Iowa on map
About hunting in Iowa
Iowa is known for big white-tailed deer… and lots of them. Abundant food and mild winter weather make it possible for Iowa's whitetails to become large in body weight and to develop impressive antlers. Hunters in Iowa and neighboring Illinois typically take more Boone and Crockett whitetails than those in any other state. Twenty-eight of the top fifty trophy deer counties are in these two states; Iowa currently has some 507 record-book deer listed in B&C. Residents can simply purchase deer tags, but nonresidents must apply in a lottery for a limited quota of 5,000 tags. Applicants must choose one of ten zones. The application deadline is early June. Iowa consists of rolling hills and grasslands; crops cover some 60 percent of the state. Pheasants, quail, cottontail rabbits, and squirrels are Iowa's most popular upland game species. Wild turkeys were reintroduced to the state in 1966 and today turkey populations have expanded across the entire state of Iowa and the birds are thriving; turkey hunting seasons are in both spring and fall. Iowa deer hunters during the regular gun season are limited to certain firearms: shotguns shooting single slugs, muzzleloaders, centerfire handguns .357 caliber or large, and rifles shooting straight-wall ammunition with an expanding type bullet. (See regulations for a list of allowed cartridges, as many common centerfire calibers are prohibited.) When hunting upland game birds, hunters must wear a hat or cap that is 50 percent blaze orange. When hunting deer with a firearm, at least one blaze orange item, other than a hat, is required. When hunting deer while using a blind, hunters must also place at least 144 total square inches of blaze orange material on the blind. Learn more about Iowa hunting regulations at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting.
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