Written by: Devn Schumacher
May, 10 2021
Iowa hunting consists of some of the common games like turkeys, deer, and pheasants, and the state also offers opportunities to capture a lot of small game animals.
Iowa has beneficial programs to assist in hunting games. One of them is the Iowa Hunting and Access program that encourages private landowners in the state to grant access for hunting on their properties. These private properties will be accessible by hunters from the 1st of September to the 31st of May in the following year.
Like most states in the USA, Iowa has hunting regulations, laws, and requirements that hunters must abide by.
Hunting as defined by this regulation refers to the taking, trapping, pursuing, searching, shooting, stalking, killing, and snaring of wildlife, games, and fishes that are protected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. It also does not matter if the game is killed or injured during the activity.
Some of the most important Iowa hunting regulations include the following:
If you are involved in any form of hunting accident with the use of a firearm, and the accidents lead to a personal injury or the damage of a property that is worth more than $100, you are obligated to report the accident within the next 12 hours that it occurred.
The accident must be reported to the sheriff's office of the local county it occurred, or to any local conservation office. If the sheriff’s office and the local conservation office are not available, then you have to report to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources if the accident occurs between the hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Hunters must have their valid Iowa hunting license with them on public or private hunting lands. Upon request, you are obligated to show the license or any valid permit, tag, and stamp to peace officers and landowners that are in charge of the property where you are trapping or hunting. The license can either be in physical or electronic form.
For the possession of games or fur-bearing animals that you obtain legally with a valid license while hunting in Iowa, you may not exceed the bag limit of that specific game until the first day of the next open season of the game.
For deer hunting in Iowa, you are allowed to possess about 25 pounds of deer meat known as venison, as long as the animal is taken legally.
It is a prohibition to make use of a 2-way communication device to direct hunters, stalk, or locate the movement and position of game animals. There is an exception for coyote hunting where hunters are allowed to make use of 2-way radios. Also, falconers that have a valid state falconer permit are allowed to use a one-way mobile transmitter to capture free-flying birds. If you are making use of a hunting dog, you can use a one-way mobile transmitter to either track or recover the dog.
You can legally possess games that were lawfully taken from other states and lawfully imported into Iowa only if you can prove that it was legally taken and legally imported. However, there are some exceptions to this regulation for big games.
It is a prohibition to leave game animals that you injured while trying to hunt them without making any effort to retrieve them. In the same vein, it is a prohibition to abandon any usable portion of game animals after taking them. Usable portion as defined by this regulation refers to:
It is a prohibition for you to possess or carry a firearm in your vehicle on Iowa public highways. Exceptions to this regulation are made for firearms that are contained in their case, and those with magazines and ammunition unattached. Also, the transportation of handguns must be in a closed container, and the handgun must remain unloaded. The handgun should also be inaccessible by anyone in the vehicle.
For muzzleloaders, they must either be cased or unloaded. Muzzleloaders are considered unloaded when the priming charge is not in the pan or if the cap is not in the nipple.
It is a prohibition to discharge or attempt to discharge a firearm for hunting game animals when you are within 200 yards of a residential building or a building that contains feedlots and domestic livestock.
Exceptions are allowed for this regulation if you get the permission of the landowner or tenant living in the residential building.
Feedlot according to this regulation refers to a building for the confinement of livestock where they are fed until they reach slaughter size.
It is legal to open carry while hunting in Iowa. However, the state law has provisions for firearms that are lawful for open carry in the state.
Also, you must have a permit before you open carry while hunting in the state.
But while bow hunting or during archery, you cannot open carry. In this case, you can conceal carry with firearms, and the firearm cannot be used to hunt animals during archery sessions.
Iowa has hunter harassment laws to help protect hunting activities in the state like fishing and harvesting of furs.
The law consists of the following:
There are a lot of valid licenses available in Iowa. The state issues licenses based on the residency and age of the applicant. They include the following:
Iowa issues these licenses to only residents of the state. They include the following:
This license is available to residents of Iowa for hunting in the state. The age requirement for this license is at least 16 years old. It costs $19.
This license is available to senior residents of Iowa for hunting in the state. The age requirement for this license is at least 64 years old. It costs $13.
This license is available for residents of Iowa. The license is not only limited to hunting, it allows holders to take part in trapping as well. There are 2 types of this license based on validity. The one valid for a year costs $30, while the one valid for 3 years costs $86.
This permit allows residents of Iowa to take migratory birds. It costs $10
Federal duck stamps for residents of Iowa are needed to take ducks in the state. The stamp costs $25.
Residents apprentice hunters in Iowa need this license before they can partake in any hunting season. The license also gives them the privilege to trap games. It costs $30.
Resident hunters that deal with fur-bearing games need this license before they can harvest the games. There are two types of this license based on age requirements. The one valid for those ages 16 and more is $22.5 while the one valid for those under the age of 16 is $75.
This license allows residents the privilege of fishing and hunting. It costs $47.
Residents that want to hunt in Iowa game reserves must purchase this license. It costs $7.
This license is available for senior residents that want to take part in Iowa hunting season. It will be valid throughout their lifetime. It costs $52.5
This license is available for senior residents that want to take furbearer games. It will be valid throughout their lifetime. It costs $52.5
Resident hunters that only want to be part of Deer seasons in Iowa may apply for this license. It costs $28.5.
This is the initial Iowa deer hunting license required to take antlerless deer in Iowa. It costs $28.5
This is the second and other license required for deer hunting in Iowa. It costs $13.
These are Iowa out-of-state hunting licenses issued to non-resident hunters that want to be part of Iowa hunting seasons.
They include the following:
This license is available to non-residents for hunting in the state. The age requirement for this license is at least 18 years old. It costs $112.
This license is available to only junior non-residents for hunting in the state. The age requirement for this license is at least under 18 years old. It costs $32.
This license is available for non-residents to take part in trapping. It costs $13.
The license is not only limited to hunting, it allows holders to take part in trapping as well. It is available for only non-residents that are 18 years old or more. It costs $123.
This license allows non-residents to take migratory bird games in Iowa. It costs $10.
Federal duck stamps for non-residents are needed to take ducks in the state. The stamp costs $25.
Non-residents apprentice hunters in Iowa need this license before they can partake in any hunting season. The license also gives them the privilege to trap games. It costs $123.
Just like hunting licenses in Iowa, fishing licenses are also issued based on residency and age. Fishing licenses permits and tags available in Iowa include the following:
They include the following:
Residents of Iowa need this license before fishing in any of the state water bodies. It costs $22.
Residents that want to harvest anglerfishes in Iowa need this license. It costs $62.
This license is only valid for senior residents of the state that are 65 years old or more. It is a lifetime license and costs $61.5
Residents that want to take part in both hunting and fishing in Iowa can apply for this license. It costs $55.
Residents that want to harvest trout fishes in Iowa need this license. It costs $14.5
This is a resident fishing license that is valid for one day. It costs $10.5
This is a resident fishing license that is valid for seven days. It costs $15.5
This license allows residents to make use of at most 4 trotlines with 200 hooks. It costs $26.
Includes the following:
Non-residents that want to fish in Iowa need this license before they can gain access to Iowa water bodies. It costs $48.
Non-residents that want to harvest trout fishes in Iowa need this license. It costs $17.5
This is a non-resident fishing license that is valid for one day. It costs $12
This is a non-resident fishing license that is valid for 3 days. It costs $20.5
This is a non-resident fishing license that is valid for seven days. It costs $37.5
This license allows non-residents to make use of at most 4 trotlines with 200 hooks. It costs $49.5
Hunting seasons vary in Iowa for the different game animals in the state and the method of taking them.
The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Iowa includes the following:
For each deer a hunter collects in Iowa, a permit is required.
Some of the most common wildlife and game animal in Iowa Include the following:
Deer Hunting in Iowa takes place in many regions of the state. The animals are known to inhabit forested areas of the state, and they survive in other types of habitats, so far the environment provides them enough cover. Examples of some of the areas where they are mostly found in Iowa include brushes, grass regions, fencelines, and marshy areas.
Wild turkey hunting is common in Iowa. They are forest birds and the eastern wild turkey species is the most common in Iowa. These turkeys are known to survive in the developed oak forests of Iowa. Parts of Iowa that experience turkey hunting the most are the loess hills in the western region, and the yellow river forest in northeast Iowa. Turkey hunting in southeast regions of Iowa is recurrent, and in the east, they inhabit the timber forest areas of the state.
There are 2 common fox species in Iowa, the gray fox, and the red fox. The red fox is even more occurring in the state than the red fox. Red foxes can survive in a lot of habitats, but in Iowa, you will most likely find them in forested and grassland areas of the state.
Coyotes are fairly distributed in Iowa, and they are more abundant in the western part of the state. They are not limited to a particular habitat, so you can find them on grasslands, timberlands, brush piles, and regions with switchgrass.
Pheasant hunting in Iowa is popular because of its population in the state, especially in northwest Iowa. In the past few years’ pheasant hunting in the state has seen decent numbers with 2016 on top of the list with 245,000 harvested pheasants.
Quail hunting in Iowa is one of the best in the USA. They inhabit the southern parts of the state to the northern area where you can find the bobwhite quail.
Grouse hunting in Iowa was more common in previous years because of the favorable habitats in the state. However, due to human encroachment and destruction of these vital habitats, they reduced in numbers. Today, they can only be found in some parts of the northeastern region of Iowa.
Ducks are mostly found in wetland parts of Iowa far away from human habitation. The best place for deer hunting in the state is in wildlife refuge areas. You will mostly find them around shallow parts of water bodies like ponds and lakes.
Doves are well distributed in Iowa, and this is due to the fact that they are migratory birds. You can find them in all counties of the state, and they are most abundant in areas like the Loess hills, and counties in Iowa southern 3 tiers. Doves will readily inhabit open habitats such as fairly wooden areas, farmland areas, and grasslands.
Some of the shooting ranges open for the general public in Iowa include the following:
Iowa hunting lands for sale include the following:
Iowa hunting lands for lease include the following: