Epizootic hemorrhagic disease update: Bonus Antlerless Quotas for the 2023-2024 deer hunting seasons released – Fayette County and Franklin County Bonus Antlerless Quotas lowered to zero (0) because of severe EHD outbreak in 2022. Details.
The 2023-2024 deer hunting seasons are as follows:
- Reduction Zone: Sept. 15, 2023 - Jan. 31, 2024 (where open)
- Youth Season: Sept. 23-24, 2023
- Archery: Oct. 1, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024
- Firearm: Nov. 18 - Dec. 3, 2023
- Muzzleloader: Dec. 9-24, 2023
A full list of season dates, bag limits, and legal equipment can be found on the deer-hunting question and answers page.
A resident youth hunt/trap, deer hunting, or comprehensive lifetime hunting license is required to hunt for deer unless you meet one of the license exemptions. All deer harvested in Indiana must be reported within 48 hours of the time of harvest at an on-site check station, online, through your Indiana Fish & Wildlife Account, or by phone at 1-800-419-1326. There is a $3 charge for the phone service, payable only by Visa or Mastercard. For more information, see our Deer Hunting Questions page.
Carcasses of deer and other wild animals that are lawfully taken cannot be dumped in streams or other bodies of water. Dumping dead deer and other wild animals in a waterway is considered littering and is a criminal offense punishable by a fine. Rotting carcasses in a waterway can also affect water quality for those downstream. Carcasses should not be burned because this can cause air pollution. Carcasses shouldn’t be left in the open for scavengers and others to see without permission from the landowner. We recommend all discarded carcasses and unwanted animal parts be bagged, placed in your trash, and sent to a landfill.
- Licensing and Regulations
- Find Hunting Opportunities
- Gear Up: What You Need Before You Hunt
- Successful Hunter To-Do List and Supplies
- Venison Donation Opportunities
- Venison Recipes
- Deer Biology
- Living with Deer
- Deer Management
- Indiana Deer News
Indiana is the No. 1 Big Buck State!
Yes, you read correctly.
Based on Boone & Crockett records, Indiana has been the top trophy white-tailed deer state per square mile since 2016.
There are several reasons why Indiana is such a great place to hunt for trophy bucks. First, the state has a large and healthy deer population. The Indiana DNR manages the deer herds in each county with the goals of providing ample opportunities for hunters to harvest deer and ensuring that white-tailed deer populations are sustained every year. The bag limit of one buck per season helps the buck population age and grow larger antlers, which provides greater opportunities for hunters to harvest a buck they want.
Along with successful population management methods like hunting, habitat management and research, Indiana’s trophy buck hunting is supported by excellent deer habitat. The state‘s mixture of forests, fields, and wetlands provides ideal habitat for white-tailed deer. While the forests provide cover, the excellent soil in the fields and wetlands provides food. Indiana’s extensive network of small roads, fields, and other open areas in forests also create edge habitat that attract deer.
The vast amount of land available to hunt in Indiana also provides many opportunities to hunt trophy bucks. Between state DNR-managed lands and federally managed land, more than 1,000 square miles of public land is open to hunting in Indiana. Along with public land, there is also plenty of private land available for deer hunting through the Indiana Private Lands Access (IPLA) program.
Here are some tips for hunting trophy bucks in Indiana:
- Hunt during the rut, the time of year when deer are most active and looking for mates.
- Find the areas with the best deer habitat and hunt them.
- Make sure you have the proper gear, comfortable clothing, and snacks.
- Be patient. Hunting for trophy bucks is challenging. Harvesting one is often a once-in-lifetime event. Be prepared to put in the time and effort required.
If you're looking for a great place to hunt for trophy bucks, Indiana is the place to go.
Real time reported deer harvest
Harvest numbers are updated as deer are checked in via CheckIN Game. Numbers are raw data that have not been verified by Indiana DNR.