Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.
New Waterfowl Zones:
The new waterfowl zones are shown in the map to the below. A detailed description of these zones can be found on the waterfowl counts page.
Migratory game birds include:
Migratory game bird and waterfowl hunting dates are set by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with Indiana and other states.
No person shall take migratory game birds:
Anyone hunting migratory gamebirds (ducks, mergansers, coots, geese, doves, woodcock, sora, snipe) must have an Indiana hunting license and a HIP registration number. An Indiana waterfowl stamp privilege, purchased through a local retailer (see page 1), is also required for hunting ducks and geese. A game bird habitat stamp also is required to hunt mourning doves.
Licenses and stamp privileges are available from retailers and most Department of Natural Resources properties throughout the state.
Commemorative (traditional) waterfowl stamps do not convey hunting privileges. Additionally, anyone 16 years old or older must have a signed Federal duck stamp when hunting ducks and geese. Landowners or lessees, hunting on farmed land they own or lease, need to get a a Federal duck stamp when hunting waterfowl, and a free HIP registration number (call 1-866-671-4499 for a HIP number). Order federal duck stamps by calling 1-800-782-6724 or by visiting the federal duck stamps website and following the directions to the proper links.
Be sure to check at area headquarters concerning open hunting areas and other special regulations that are in effect on all fish and wildlife areas and reservoirs.
Reserved waterfowl hunts will be held at Goose Pond, LaSalle, Kingsbury, Hovey Lake, Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife areas, Lake Monroe and Brookville Reservoir. Reserved Hunt Information and applications are available online.
For more information concerning waterfowl hunting on state-owned properties, contact the property.
Hunters are required to use approved nontoxic shot while hunting all waterfowl. As of this printing, non-toxic shots currently approved for use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron (two types), tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-bronze, tungsten-tin-bismuth, tungsten-tin-iron-nickel, tungsten-nickel-iron, tungsten-iron-copper-nickel, tungsten-tin-iron and steel shot. Copper-plated, zinc chromate-plated, 2 zinc chloride-plated and nickel-plated steel shot is approved as long as the plating represents less than one percent of the shot’s weight. Lead shot plated with copper, nickel or other material does not qualify. It is illegal to possess shells loaded with anything other than approved nontoxic shot while hunting ducks, geese and coots anywhere in the state. Additional shot restrictions may be in place at select state fish and wildlife areas. For details, check with the property where you plan to hunt.
It is illegal to hunt migratory birds (ducks, mergansers, coots, geese, doves, woodcock, sora, snipe) with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun. It is illegal to use a shotgun larger than 10-gauge.
Migratory game birds may be hunted from a motorboat provided it is beached, resting at anchor, tied to a stationary object, or without motion other than that imparted by wind and current acting upon the hull, or due to hand-operated oars or paddles.
While in the field or traveling from the field to your home, migratory game birds in your possession must have one fully feathered wing or head attached to the carcass for identification purposes.
All migratory game birds killed or crippled shall be retrieved, if possible, and retained in the custody of the hunter in the field. You may retrieve dead or injured birds by hand or from a motorboat under power, but crippled birds may not be shot from a boat under power or in motion due to motor power.
Shooting hours for geese and ducks are 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours may vary at some DNR properties. Check property regulations before hunting.
Indiana waterfowlers must have an Indiana hunting license and appropriate stamps and hunt only when the waterfowl season is open in Indiana when hunting on the Indiana shoreline of the Ohio River, including tributaries and embayments. Hunting from the mainstem (only) of the Ohio River can be with either state’s hunting license and appropriate stamp(s) and must be during the open season in the state for which you are licensed. A person hunting on the Ohio River in Kentucky embayments, tributaries, islands, and on the Kentucky shoreline must have a Kentucky hunting license and appropriate stamp(s) and hunt only when the waterfowl season is open in Kentucky.
No person shall ship migratory game birds unless the package is marked on the outside with: (a) the name and address of the person sending the birds, (b) the name and address of the person to whom the birds are being sent, and (c) the number of birds, by species, contained in the package.
All waterfowl hunters are urged to report bird bands to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Call 1-800-327-BAND (1-800-327-2263). During the hunting season, operators are on duty 8 am to 4:30 pm EST, Monday through Friday. You may also report the bands by visiting http://www.reportband.gov/. Band information is used in the management of waterfowl populations, and assists biologists in providing optimum hunting opportunities where possible.
No person or business shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged
Licensed hunters in Indiana must register with the National Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) before they hunt ducks, mergansers, coots, geese, doves, woodcock, sora, snipe.
Hunters must register for a HIP number online or over the phone and provide the information requested. After registering, the hunter is given a validation number to record on his or her license. This number is valid from the date of registration through the close of the last current migratory bird hunting season. Lifetime license holders must also register with HIP. Resident landowners and tenants who hunt on their own land must also now register with HIP.
Hunters need only register once each season, not each time they hunt. In addition to providing their name and address, hunters are asked questions designed to identify which species they hunted last year and, in some cases, the number of birds they harvested.
HIP is a joint effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies. The program is designed to improve harvest estimates for migratory game birds nationwide. Once the harvest information is gathered, the information is used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and states to ensure that decisions regarding hunting seasons are soundly based on scientific evidence.