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March 19 Deadline for Reserved Turkey Hunt

 The Eastern Wild Turkey reserved hunt begins in late April, with lottery draws open now.
Shane Harris
The Eastern Wild Turkey reserved hunt begins in late April, with lottery draws open now.

If you want to hunt for a turkey on public and wildlife lands, you have to put your name into the proverbial hat.

Applicants will be notified after the application deadline, which is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 19.

“You can put in for the hunt ahead of time. And if you get drawn, you have a spot guaranteed when you show up at the property for whatever you're hunting,” said Daniel Eckstin, Southwest Public Land Supervisor for the Division of Fish and Wildlife. “It's particularly handy for people that live farther away from our fish and wildlife areas, by fair use or other public ground.”

The reserved turkey hunt allows hunting from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset and hunters are can bag one bearded male turkey.

Southwest Indiana hunting locations include Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area in Point Township, Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Linton and Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area in Winslow.

Hunters will need the game bird habitat stamp for $11 dollars, and a spring turkey license for $32.

Eckstin said hunters are limited to protect the wild turkey numbers , and the spring season is chosen for the same reason.

“It's at the end of the turkeys breeding season essentially," he said. "So we want to make sure that the toms are able to breed all the hens. And then once the hens start to go in the nest, that's when turkey season opens,” he said. “So we're not impacting the population.”

For example, there were 20 tickets drawn for the 2022 spring hunt at Hovey Lake, and Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife area.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), turkeys may only be hunted with shotguns of A 410 caliber, 10, 12, 16, 20 or 28-gauge shotgun loaded with pellets of size 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5 and Tungsten Super Shot 9 and 10.

Muzzleloaders follow similar standards. A bow and arrow and crossbow are also permitted.

Indiana Reserved Hunt web page

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Tim Jagielo