Living with Wildlife
The Department of Natural Resources does not provide services for problem wildlife. If necessary, you can reach out to a qualified Wildlife or Waterfowl Control Operator to deal with problem wildlife (such as causing damage or posing a threat to people or domestic animals). Operators name their own rates and fees.
For more information, contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife at (317) 232-4200 or dfw@dnr.IN.gov. If you need a wild animal control permit, please contact the DNR Permit Coordinator at (317) 232-4102 or apply for a permit application.
Domesticated animals are not regulated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Small Mammal Removal
A resident landowner or tenant can legally capture the following species of wild animals without a permit on the property that he/she owns or rents if the animal is causing or threatening to cause damage to property, or is posing a health or safety threat to people or domestic animals.
- Gray Fox
- Red Fox
- Fox Squirrel
- Gray Squirrel
- Long-tailed Weasel
The landowner/tenant also can designate another person to take that animal for them if:
- The landowner/tenant provides written permission (which must be on the person while taking the animal),
- AND no compensation of any kind is given to the person who takes the animal.
- A hunting or trapping license or nuisance wild animal control permit is required to take wild animals on land that you do not own or rent.
Within 24 hours of capture, the person who takes the animal must release it or euthanize it. Animals that are released must be released on land in the county where it was captured. Furthermore, the landowner or property manager must give permission for the release. These nuisance animals cannot be possessed for more than 24 hours and cannot be sold, traded, bartered or gifted.
If you want to trap or shoot rabbits, you will need a nuisance wild animal control permit from the DNR, or you will need take them during the rabbit season and use only those methods legal during the open rabbit season (firearms can only be used where legal). Cage traps (wire or wood) that are baited with dried apples or dry ear corn can be effective in capturing cottontail rabbits.
Landowners, or a person with written permission from a landowner, may take coyotes year-round on private property by snaring, trapping or shooting without a permit from the DNR. A landowner does not need a permit to take coyotes on his/her property by one of these methods, but a hunting or trapping license is required to hunt or trap coyotes on land other than your own. Be sure to check local ordinances before using any firearms.
Other Small Mammal Removal
The species listed below can be captured or killed year-round without a permit or hunting or trapping license from the DNR, and there are no limits to the number of these species that can be taken.
- Common (Norway) Rats
The following species of birds can be taken without a permit if the birds are committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock or wildlife, or are concentrated in numbers and in a manner that constitutes a health hazard or nuisance as provided under 50 CFR 16 (federal law). Be sure to check local ordinances prior to using pyrotechnics or firearms.
- Brewer’s Blackbirds
- Red-winged Blackbirds
- Brown-headed Cowbirds
- Common Grackles
The following can be taken without a permit at any time. Be sure to check local ordinances prior to using pyrotechnics or firearms.
- Monk parakeets
- Rock (feral) pigeons (not including homing pigeons)
- House sparrows
- European starlings
A resident landowner or tenant can legally capture a mute swan the property that he/she owns or rents if the animal is causing or threatening to cause damage to property, or posing a health or safety threat to people or domestic animals.* Within 24 hours of capture, the person who takes the animal must release it or euthanize it. These animals cannot be possessed for more than 24 hours and cannot be sold, traded, bartered or gifted.
*In circumstances where mute swans are residents of a community or a lake association, a wild animal control permit will need to be obtained.
- Cottontail Rabbit
- Eastern Mole
- Feral / Wild Hog
- Fox Squirrel
- Gray Squirrel
- Groundhog (Woodchuck)
- Red Fox
- River Otter
- Striped Skunk
- White-tailed Deer