Turkey hunters and anyone else visiting or planning to visit an Indiana fish & wildlife area (FWA), state forest property, or lake/reservoir state recreation area will need to be aware that spring turkey season starts April 18, and that rules for visiting those respective state properties during turkey season differ.
Turkey hunting is not permitted at Indiana state parks nor on stand-alone nature preserves managed by the Division of Nature Preserves. Locations open for turkey hunting, including property contact information, are listed at on.IN.gov/where2hunt. Unless otherwise specified, the general turkey hunting rules allow hunting 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
Spring turkey hunting season runs from April 18-19 and April 22-May 10. As in previous years, the following rules are in place to help prevent conflicts and possibly unsafe situations between turkey hunters and other property users. Abiding by these rules helps ensure a high-quality and safe outdoor experience for all DNR property users.
FWAs will restrict property hours for visitors during these dates. Only visitors who are turkey hunting or participating in water-based recreation (i.e., fishing, kayaking, boating) away from turkey hunters are allowed to be on FWA property each day of turkey season, from 30 minutes before sunrise until 1 p.m. ET (noon CT). Turkey hunters on FWAs must stop hunting at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) and be out of the field within the next hour. After 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) each day of turkey season, other property users are allowed to enter the property for other permitted activities, such as nature walks or mushroom hunting.
On state forest properties, hunters and other visitors during turkey season need to be aware that those properties have no restrictions on hunters regarding hunting times. Rather, state forest properties restrict turkey hunters from being in designated safety areas at all times throughout the season. Non-hunters are welcome to use these safety zones while being aware hunters are likely present in other parts of the property.
Lakes/reservoir wildlife management units managed by the DNR Division of State Parks, at Brookville Lake, Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber SRA), Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon SRA), Hardy Lake, Mississinewa Lake, Monroe Lake, Patoka Lake and Salamonie Lake permit turkey hunting.
All of those lakes/reservoirs, except Mississinewa and Salamonie, allow turkey hunting during the hours of 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Mississinewa and Salamonie, which can only be hunted through a draw, have turkey hunting hours from 30 minutes before sunrise to 1 p.m. ET (noon CT). Non-hunting visitors must be aware that hunters will be present during those times.
For more information on overall turkey hunting safety, see wildlife.IN.gov/2710.htm.
Questions on turkey hunting safety should be directed to Capt. Jet Quillen, DNR Law Enforcement, 317-903-1617, jquillen@dnr.IN.gov. Questions about turkey hunting on FWAs should be directed to Tom Despot, 574-896-3522, tdespot@dnr.IN.gov Questions about turkey hunting on state forest properties should be directed to Brad Schneck, 317-232-4101, bschneck@dnr.IN.gov. Questions about turkey hunting on lake/reservoir SRAs should be directed to Anthony Sipes, 317-232-4128, asipes@dnr.IN.gov