Indiana’s 2011 deer season begins with the opening day of early archery, Oct. 1.

Hunters must possess a valid deer hunting, youth, lifetime comprehensive hunting, or apprentice deer hunting 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 provided they are hunting with a licensed mentor. Individuals are limited to three apprentice hunting licenses in their lifetime.

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, Dec. 3 – Jan. 1.

“Last year archery deer hunters harvested approximately 28,000 deer,” said Mitch Marcus, wildlife section chief. “Providing the weather cooperates and deer hunters take to the field, this should prove to be another great deer hunting season.”

Hunters should stay safe in the field by following basic tree-stand safety rules.

“Hunters should always wear a harness and have three points of contact with the tree during their ascent and descent,” said Lt. Bill Browne, DNR Law Enforcement. “Falling from a tree stand accounts for a large percentage of hunting related accidents and is totally preventable.

“Don’t fall asleep. If you feel drowsy, move your arms and splash water on your face until feeling alert.”

Anyone with questions regarding deer hunting rules, regulations and safety should consult the Indiana 2011-2012 Deer Hunting Guide at hunting.IN.gov.

For more information: Kevin Hoffman, Fish and Wildlife, (317) 234-5904 or Lt. Bill Browne, DNR Law Enforcement, (765) 509-0207.

About Fish and Wildlife Management in Indiana

Fish and wildlife management and public access are funded by fishing and hunting license revenue and also through the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These programs collect excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, and motor boat fuels. The money is distributed among state fish and wildlife agencies based on land size and the number of licensed anglers and hunters in each state. Find out more information about fish and wildlife management in Indiana at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild.

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