Indiana's Turkey Season Opens Oct. 1st

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Indiana's 2009 fall turkey season begins Oct. 1 with the opening of the archery-only portion of the season. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 25, fall turkey hunters can use archery equipment in selected counties.

Those counties are: Bartholomew, Benton, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, DeKalb, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Gibson, Grant (west of Interstate 69), Greene, Harrison, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Ripley, St. Joseph, Scott, Spencer, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wayne and White.

(Note: Jackson County also was omitted from this list on page 20 of the 2009-10 Hunting and Trapping Guide, but should be listed.)

From Oct. 21 through Oct. 25, hunters may use firearms or archery equipment in only these counties: Brown, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Dearborn, Dubois, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Sullivan, Switzerland, Vermillion, Vigo, Union, Warrick and Washington, as shown on page 20 of the 2009-10 Hunting and Trapping Guide, the second page of the wild turkey hunting regulations.

The bag and possession limit for the fall season is one bird of either sex.

Hunters must possess one of the following licenses (unless exempt - see pages 3 and 4 of the hunting guide - those exempt from needing a license as described on pages 3-4 of the guide are also exempt from needing the game bird habitat stamp): fall turkey hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting/fishing, resident youth consolidated hunting, nonresident youth fall turkey hunting, or apprentice license of one of these types to legally pursue turkeys. In addition, a valid game bird habitat stamp privilege is required except for those with a lifetime comprehensive hunting license, lifetime comprehensive hunting/fishing license, or resident youth consolidated hunting license. Hunter education is required for anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986; however, individuals of any age may buy an apprentice license without having to take hunter education. Individuals are limited to three apprentice hunting licenses in their lifetime. Special apprentice hunting license rules apply.

Legal archery equipment includes long bows, compound bows, recurve bows and crossbows. Legal firearms include 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge shotguns loaded with 4, 5, 6, 7 or 7 ½ shot. Muzzleloading shotguns that meet the above requirement are legal.

According to Steve Backs, Indiana's turkey biologist, hunters should expect harvest numbers to vary by geographic location.

"The 2009 summer production success appears to have been quite variable throughout the turkey range due to the generally cool, wet weather. Some areas of Indiana experienced flash and bottomland flooding during the critical early brood season in early summer. Other areas were not affected," Backs said.

Overall, Backs said he anticipates the fall harvest to resemble last year's season.

"The 2008 fall harvest was 610 birds. I would expect the 2009 fall harvest to be around 600 to 650 birds," he said.

Anyone with questions regarding fall turkey hunting rules and regulations should first consult the Indiana 2009-2010 Hunting and Trapping Guide, which is available at most sporting goods retailers and online at (and note the omission listed earlier). For further assistance, contact a conservation officer at North Region Headquarters (765) 473-9722 or South Region Headquarters (812) 837-9536.