Iowa hunters are able to enjoy a variety of benefits offered by the state. Specifically, Iowa offers several species to hunt as well as stunning natural beauty and easy access to and from most public hunting grounds. From game birds to small game to deer, hunters here can plan out a great trip and bag the trophy they’re looking for.

Of course, there are regulations that have to be followed. Licenses must be purchased ahead of time, with early June deadlines for buying preference points if you are a nonresident of the state. After applying for this, you’ll need to wait for the deer drawing to see if you receive the ability to hunt in the state. For residents, this is much easier and simply purchasing your license will be the main step you’ll need to take.

There are several combo licenses as well, and residents can purchase a one year resident combo license that covers hunting, fishing, and habitats for just $55, and a three year license for hunting for $101.

In terms of seasons, Iowa has several regulations to keep in mind. Here are the primary seasons to pay attention to.


• Disabled Hunter Season – Sept. 15 to 30
• Youth Season – Sept. 15 to 30
• Archery – Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 and Dec. 17 to Jan. 10
• Early Muzzleloader – Oct 13 to 21
• Regular Gun Season 1 – Dec 1 to 5
• Regular Gun Season 2 – Dec 8 to 16
• Non Resident Holiday Season – Dec 24 to Jan 2
• January Antlerless – Jan 11 to 27


• Fall Gun/Bow – Oct 16 to Nov 30
• Fall Archery – Oct 1 to Nov 30 and Dec 17 to Jan 10

Small Game

• Rooster Pheasant – Oct 27 to Jan 10
• Bobwhite Quail – Oct 27 to Jan 31
• Ruffed Grouse – Oct 6 to Jan 31
• Rabbit – Sept 1 to Feb 28
• Fox/Squirrel – Sept 1 to Jan 31
• Crow – Jan 14 to Mar 31
• Pigeon and Groundhog – Open Season throughout the year.

Hunters must hold a valid license and adhere to all regulations including wearing hunters safety orange. Bag limits and tags vary depending on species and will be explained with your license purchase. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy a different side of the country this hunting season, Iowa is a state that is well worth taking a closer look at. Residents and non-residents alike continue to take great trophies every single year here.