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Iowa Deer Hunting Season

  • May 23, 2013 /

Iowa is a state that has a great deer hunting season in the fall and winter. Below is a description of deer hunting in Iowa.

Species of Deer to Hunt

Iowa may not have mule deer, but there are plenty of whitetails to hunt. In 1900, deer were extinct in Iowa, but they have been successfully reintroduced, and now they are thriving. Deer are most common in the southern half of the state, which is were most of the hunting takes place.

Methods to Hunt Deer in Iowa

In Iowa, several different methods are used to hunt deer. Early season there is a special archery season, where you can use one of several bow and arrow techniques to kill a deer. Typically, stand hunting is used for whitetails, but you can also try spot and stalk. Iowa also has muzzle loader seasons, in which a muzzle loading rifle is the only weapon allowed. Later in the season, the general tags open up. This allows for rifle hunting, and is the most popular. Spot and stalk is very common while rifle hunting, as is using calls or decoys. There are also shotgun seasons for those who wish to use that particular weapon type.

Permits and Seasons

Both a valid license and tag are required to hunt deer in Iowa. You must have a valid Iowa hunting license first. This may require taking a hunters education class, depending on your age. This license costs $19.00 for residents, and $112.00 for non-residents. If you are between the ages of 16 and 64, then you also have to pay a wildlife habitat fee, which is $13.00. Then you have to buy the deer tag. General tags cost $28.50 for residents, and between $228.00 and $426.00 for non-residents.

Seasons vary by hunt type and area. There are archery seasons in both October and December/January. Muzzle loader seasons are in October and December/January as well. The shotgun hunts are in December. There is a youth and disabled season towards the end of September.

Other Laws and Regulations

In Iowa, it is only legal to hunt from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset. Also, after you harvest a deer, you must submit a mandatory hunter report online or through a phone.

Where you can Hunt

The vast majority of deer hunting in Iowa must be down in the southern half of the state. Most of the northern half has no hunting allowed. Iowa has very little public land for hunters to use. In fact, they rank 49th in the nation by percentage of total land that is useable by the public. However, you are allowed to hunt on private property as long as you have the permission of the owner of the land.

Iowa may not be the greatest state for deer hunting, but it is alright for it. If you’d like to see more about the state’s deer hunting, check out the Iowa DNR home page, where you can see the latest in deer hunting season dates and laws.