Indiana

Hunting on Conservancy Preserves

Why do we allow hunting on our preserves?

Indiana's large deer herds have had great consequences for the health of our forests. Learn more.

 

The following is a list of preserves owned by the Indiana Chapter that allow hunting during deer season. Unlike the lands managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife, hunting on Conservancy preserves is not open to the public. Our hunters are licensed by the chapter, and only they have permission to hunt. Wearing blaze orange is suggested when venturing to these areas during the hunting season (generally October through the first week of January).

Bow, gun and muzzleloaders are permitted throughout the season, except at Conrad Station, which is only open to bow hunting. Other special cases:

  • Houghton Lake has 5 licenses out for hunting/trapping all legal species, so hunters are out much of the year.
  • Division of Fish & Wildlife manages hunting on our land at Kankakee Sands, NIPSCO Savanna and two tracts at Prairie Border. They manage for hunting most legal species, so much of the year there are hunters out there as well.

Please be cautious when hiking in these areas. Learn more about Indiana's hunting and trapping season from the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Preserve/County

Big Walnut (Putnam County)
Brown County Hills (Brown and Lawrence Counties)
Charles Spring (Washington County)
Chelsea Flatwoods (Jefferson County)
Conrad Station (Newton County)
Dewey Hickman (Harrison County)
Douglas Woods (Steuben & DeKalb Counties)
Fawn River Fen (Lagrange County)
Forest Bank – Hetrick (Union County)
Grass Lake Complex (Steuben County)
Harrison County Glades- Mosquito Creek Woods, Buena Vista, Mayme Hinton, Rabbit Hash, Stoner Hill, and Teeple Glade
Hitz-Rhodehamel Woods (Brown County)
Houghton Lake (Marshall County)
Kankakee Sands (Newton County) - managed through Willow Slough FWA
Ober Sand Savanna (Starke County)
Ohio-Wabash Confluence – Mackey Island (Posey County)
Perseverance Barrens (Harrison County)
Pigeon River - Cline Lake Fen (Lagrange County)
Saunders Woods (Gibson County)
Shooting Star Cliffs (Crawford County)
Swamp Angel (Noble County)
Tefft Savanna (Jasper County) - NIPSCO Savanna and Prairie Border- managed through Jasper-Pulaski FWA
Thousand Acre Woods (Daviess County)
Twin Creek Valley (Washington County)
Upper St. Joseph River – Fish Creek (DeKalb County, Indiana and Williams County, Ohio)
Wening-Sherritt Seeps (Dubois County)
Wyandotte Cave (Crawford County)

Interested in Hunting on TNC Preserves?

Hunting licenses on lands owned and managed by the Indiana Chapter are coveted and availability is limited. Currently all of our preserves are full. There is little hunter turnover and we are not actively looking for new hunters at this time. When there are licenses available, hunters are recruited as needed, often turning to neighbors and members of the local community first or by referral from trusted hunters.

Process for License Holders

Approved hunters on TNC preserves must have a valid license and appropriate deer tags issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), as well as a hunting license on the specific TNC preserve. The current hunting license fee is $100, unless the hunter has been notified otherwise by TNC staff. In 2016, we reevaluated the fair market value of the hunting licenses on our preserves. As a result, the fee will increase to $150 for the 2016 hunting season. We will review the fees every few years to evaluate the need for future increases.

The process for administering TNC licenses is as follows:

  • August  – Approved hunters receive a packet with a cover letter containing important hunting season information and hunting license to sign.
  • September 1st  – Deadline to send back the signed copy of your license and the payment for the license.
  • Mid September – Hunter receives fully signed copy of license to carry while hunting and TIP card to display on the dashboard of your vehicle while hunting. Hunters with email will receive a link to submit hunting results online. Hunters without email will receive a postcard to submit hunting results.
  • September 24-25, 2016 – Youth deer hunting season. Youth age 17 or younger with a DNR Youth Hunt/Trap license, accompanied by a parent/guardian over the age of 18, may hunt on the preserve for which the adult hunter holds a TNC license.
  • October 1, 2016 – Hunting season opens (following DNR-established dates for archery and firearms).
  • January 1, 2017 – Last day of hunting season
  • January 31st, 2017- Deadline for submitting 2016 hunting results (click here). Any hunter that does not submit hunting results on time may not be eligible for a license next year.
Please keep in mind the following best practices:
  1. Harvest at least one doe. Our doe to buck harvest ratio is reasonably good. Please continue to help by harvesting at least one doe. 
  2. Please consider donating a deer to a food bank.  There are local programs that support the cost of processing when donating to local food banks. One such program is Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Check the website for participating butchers in your area.  Another program to consider is the GiveIN Game Program run through the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife which matches hunters with those in need of venison.
  3. Dispose of deer carcasses in a responsible manner.  Please do not field dress deer along trails or near parking areas.
  4. Report any feral hog sightings or damage.  There are increasing reports of feral hogs in counties across Indiana. Feral hogs cause tremendous damage to forests and destroy wildlife habitat. It is legal to kill feral hogs in Indiana and we ask that if you encounter small numbers of hogs (less than 4) on our preserves, you attempt to kill them. If you harvest a hog, please take photos and collect hair samples for genetic testing. If you encounter larger groups, do not attempt to kill them but instead notify us immediately so we can implement more effective control measures. If you see hogs, hog wallows or other hog damage, please contact us immediately with the approximate location and number of hogs observed (either contact the field steward, email huntindiana@tnc.org, or call 317-951-8818).
  5. Mark deer stand with your name and phone number. Any deer stand that does not have the name and phone number of a licensed hunter on it will be removed. Please remember to remove your deer stand at the end of the season.

 

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