Hunting in Indiana: 5 Great Public Hunting Lands
When it comes to hunting in Indiana, there is no shortage of wildlife. Around the state, outdoor enthusiasts get the chance to hunt deer, waterfowl, furbearers, turkeys, and squirrels. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources website offers local and visiting hunters licenses, permits, and other requirements for hunting in Indiana.
Before you grab your bright orange vest and your hunting license, check out these top hunting locations in the Hoosier State.
The Best Places to Hunt in Indiana
1. Raccoon State Recreation Area
First on our list is the Raccoon State Recreation Area in Parke County. Here you will find over 200 acres of open field and dense hardwood forest. The hunting area is just off of Highway 59. There are hills and hollows near the entrance of Cecil M. Harden Dam.
There are various trapping options available at Raccoon State Recreation Area. There is a sealed bidding process for specific trapping units. The best time to reach out about the bidding process is at the end of summer.
Many locals visit this area in hopes of bagging a deer. Are you in need of practicing your bowhunting skills? Check out the archery range here. You can reserve the area for group outings or respect the first come, first serve rule.
There are also nearly 1,100 acres of water if you’re looking to bag waterfowl at Raccoon State Recreation Area. Park at the main ramp to get easy access to the lake. It’s important to know that all hunters have to sign in and out.
There is also registration and a liability waiver to fill out.
2. Galena Wetland Conservation Area
If you’re around LaPorte County, consider checking out the Galena Wetland Conservation Area. This is a great place to hunt a variety of animals. Here you will find everything from squirrels to turkeys to deer to waterfowl!
There are over 160 acres of nature to explore at Galena Wetland Conservation Area. Stick to hunting in the southern region of this location, as it’s a dedicated state nature preserve. This is where hunting is legal.
3. Patoka Lake
Next, let’s travel to Patoka Lake. Here you’re able to hunt upland game, turkey, furbearers, deer, and migratory game birds. There are 19 stations where hunters are required to sign in before you can start your hunt.
Patoka allows hunting on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can trap here without the need for a bidding process, which attracts many hunters. From the beginning of November through February, you can go to the waterfowl resting area.
The specific hunting dates are decided just before the beginning of the season. Avoid the Sycamore Creek area, as it’s always closed to waterfowl hunting. There is also no boat traffic on this creek during the winter months.
4. Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area
When you’re hunting in Indiana, look no further than Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area. This spot has just under 5,000 acres of creeks, upland game habitat, and more. Before it was a wildlife area, it was an army camp.
An interesting requirement of this hunting location is the need for all hunters to have a working cell phone on them at all times. Common rules such as having a valid hunting license are also required.
In previous years, fishermen have caught 284 fish in the waters here. Only 74 of these fish were kept, while the remainder were released. There are largemouth bass, bluegills, panfish, and bullheads at Camp Atterbury.
5. Wilbur Wright
A favorite place for hunting in Indiana among locals is Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area. Uplands and river valleys are just a portion of the 1,070 acres here. There are dreamy prairie grasses, mature woodlands, and more.
Something that stands out about Wilbur Wright is that they offer ADA-accessible hunting. You have the option of hunting a variety of wildlife here including:
There are hunting seasons specific to each animal and bag limits that may apply. Hunters are able to leave deer stands overnight from mid-September through the first week of January as long as you have them properly marked.
Turkey hunting is available here as per state regulations. Wilbur is closed to all other types of hunting during turkey hunting season. Lastly, Province Pond is by reserve draw for waterfowl hunting.
Summary of the Best Places to Hunt in Indiana
|1.||Raccoon State Recreation Area||Parke County|
|2.||Galena Wetland Conservation Area||LaPorte County|
|3.||Patoka Lake||Orange, Crawford, Dubious Counties|
|4.||Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area||Johnson County|
|5.||Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area||Henry County|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © AdamLongSculpture/iStock via Getty Images