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Legalities of Rabbit Hunting on your own property?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by brockgl, Aug 25, 2008.

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  1. brockgl

    brockgl Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    I live in Indiana, and we have an abundance of wild rabbits back in a little pine grove behind our house. I am new to hunting, and I couldn't find anything "property specific" to rabbit hunting in the Indiana DNR manual. Just curious...

    Also, I won't be using a powder gun or bow. I'll be using a high-powered .177 cal pellet air-rifle at a distance of 20 yards or so. I'm mentioning this just in case the legalities differ depending on the weapon being used.
  2. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    I suggest you go to the Indiana DNR website and submit a query to them. Although laws vary from state to state, the general concepts are the same throughout North America. They will have a method for contacting them. Better you look for them, than to have "them" come looking for YOU.

    The wildlife is generally considered "property" of the state and is managed for the benefit of all. That stated, the regulations such as season, bag limits, methods of harvest, ect... are regulated by the state and apply to both private and public property.

    Be aware that the laws limiting search without a warrant and entry upon private property apply differently to Conservation Officers (game wardens, ect), and generally allow them to routinely enter upon private property while involved in normal enforcement activities which encludes inspection of licenses/ID's and taken wildlife by those determined to be hunting. (Entry to buildings, vehicles, ect still generally require warrants absent exigent circumstances). Also, in most states once they are present, any other violation of ANY state, federal, and in some instances local ordinances can and probably will be enforced. (ie; controlled substances, waste disposal, stolen property, outstanding warrants, ect, ect....) So, don't let the "governor" get in your "business" because you decided to whack a bunny illegally !!

    Just as driving upon a public road requires you to be familiar with rules and regulations for operating a motor vehicle, taking or attempting to take wildlife whether on public or private property requires you to be familiar with the rules and regulations relating to that.

    Remember, if you want good and accurate information you need to go the "Horses mouth". If not, what you get may resemble what comes from the other end of the horse. Most of the game and fish agency offices spend a large amount of their time answering such questions, so don't be afraid to talk to them. They are public employees and are paid by your tax dollars. Get your moneys worth.
    It may save you some money and heartburn you don't need if you don't.
  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I don't know anything about Indiana but have experience in hunting some states close to you. The following probably apply but, as GooseGestapo noted, check with the DNR web site.

    1. There is almost assuredly a hunting season for rabbit; most likely starting in the fall.
    2. There may be a possession limit.
    3. There may be a law that requires you to utilize what rabbits you kill.
    4. There may be a law regarding weapons to be used but I doubt it. A pellet gun is probably OK.
    5. At least in Ohio and West Virginia, you are allowed to hunt on your own property without a license. The same may be true in Indiana.
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    The Indiana wildlife folks will have a publication with the listing of animals for which a license is needed and for which there are seasons and bag limits. This information is commonly available on line in most states.

    As for air rifle use? Dunno. Many states list what is allowed for some species, but not necessarily for all small game.
  5. TAB

    TAB Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    make sure you also check your county/ city for local codes...
  6. Kansas Bound

    Kansas Bound Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    I think in Iowa you can shoot any animal any time if it is detrimental to your property. Something to that effect. For example a fox eating your chickens. It would make since if a rabbit is eating your garden you can plunk him. But that logic may not work since you can not shoot deer that eat your corn.

    I would like to know what you find out.
  7. ronto

    ronto Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    Smack Dab in the Middle of Nowhere.
    Get a Depredation Permit if they are a nuisance.
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