Indiana Conservation officers are preparing for the 2012 spring turkey hunting season. The season opens on April 25 and runs through May 13.
There is also a special youth turkey hunting season on April 21 and 22. Youth age 17 years or younger can hunt wild turkeys during the youth season.
Youth hunters 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 must possess a turkey hunting license and game bird habitat stamp if participating in the hunt (i.e. calling turkeys) unless otherwise exempt from license requirements by state law.
Turkey hunters may start hunting 30 minutes before sunrise and must stop hunting at legal sunset. Spring turkey hunters must purchase a spring turkey license and a game bird habitat stamp privilege unless they possess a lifetime comprehensive hunting, a lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing, a youth hunt/trap license or they meet the landowner/tenant farmer exemption.
Those successful in harvesting a turkey 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.
Indiana Conservation Officers would like to offer safety tips when turkey hunting:
-- Never wear an article of clothing that is red, blue or white in color. These are the colors of a turkey's head in the spring and you could be mistaken for a turkey.
-- Always positively identify your target and what may be beyond your target.
-- Only male turkeys or bearded hens are legal for taking.
-- If you are hunting on private or public property always consider the possibility that another hunter may be nearby and use due caution.
Anyone who finds an area that they think is baited or knows of other violations of the law should report it to the Turn In A Poacher hotline (1-800-TIP-IDNR). Violations can also be reported online at 1800tipidnr.org.
For a more complete look at turkey laws and regulations, persons may review the Turkey Hunting Guide at: in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-turkeyhuntguide.pdf.