Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Indiana

Greetings and welcome to our Indiana crossbow hunting regulations reference page. We do our best to research the subject as thoroughly as possible and to make sure all the information is actual and as detailed as possible, and constantly updated. We do feel it’s important to note, however, that you should not consider what you read here official legal advise; as thorough as we are, it’s very possible that we might make a mistake, so please make sure to check and double-check what you read here before actually going on a hunting trip with your crossbow. Thank you.

Make sure to checkout our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.

Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Indiana

It’s legal to use a crossbow for hunting purposes in Indiana during the entire duration of Archery season. A special crossbow license must be obtained for this purpose, with the exception of those 13 years old or younger, and who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who himself owns a valid crossbow hunting license issued in Indiana.

To apply for a license, you will need to take and successfully complete DNR’s hunter education classes; you can find out more about these classes and license requirements by calling (812) 482-3093.

    • Legal deer hunting hours are between 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
    • The use of laser sights is allowed on a crossbow in Indiana.
    • If hunting during firearm season, hunter orange must be worn at all times.
    • It’s illegal to use electronic deer-call devices or infrared sensons to assist in locating deer while hunting.
    • For a deer to be considered Antlered, it must have at least one antler that is no less than 3″ long.
    • As in most states, the use of any bait in the form of mineral blocks, salt, or any type of foo for baiting and luring deer is strictly prohibite.
    • Using a tracking dog is only permitted when tracking an already shot deer; it cannot be used to track deer before it is shot.
    • Flying squirrel are a protected species in Indiana and therefor cannot be hunted, even during squirrel season.

Help Us Improve

If you believe we have missed something important or that the information presented above regarding Indiana regulations is inaccurate or incomplete, please drop us an e-mail. We investigate all concerns or questions immediately upon receipt and if we believe a change is required, we will implement it in the above guide immediately.


Add a Comment
    1. I’m sure at least 18 years of age, otherwise a lot of kids would be running around with these being too easy to obtain…

  1. I have a deer bundle. Can I use my bow or crossbow during gun season in Indiana as long as I wear hunter orange and have the deer bundle license? The Indiana hunting manual is confusing on this.

    1. 2015 Archery Season in Indiana is 10/1/2015 – 1/3/2016….so, yes, you can hunt with your bow or crossbow during Firearm and Muzzleloader seasons.

      Yes, you need to meet “hunter orange” requirements during all 3 firearms seasons.

      What confused you about it? (I’m not trying to be a jerk – just wondered where you found conflicts)

  2. Can i own and use a crossbow to hunt in indiana, if i have a felony record in Minnesota? I live in indiana now, and am a resident, please let me know

    1. Yes, I have a felony from Kansas, its not considered a firearm and therefore is legal I have already asked about this before I bought my bow.

  3. I have a hunters education license. Im 17. I am most likley going to be hunting with my friend next weekend. I will be using a crossbow. Is it legal for me to take down a deer?

  4. If crossbows are going to be legal in archery season, orange should be required all season. (Why)? Now that they are legal, gun hunters are using them with the same (gun) mentality. (Why)? More season to hunt, same feel as a gun. Experienced archery hunters know you can’t shoot an arrow through thickits, firearm hunters don’t understand that.

  5. I am a Viet Nam veteran and was born in 1953, I have a concealed weapons permit as well. Do I need to take the Hunters Safety course to apply for and use a crossbow during Archery season

  6. So it is legal to use a Laser Pointing Scope (placing a red dog directly on the target) on a crossbow in Indiana?

  7. My husband has a Class A felon for child support and a DUI from 20 yrs ago. He wants to bow hunt this year. Is he able to be permitted to do this?

    1. Nobody would ever be charged with a class A Felony for child support and you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to stop this man from invoking his right… Maybe you should invoke your right and take him to court if your worried about child support… The ignorance of some people!!!1

  8. I am planning to travel to Indiana and stay there for two weeks. I am an avid hunter and I would like to get involved in this years bow season. The only season that I will be in the state will be archery. Here is my question: All that I have on me is my crossbow. How much will it cost for a general license to hunt with my crossbow?

  9. Is it against the law in indiana to shoot deer from back porch??? I have yellowwood forest behind our house and they are everywhere… I have a friend who wants to come shoot with their crossbow…

  10. I just got my cross bow hunting license today so what I’m needing to know is what licenses do I need to use my cross bow the entire deer hunting season in Indiana . What seasons do I have to sit out thanks.

  11. does a crossbow need to be in some sort of case during transportation to and from my hunting destination in my truck and on my atv

  12. Do you have to have someone 18 with you on private property if it’s not your land at 16 years old while Hunting with a crossbow or is that only if your hunting with a gun

  13. Ok can you still hunt in indiana with a crossbow and a bow during the 7 day Grace period between shotgun and muzzleloader on public land or you have to wait the 7 day with everyone else?

  14. I have an Indiana lifetime hunting license. I have owned several crossbows over the last 30 years, but never used it to hunt. Due to age and injuries, I can no longer use my bow, so I am going with the crossbow. Do I actually need a crossbow license to use this?

  15. What is the difference between Indiana Archery License and the Deer Bundle License besides firearm seasons?
    Is there a different harvest limit?

  16. Can someone on probation for felony domestic violence be in possession of a cross bow in Indiana and is a bow license required

  17. You can shot deer from your back porch if you follow all the same hunting regulations as if you were in the field. make sure you also abide by any local ordinances that may in place.

  18. I’m a convicted felon. I know I can possess a firearm until I get it expunged but in the mean time can I use a crossbow?

  19. Is it legal to hunt with a laser during firearm season? I can’t find anything on it saying it’s legal or illegal anywhere not even on the dnr website

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