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Turkey Hunting

Wild Turkey

Hunt Information

There are 3 avenues to hunt during the spring turkey season at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge. The first is to enter state-drawn hunts, and these applications are available through the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife. The second method is local lottery hunts held periodically at the refuge office. The third is on every hunt day a no-show drawing is held at 6:30 AM to fill available slots. The refuge can accommodate 210 turkey hunters. Once a hunter is drawn, a date and time are set when the hunter may call or stop-in to select an area in which to hunt (Map). The number of hunters allowed per area is based upon the size of the area hunted and can be found here. The average number of acres per hunter is 120 acres for turkey hunting. Turkey harvest data for previous seasons can be found here. You can also harvest a turkey (state regulations apply) during the fall deer archery season at Big Oaks.

General Spring Turkey Hunt Information

You can participate in multiple spring hunts if chosen as a partner in addition to being selected in any drawing. There is no limit on how many times you can participate as a partner. You may not exceed the yearly bag limit in Indiana of one (1) wild turkey. Big Oaks NWR does not sell turkey licenses. The buddy system is required. Do not show up by yourself. You are responsible for knowing and abiding by all refuge and state regulations.  Intoxicants (including beer), fires, and ATVs are not permitted on the refuge during hunting. You must return to the refuge office by 2:00 PM.

On your hunt date, please arrive at Gate 1 (the main entrance to the former Jefferson Proving Ground, located North of Madison on US 421, on or before 5:30 a.m., and you will be directed to the refuge office via refuge signs. If not previously attended during the year, a mandatory safety briefing will be provided. A Hunting Permit ($15; $7.50 for holders of Senior Passports and Access Passports) is required for hunting. Fees are waived for those 15 or under. A Hunt Permit can also be used for deer and squirrel hunting. The safety video can be observed and permits purchased at the refuge office on public use days (Mondays, Fridays, and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month). During the turkey hunting season, the safety video will be shown at 7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 3:00 PM on public use days and the day of a refuge turkey hunt at 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM. All visitors must sign an acknowledgment of danger form and attend a safety briefing once per year.

To prevent delays on the first day of the hunt, hunters are encouraged to attend the mandatory safety briefings and purchase their Public Access Permit before the date of the hunt. Hunters must check in on each hunt day by 6:30 AM or they will lose their reserved slot. If you fail to show up for your first hunt day, your reserved slot for the other days will be given away unless you have made prior arrangements with Big Oaks NWR to hunt the other days. No show drawings will be held each day of the hunt at 6:30 AM to fill available slots.
 
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2013
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