Patoka Sportsman 11-13 & 11-14-21
Indiana’s 2021-22 deer hunting season is underway and the most popular season, deer firearms, begins Nov. 13. Hunters will be required to wear hunter orange while deer hunting throughout firearms season (Nov. 13–28), muzzleloader season (Dec. 4–19), and during deer reduction zone season (Nov. 13 – Jan. 31, 2022) regardless of what equipment they hunt with.
Many DNR properties allow hunting, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings while you enjoy fall weather at a property near you. Hunting seasons for several other game species also have hunter orange requirements from Nov. 1 onward, and we encourage everyone to wear hunter orange when entering areas where hunters may be present, especially when venturing off-trail.
The Indiana CheckIN Game system allows hunters and trappers to check in their harvested game from any device connected to the internet. You will receive a confirmation number that must be written down on a temporary transportation tag for the harvested game species (turkey, deer). Be sure to check your information is accurate before submitting. Deer and wild turkeys must be checked in within 48 hours of harvest; river otters must be checked in within 24 hours of harvest. Have your Customer ID and harvest information ready. Remember, you don’t need to log in to your account to check in game for this fall – you can do so by clicking CheckIN Game and entering your Customer ID number and date of birth.
Hunters still have the option of visiting traditional check stations, where a confirmation number will be provided for you to place on your temporary transportation tag. There is also a phone-in option at 1-800-419-1326; however, there is a $3 charge for this service (payable by Visa or MasterCard only).
Making sure your gun or bow is shooting where it should is an important part of the hunting process. Not only does it help make the equipment safer to use and more effective for harvest, but it can also save you ammunition in the field. Adjusting your sight can be a relatively simple process and helps you ensure a quicker and more ethical harvest. Check out this detailed step-by-step video on how to sight in a rifle or shotgun.
Shooting ranges for both archery and firearms can be found across the state, and many of our Fish & Wildlife areas offer services for both. For more information on DNR properties with shooting ranges, visit our website.
Indiana DNR is interested in obtaining samples from hunter-harvested deer to test for chronic wasting disease (CWD). Hunters may voluntarily submit samples for free testing at select Fish & Wildlife areas (FWAs) and state fish hatcheries (SFHs) throughout the hunting season. Deer heads can be dropped into designated coolers at select FWAs and SFHs, or hunters may make an appointment to have their harvested deer sampled by a biologist during office hours. Tongue tags will also be available for hunters who wish to have their deer’s head mounted and sampled for CWD – just follow the guidance provided at designated coolers or given by DNR staff. Testing results will available online.
Questions about deer seasons and regulations can be directed to the Deer Hotline at [email protected] or call 812-334-3795, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Local properties include: Lincoln State Park and Spring Mill state park.
Know a kid who’s interested in hunting, but not sure when the best time is to start mentoring them? Take advantage of free youth hunting days, which occur twice annually in the fall. The second set of dates this year falls on Nov. 27-28. Several seasons are open then. Any resident age 17 or younger on the date of the hunt, accompanied by an adult with a hunting license (at least 18 years of age), can take any legal game in season during this special weekend.
Select Indiana state parks will close for four days in the coming weeks to allow for controlled deer management hunts. The dates for the closings are Nov. 15-16, and Nov. 29-30.
Students at 12 Indiana schools will be able to take field trips to Indiana state parks this academic year thanks in part to the Discover the Outdoors field trip grant program, which is administered through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF), the supporting non-profit of the DNR. Educators in public, private, parochial, and home schools are eligible for the grants, which range from $98-$250 and fund transportation costs, program fees and classroom supplies related to preparation or follow-up for the field trips.
Patoka Lake is hosting an archery lesson for beginner to intermediate archers on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon inside the Patoka Lake Nature Center. The lessons will be taught by the interpretive naturalist, who is a certified archery instructor. The event is open to archers age 8 and older, and all archery equipment will be provided. Participation is limited to the first 15 people, and cost is $5 per person. Register by calling the Patoka Lake Nature Center at 812-685-2447.
Hunting and trapping seasons in November
Deer Firearms: Nov. 13 – Nov. 28
Dove: Nov. 1 – Nov. 21
Pheasant (Cock only): Nov. 1 – Dec.15
Rabbit: Nov. 1 – Feb. 28, 2022
Raccoon, Opossum: Nov. 8 - Jan. 31, 2022
– (north of Interstate 74): Nov. 1 – Dec. 15
– (south of Interstate 74): Nov. 1 – Jan. 10, 2022
– North Zone: Nov. 20 – Feb. 13, 2022
– Central Zone: Open until Nov. 7, reopens Nov. 20 – Feb. 13, 2022
– South Zone: Nov. 6 – 21, Nov. 27 – Feb. 13, 2022
Ducks, Coots, & Mergansers:
– North Zone: Open until Dec. 12
– Central Zone: Open until Nov. 7, reopens Nov. 20 – Jan. 9, 2022
– South Zone: Nov. 6 – 7, Nov. 27 – Jan. 23, 2022
Beaver: Nov. 15 – March 15, 2022
Mink, Muskrat, Weasel: Nov. 15 – Jan. 31, 2022
Raccoon, Opossum: Nov. 8 – Jan. 31, 2022
River Otter: Nov. 15 – March 15, 2022 (or until quota is met)
Fisheries and hatcheries staff recently stocked more than 2,000 trout in seven lakes statewide. Annually, DNR stocks more than 55,000 rainbow trout averaging 10 inches – delivered to 16 streams and more than 20 lakes, ponds, and impoundments in 17 different counties. Fish are stocked in the spring (March and April) and again in the fall (October), but time of stocking varies by lake. Learn more about our trout stocking plans on our website.
Rainbow trout can be caught using many different techniques. In general, using light tackle with a light to ultra-light rod combined with light line ranging from 2-6 pounds strength awards anglers with success. Rainbow trout forage on aquatic insects but will also take advantage of any insects that fall into the water, smaller fish, and crayfish. Hatchery-raised fish are accustomed to finding food on the surface, so lures shaped like dough or a pellet may also attract fish to bite. Anglers can also fish the bottom or use a bobber. For those not interested in using live bait, try artificial lures such as inline spinners, jigs, spoons, and plastic worms.