Indiana Early Archery Deer Season, Oct. 1–Nov. 29

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Indiana Early Archery Deer Season, Oct. 1–Nov. 29Indiana’s 2009 deer season begins with the opening day of early archery, Oct. 1.

Hunters must possess a completed and signed deer hunting, youth, lifetime comprehensive hunting, or apprentice license to legally pursue deer. Hunter education is required for anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986. However, individuals of any age may buy an apprentice license without having to take hunter education. Individuals are limited to three apprentice hunting licenses in their lifetime. Special apprentice hunting license rules apply.


Legal archery equipment includes long bows, compound bows and recurve bows. A bow must have a minimum draw weight of 35 pounds. Arrows must be tipped with broadheads that are metal, metal-edged, or napped flint, chert or obsidian. Crossbows are not legal for use in the early season, but are legal in the late season.

According to Chad Stewart, Indiana’s deer biologist, “Our deer herd is very strong. Hunters have every reason to be excited before they go out in the woods each morning.”

Stewart anticipates a high deer harvest number this fall. 

“In terms of early archery season, the harvest has exceeded 25,000 the past three years, and I anticipate similar numbers this year,” he said. “As for the total deer season, I expect at least another 125,000 deer to be harvested this year, with a chance for the statewide harvest to exceed 130,000 for the first time ever.”

Anyone with questions regarding deer hunting rules and regulations should first consult the Indiana 2009-2010 Hunting and Trapping Guide, which is available at most sporting goods retailers and online at If further assistance is needed, contact a conservation officer at North Region Headquarters (765) 473-9722 or South Region Headquarters (812) 837-9536.