Access Program Providing Land Enhancements (APPLE)

Hunter shoots bird in grassland
Quail

Access Program Providing Land Enhancements (APPLE) offers financial incentives to landowners who allow controlled public access hunting on their private lands. Wildlife biologists will also work with landowners to establish and improve habitat.

Public hunting opportunities are limited. APPLE's focus is on providing access for gamebird hunting of species such as pheasant and quail. Since Indiana is 96 percent privately owned, it makes sense to increase public access hunting opportunities on private lands.

In cooperation with the Grasslands for Gamebirds and Songbirds program (GGS), the five regions targeted for participation in APPLE are:

  • Focal Region 1 (west central Indiana): Sullivan and Daviess counties, Greene County west of U.S. 231, Clay County south of U.S. 40
  • Focal Region 2 (southwest Indiana): Gibson, Pike, Warrick, and Spencer counties.
  • Focal Region 3 (southeast Indiana): Ripley and Scott counties, Jackson and Jennings counties south of US 50.
  • Focal Region 4 (northwest Indiana): Benton and White counties, Jasper and Newton counties south of State Road 10, Warren County north of State Road 28
  • Focal Region 5 (northeast Indiana): All of LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and Dekalb counties.

Program details for:

  • Landowners

    Habitat

    • Eligible landowners who enroll into the program will work with a wildlife biologist to develop a management plan.
    • The plan will be used to maintain eligibility in the program.
    • The developed management plan will address landowner and program objectives for the desired species on each tract.
    • Landowners will receive an incentive payment for each activity and season they allow public access for APPLE activities (see payment schedule below).
    • Landowners will be eligible for cost share monies to improve or maintain targeted habitats on their property as specified in the management plan.

    Liability

    • Each successfully drawn APPLE access hunter is required to sign a liability waiver before participating in an APPLE hunt.
    • Liability for all activities on APPLE tracts of land is covered under the state of Indiana Agrotourism Law (IC 34-31-9).

    Additional information

    • Either the landowner or DNR may withdraw from the program at any time during the year with a 60-day written notice.
    • APPLE contracts can be for 3three or five years.
    • Any tract enrolled in an APPLE contract that has a management plan developed must complete required habitat management and participate in at least one hunting season for the species which the tract was developed before withdrawal can occur.
    • All hunting access is reserved solely for successfully drawn participants during the APPLE access dates for any tract.
    • Participating landowners can still hunt their tract for species other than those targeted by the APPLE program.
    • Landowners will forego hunting access for target species until after the last reserved hunt date has passed.
    • APPLE payments to landowners will be made in December following the approved activities for the calendar year.
    • APPLE signs will be placed at designated parking areas and any undefined boundaries will be clearly marked by the landowner.

    Incentive annual payments

    Small Game Access Lease: $8 an acre
    Intensive Gamebird Management Lease: $25 an acre
  • Hunters
    • All APPLE hunters must have been drawn through the online reserved hunt system.
    • All Apple hunters must have an APPLE permit/ID number.
    • A limited number of individuals will be allowed to access the property on any given day. All hunters will be restricted to foot traffic only and non-motorized watercraft.
    • All hunters must follow all laws and obtain all necessary permits and licenses as outlined in the IN Hunting Guide.
    • For hunting access, an APPLE hunter must apply for a specific date and region in which they would like to hunt. Maximum 1 hunting choice per applicant per year.
    • Hunter applicants may be placed into an APPLE lottery to determine which hunt site that they will be able to access.
    • Successful hunters will be notified approx. 3-4 weeks prior to the start of their requested APPLE hunt date.
    • Space is limited. Not all applicants will be successful in applying/reserving a site for APPLE activities.
    • All hunters will need to complete and return their permit.
    • Successfully drawn hunters may bring up to two hunting partners with them on their hunt.

    Reserved small game hunt drawings

    Quail/pheasant/woodcock

    1. Area would be hunted during quail, pheasant, woodcock, and/or small game hunting seasons in Indiana. Specific dates will be determined annually.
    2. Each hunting date will have a specific hunting party from 1 to 3 persons.
    3. Hunting hours will be from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST on APPLE hunt dates. Each tract must be at least 20 acres in size.
    4. Each area enrolled in the APPLE program will be easily identifiable and posted by DNR personnel.
    5. Each tract must provide access to a parking spot or designated parking location.

    Intensive management unit for quail/pheasant/woodcock

    1. Area would be hunted during quail, pheasant, woodcock, and/or small game hunting seasons in Indiana. Specific dates will be determined annually.
    2. Each hunting date will have a specific hunting party from 1 to 3 persons.
    3. Hunting hours will be from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. EST on APPLE hunt dates. Each tract must be at least 40 acres in size.
    4. Each area enrolled in the APPLE program will be easily identifiable and posted by DNR personnel.
    5. Each tract must provide access to a parking spot or designated parking location
    6. Each tract will be intensively managed under the direction of IDNR-DFW personnel to benefit target gamebird species. This practice will come with increased incentive payment.

Read more about APPLE in these fact sheets:

Join the program by contacting: