Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Indiana DNR reminds hunters about baiting laws for dove and waterfowl

Before dove and waterfowl hunters take to drought-affected fields this hunting season, they should take time first to review baiting laws.

Baiting can be a complicated issue. It can become more complicated in years in which drought conditions have pushed many farmers to destroy their standing agricultural crops. It is imperative that hunters keep in mind what is legal and what is not legal during waterfowl and dove hunting seasons.

What is legal?

You can hunt waterfowl on, over, or from:

• Standing crops or flooded standing crops
• Standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation
• Flooded harvested croplands
• Lands or areas where grains or top-sown seeds have been scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural practices.

You can hunt doves on, over or from:

• Standing crops
• Lands where seeds or grain have been scattered solely as a result of normal agricultural practices
• Lands planted as wildlife food plots
• Lands planted as pasture improvements or for the purpose of grazing livestock.
• Standing or manipulated natural vegetation
• Agricultural crops that have been manipulated.

What is illegal?

You cannot hunt waterfowl in:

• Areas where grain or seed has been top-sown.
• Crops that have been harvested outside of the recommended harvest dates.
• Unharvested crops that have been trampled by livestock or subjected to other types of manipulations that scatter, distribute or expose the grain.
• Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.
• Areas where grain is present or stored.
• Croplands where a crop has been harvested and the removed grain is redistributed or “added back” onto the area where it was grown.

You cannot hunt doves in:

• Areas where grain, seed, salt or feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered.
• Areas where grain is in piles or other concentrations.
• Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.

**Reminder: It is legal to hunt doves on, over, or from manipulated agricultural lands. It is NOT legal to hunt waterfowl on, over, or from manipulated agricultural lands.

Below are a few potentially common scenarios for the upcoming dove/waterfowl seasons.

• If a farmer mows his agricultural fields in September due to crop insurance payments, a hunter cannot hunt it for waterfowl because waterfowl cannot be hunted over manipulated agricultural lands. However, this field can be hunted for doves.
• If a wildlife food plot is planted a few weeks before you are going to dove or waterfowl hunt, can you hunt it? Yes, if the grain is not exposed.
• You decide to put out grain to attract birds. It has been eight days since you last put out grain. Can you hunt this area? No. An area is considered baited until 10 days after all the grain has been removed from the area.

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