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Special Antlerless Firearms Season

Need to Know

  • The Special Antlerless Firearms season is CLOSED in 2021-2022.

History of the Special Antlerless Firearms Season

  • In 2012, a Special Antlerless Firearms season was implemented for the first time in 74 Indiana counties to increase antlerless harvests, specifically in counties that had county bonus antlerless quotas (CBAQs) of four or more.
    • The special season ultimately had little effect on annual antlerless harvests.
    • CBAQs were gradually lowered across the state, and fewer counties had CBAQs high enough to be included in the special season.
  • In 2019, an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) across southern Indiana led to an emergency rule change that lowered all CBAQs to two or fewer. The 19 counties that had CBAQs of four prior to the EHD outbreak were left open to the special season.
  • In 2020, no counties had CBAQs of four, and none were to be open for the special season under the original rule language. A temporary rule change was issued for the 2020-2021 hunting season that opened the Special Antlerless Firearms season statewide, except in Benton and Tipton counties.
  • A set of questions about the Special Antlerless Firearms Season was asked in the 2021 Indiana Deer Management Survey to assess public support for the season.
    • 43% of respondents supported and 27% opposed the special season.
    • 24% of respondents participated in the 2020-2021 special season.
    • 22% of surveyed participants successfully harvested a deer during the special season.
    • A complete report of this survey will be included in the 2020 Indiana White-tailed Deer Report available on Deer Management & Reports webpage.
  • In 2021, no counties have CBAQs of four or more, thus the Special Antlerless Firearms season is closed.  Until a county has a CBAQ high enough to qualify for the season, the Special Antlerless Firearms Season will remain closed statewide.

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