Turkey Decoys are used in almost every state in the nation
Special care should be taken whenever you use a jake turkey decoy or a tom turkey decoy as they may attract other hunters who may attempt to shoot your turkey decoy and hurt you in
the process. Turkey decoys are just a small part of the hunt but always think safety when turkey hunting.
Below are some item copied from Indiana’s game and fish rules and tips on turkey hunting and turkey decoys.
Season and Bag Limits:
Spring – The spring season is April 27-May 15, 2011. The bag limit is one bearded or male turkey for the spring season. Spring turkey hunting is allowed statewide.
Fall – The bag and possession limit for the fall seasons is one bird of either sex, regardless of hunting equipment used or what portion of the season. Bag limits and licenses do not carry over to the fall season, in other words, if you do not harvest a turkey in the spring season, you do not get to take an additional turkey in the fall season. Fall archery season is statewide. Fall firearm season has specific dates for specific counties (see below).
• Fall archery (including crossbows): Oct. 1 – 30, 2011 and Dec. 3, 2011 to Jan. 7, 2012 – Statewide.
• Fall firearm: Oct.19 – 23, 2011 in the following counties only:
– DeKalb, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben.
• Fall firearm: October 19 – 30, 2011, in the following counties only:
– Bartholomew, Brown, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Dubois, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Gibson, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Knox, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Ripley, Scott, Spencer, Sullivan, Switzer- land, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren, Warrick, Washington.
Youth Season: Youth age 17 years or younger can hunt wild turkeys during a special season on April 23 and 24, 2011. The youth hunter may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow. The adult accompanying the youth hunter must be at least 18 years of age, must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while in the field, and does not need to possess a turkey hunting license. The youth hunter may take only one bearded or male wild turkey during the spring season, inclusive of the youth and regular spring turkey seasons. The youth
must be properly licensed to take a wild turkey and comply with all tagging and check-in requirements.
Legal Equipment: Turkeys can be hunted only with:
• A 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge shotgun loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 71⁄2.
• A muzzleloading shotgun not smaller than 20-gauge and not larger than 10-gauge, loaded with pellets of size No. 4, 5, 6, 7 or 71⁄2. Combination loads using shot sizes other than these are illegal.
• Bow and arrow • A crossbow
Hunting Hours: Wild turkeys may be hunted only from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. All Fish and Wildlife Areas, Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes have spring season hunting hours one-half hour before sunrise until noon for properties on CDT and until 1 p.m. for properties on EDT. Call the property for additional information.
Tagging: A temporary transporta- tion tag is no longer provided with the turkey hunting license. All hunters must immediately tag the turkey with a paper stating the name, the complete address, and the license number (if applicable) of the person who killed the turkey; date the turkey was taken; and the sex of the turkey taken before transporting it from the field. The feathers and beard of a wild turkey must remain attached while the turkey is in transit from the site where taken. A sample turkey tag can be downloaded here.
Checking: If you are successful in bagging a turkey, you must have it checked at an official turkey check station within 48 hours of harvest or before leaving the state. While at the official turkey check station, you must attach a permanent transportation tag or seal provided at the check station. The tag or seal must remain on the turkey until processing begins. Link to check station site.
hunting.IN.govFluorescent (hunter) orange: Archery hunters must meet fluorescent (hunter) orange requirements while hunting turkeys December 3 – 18. The minimum requirement is one or more of the follow- ing articles exposed at all times that are solid fluorescent orange – vest, coat, jacket, coveralls, hat or cap. Minimal logos or patches are allowed. Camou- flage patterned orange garments do not satisfy the requirement.
Handguns: An individual must not possess a handgun while hunting wild turkeys or while accompanying the youth hunter during the youth season unless the individual possesses a valid unlimited license to carry a handgun issued under IC 35-47-2; or is not required to possess a license to carry a handgun under IC 35-47-2-2.
While hunting wild turkey, it is illegal to use or possess: a dog; another domesticated animal; a live decoy; a recorded call; an electronically powered or controlled decoy; or bait. An area is considered baited for ten (10) days after the removal of the bait, but an area is not considered to be baited that is attrac- tive to wild turkeys resulting from normal agricultural practices.
Harassment of hunters, trappers: It is illegal to intentionally interfere with the legal taking of a game animal by another person on public land, or on private land without permission of the landowner.
Hunting from a vehicle or boat:
Animals may not be hunted from, by, or with the aid of any motor-driven vehicle or boat, except:
By authorized persons with a Persons with Disabilities Hunting Permit. To check traps that are set lawfully and maintained. To hunt any animal (except furbearers) from a motorboat; provided the boat is not under power derived from the motor.
Selling of wild game: Protected or regulated wild animals, live or dead (or the meat there from), cannot be sold, traded or bartered. (Exceptions: lawfully taken furbearers, squirrel tails, deer hides, antlers, hooves, and cured gamebird feathers may be sold).
Wanton waste: It is illegal to kill or cripple any wild animal without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the animal to include in your daily bag limit.
Shooting Across Roads or Waters:
It is illegal to hunt, shoot at or kill any animal or to shoot at any object from within, into, upon or across any public road. It is illegal to shoot across a body of water, except in the lawful pursuit
Trespassing: It is illegal to hunt, trap, chase or retrieve game on private land without the consent of the landowner or tenant. Always ask permission before entering private property. A sample private landowner permission form is
on page 12.
To register for Turkey Hunts on DNR properties go to hunting.IN.gov
Get Outdoor News from the DNR Your source for outdoor recreational news.
Turkey Hunting Safety
Safety Tips for Hunting Wild Turkeys
Wild turkeys hunters are reminded to make an annual review of hunting safety tips as part of each season’s preparation. Based on studies across the country of factors related to accidents occurring during the turkey hunting season, there are consistent variables.
TheNo.1 factor in most hunting accidents is the shooter failing to properly identify the target. The shooters and victims were more likely to be experienced hunters and were more likely to shoot their hunting partner than a total stranger.
Most incidents took place at 11-50 yards with approximately two-thirds occurring on private land. Shooters, on average were 45 years old with 30 years of hunting experience and 16 years of turkey hunting experience. Victims were 43 years old with 13 years of turkey hunting experience.
Indiana has not had a fatal turkey hunt- ing accident in 36 years of turkey hunting. However, we still average one or two shoot- ing incidents a year. The physical injuries can be serious and certainly the mental anguish extends to the victim, the shooter, the investigating officers, and all their families.
It is the responsibility of each hunter to help make our state one of the safest places to hunt wild turkeys. It is recommended that you make a copy of these tips, hang a copy up at camp, or keep a copy in your hunt- ing vehicle. Most of all, review it frequently before and during the season.
Good Luck and Safe Hunting.
• Select a calling position where you can see for at least 50 yards in all directions and where you are protected from the backside.
• Whistle or shout to alert approaching hunt- ers of your position. Never wave or stand up.
• Never sneak in on a turkey or use a gob- bler call near other hunters. Never crowd another hunter working a bird.
• Never shoot at sound or movement.
• Use a flashlight when walking in the dark.
• Be aware of turkey “fever” and its preven- tion. Disregard peer pressure to bag a bird.
• Be extremely careful using turkey decoys.
• Do not wear red, white, or blue outer or exposed inner clothing.
• Make sure your headnet doesn’t obscure your vision.
• Don’t assume you are the only hunter in the area. Be certain of a companion’s loca- tion.
• Know and identify your target and what is beyond before you pull the trigger or release an arrow.
• Discuss safety techniques with com- panions.
• Never assume that other hunters are responsible.
• Always keep your gun’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
• Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
• Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
• Always keep your gun unloaded until ready to use.
• Never climb a tree, a fence, or jump a ditch with a loaded gun or knocked arrow.
• Never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.
• Respect property rights and secure per- mission before hunting.