Take advantage of forest hunting opportunities

If you have ever wondered how to take advantage of the incredible hunting opportunities available on Indiana State Forests, then you need to attend one of the state forest open houses being offered this year by the DNR Division of Forestry.

You should leave the meeting with all the information you need to hunt state forests all across southern Indiana.

There are approximately 158,000 acres of state forest property in Indiana. This land belongs to you. It’s yours to hunt and recreate on, assuming of course, you follow the rules. What are those rules? Well, that’s exactly what you can find out at one of these open houses.

Turkey season is fast approaching, and state forests offer hunters the opportunity to chase longbeards on public land. As access to private hunting land becomes more and more difficult to obtain, many hunters are turning to public land and finding they can still experience enjoyable hunting.

State forests are productive places to hunt and are great places to take a trip to for an extended period of time. Don’t assume all public land is crowded and devoid of game. This is simply not true. Each year there are thousands of turkeys harvested on public land.

The vastness of our state forests allows hunters to spread out, providing turkeys with a greater ability to avoid constant pressure. Fresh birds are more fun to hunt, and you can find them deep in the state forests. If you were to set up a camp at one of the state forests and spend a few days chasing turkeys and learning the lay of the land, I’d like your chances to tag out.

For turkey hunters across Indiana, the state forests of southern Indiana are perfect for in-state hunting trips.

The adventure of roaming a large property in search of a public land gobbler is a challenge and a thrill. There’s no guarantee of a kill, but there are numerous advantages to taking a hunting trip right here in Indiana on public ground, including beautiful scenery, proximity to home and resident licenses.

You could pair up activities, like hunting the Harrison- Crawford State Forest and fishing the Blue River.

For specific times and locations, call the property you’re interested in or visit the DNR website in.gov/dnr/.

See you down the trail.

Brandon Butler’s outdoors column appears regularly. Send comments to