September 22, 2023

Indiana Adds Hunting Seasons For Kids

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources this year will provide kids under the age of 16 a chance at their own hunting seasons for deer, turkey and small game. Of course there are limitations but here’s the deal in a nutshell.

For small game hunting the season will run September 2 and 3. That’s the first weekend of the month. Small game will include mourning dove, squirrel, Canada goose and whatever else is in season at that time.

For the small game season the youth don’t require a hunting license nor are they required to take a hunter safety course. No stamps are needed and basically they must abide by all other hunting regulations. They must also be accompanied by a license-carrying person at least 18 years old. The adult cannot hold, carry or fire a gun or bow and arrow. They must be in close enough proximity to be able to communicate and keep track of the youth at all times. The adult can assist with calling game.

Later in September, the 23rd and 24th, the same age youth will have a deer hunting season. In this case the hunter must have a junior license, which means completing the necessary hunter safety course. The accompanying adult, who must be at least 18 does not need a hunting license. Both people must wear hunter orange.

The junior hunter must abide by all hunting regulations and is entitled to one antlerless deer. It should be noted that this deer would be in addition to any other deer taken during any other season. This is good because in many states, like Maine, if a youth bags a deer during youth hunt, they’re done for the season.

What I also find a bit odd with these two hunts is the fact that during the small game season, the accompanying adult needs a hunting license and the kid doesn’t. During the deer season, the kid does and the adult doesn’t – the same with the special youth turkey hunt. I guess I need someone smarter than I am to explain the reasoning for that.

There will also be a youth wild turkey season taking place in April – the 21st and 22nd. The hunter must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 and will be allowed one bearded or male turkey.

The youth must be properly licensed for the special spring turkey hunt but the accompanying adult does not need to be.

Please refer to the Indiana Hunting Guide for details on these regulations and all other season dates, bag limits, etc.

Tom Remington