A favorite fall activity for many Hoosiers is spending time in the great outdoors hunting. Indiana has always welcomed hunters and hosts more than 300,000 people participating in deer-hunting activities. Before going out to get your fill of the fall game, there is important information to know to better ensure your safety and keep those around you out of harm’s way.
Tips to ensure safe hunting include having a plan before you hunt, knowing your target and what is beyond it, carrying emergency equipment and marking all ground blinds with 144 inches of solid hunter orange, as required by law. Falling from tree stands account for the majority of our state’s hunting injuries. Make sure your tree stand is safely secured to a live, healthy, full-grown tree. Remember to always climb up then pull your gear up once you are safely harnessed to your stand. Let your family know where your tree stand is located in case of an emergency. Be careful and follow directions when using this equipment.
The first thing you need in order to hunt in Indiana is a hunting license. Both fishing and hunting licenses can be purchased at various retailers throughout the state or on the DNR’s website. If you were born after Dec. 31, 1986, you must have completed the one-time hunter education class through the DNR to purchase a hunting license. Some of our local schools offer the hunter’s education class or you can take it online. To sign up for the online course or to find dates and locations for nearby classroom courses, visit www.hunter-ed.com/indiana.
Indiana has multiple hunting seasons, which determine what animal to hunt and what you can use while hunting. Most of the hunting seasons take place in the fall. Currently, we are in bow hunting deer season, which lasts until Jan. 1. Firearm deer season is Nov. 12-27. There are multiple dates for different game like wild turkey or quail. More information on these seasons can be found at www.in.gov/dnr.
You are allowed to harvest one buck a year; however, it is up to county officials to determine the limit of antlerless deer you are allowed to bag to help preserve our state’s wildlife population. Make sure you know the harvesting limit based on the county you are hunting in.
Unused venison can also be donated to food banks. Donations can be made through the Sportsmen’s Benevolent Fund and is coordinated by Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Indiana Farms and Hunters Feed the Hungry. Local locations to donate your venison are Manchester Deer Processing, Westport Locker, French’s Locker, Hunter’s Choice, Pate Custom Meat Processing and Wayne’s Meats. Last year, more than 67,300 pounds of venison were donated by Indiana sportsmen and sportswomen to help feed the hungry.
Stay safe this hunting season and best of luck!
Please contact me with any questions or input at 317-234-3827 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/67.
State Rep. Frye (R-Greensburg) represents House District 67, which includes Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Decatur, Jennings, Jefferson and Dearborn counties.
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