge hunt coincides with the season in which the license is valid and the harvested deer will count against your statewide bag limits.

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What kind of license do I need to buy to register for the state park deer reduction hunts?

In order to register for the state park deer reduction hunt, you need to purchase a resident deer license, a youth license (must be 18 years of age by the first day of the first hunt to apply), or possess a lifetime comprehensive license. The purchase of an additional license is not required when drawn to hunt deer in a state park.

I have already taken my quota of bonus antlerless deer in my county. Can I take a deer during the special antlerless firearms season in that county?

No. Once you reach the bonus antlerless quota limit for your county, you can no longer utilize a bonus antlerless license in that particular county (or any multi-use license that would be used as a bonus antlerless license in that season, e.g., a deer license bundle).

I have already taken my quota of bonus antlerless deer in my county. Can I use a bonus antlerless license in another county?

Yes. You are allowed to take the bonus antlerless quota limit in each county in Indiana.

Can I use a landowner’s exemption if I lease farmland for hunting?

No. The exemption is for farmland owners and lessees of farmland that farm that land.

What are the exemptions to purchasing a hunting license?

  1. Indiana farmland owners, their spouses, and dependent children living with them.
  2. Resident lessees of farmland who farm that land, their spouses, and dependent children living with them with permission from the landowner.
  3. A resident of Indiana engaged in full-time military service and who is carrying leave orders and a valid Indiana driver’s license or voter registration card.
  4. An individual who is less than 13 years of age; does not possess a bow or firearm; and is accompanied by an individual who is at least 18 years of age and holds a valid license.
  5. Residents or non-residents participating in a field trial sanctioned by the DNR Director.
  6. Non-resident military personnel on active duty and stationed within Indiana may hunt and/or fish with a resident license.
  7. A non-resident youth younger than 18 years old may hunt, trap, and/or fish with a resident license if their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian is an Indiana resident.
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>