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Wild Turkey Hunting Biology and Management

Two tom turkeys fighting

Wild turkey hunting

Indiana spring wild turkey season starts April 24 and goes through May 12, 2024. Youth turkey season is April 20 and 21, 2024. Youth age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt can participate in the youth season but must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age and licensed to hunt wild turkey (unless exempt from license requirements under state law). The youth hunter must comply with all other turkey hunting regulations. The youth’s adult partner may not take a turkey during the youth season and must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while in the field, except for a handgun carried lawfully.

The bag limit during the spring season is one bearded or male turkey. The youth hunter may take only one bearded or male wild turkey in the spring, which includes both the youth and regular spring turkey seasons.

Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide. Wild turkeys may be hunted only from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All DNR properties managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife have spring turkey season hunting hours one-half hour before sunrise until noon for properties on Central Time and until 1 p.m. for properties on Eastern Time.

To hunt wild turkey during the spring season, a valid spring turkey hunting license and Game Bird Habitat stamp privilege are required. Those who have a lifetime comprehensive hunting, lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, or resident youth hunt/trap license can hunt wild turkey and do not need to purchase the Game Bird Habitat stamp privilege.

Fall season

Indiana fall wild turkey season runs Oct. 1–27, 2024, and Dec. 7, 2024–Jan. 5, 2025. Fall firearms season is from Oct. 16–27, 2024, in select counties. These counties are selected based on a combination of criteria, including amount of forest cover, spring turkey harvest metrics, availability of harvest opportunities, and what’s happening with turkeys and habitat at a regional level within Indiana.

There is no designated youth turkey hunting season in the fall. Youth hunters are welcome to hunt fall turkey and must comply with all turkey hunting regulations.

Bag and possession limit for the fall season is one bird of either sex, regardless of hunting equipment used or portion of the season hunted in. The wearing of hunter orange is required when the season overlaps with deer muzzleloader season, Dec. 7–22, 2024. Turkeys must still be checked in using the CheckIN Game system within 48 hours of kill and follow temporary transportation tagging requirements.

Turkeys can be hunted only with:

  • A 410 caliber and 10-, 12-, 16-, 20-, or 28-gauge shotgun loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 7½, and Tungsten Super Shot 9 and 10. Non-toxic shot is required while hunting turkey on some DNR properties. Call the property you are interested in hunting on for additional information.
  • A muzzleloading shotgun not smaller than 20-gauge and not larger than 10-gauge, loaded with pellets of size 4, 5, 6, 7, 7½, and Tungsten Super Shot 9 and 10. Combination loads using shot sizes other than these are illegal.
  • Bow and arrow
  • A crossbow

View additional turkey hunting regulations

Fish & Wildlife Areas can have different property-specific requirements around turkey hunting.  Find a property and visit the hunting tab to learn more.

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