Iowa Hunting Laws and Regulations
The following are a few common Iowa hunting regulations. They are not a summary of all the hunting regulations in Iowa. Please see our current hunting regulation booklet and migratory game bird brochure for further hunting regulations. You should be fully familiarized with all the regulations before you go hunting.
The Iowa hunting regulations can be viewed here. Printed regulation booklets are also available at Iowa DNR district offices, county recorders, sporting good shops and stores and all other hunting license vendors. The “Iowa Hunting and Trapping Regulations” as well as the “Migratory Bird Regulations” are reprinted and available every year in late summer. The regulations should be reviewed each year prior to hunting to be aware of any regulation changes. Remember, it is your responsibility as an ethical hunter to know the hunting laws before you go to the field.
Iowa Game Seasons and Limits
Iowa’s regulated game species have set seasons, some have set daily shooting hours, and some have Daily limits and Possession limits. The Daily Limit is the number of animals of that species which may harvested in one day. The Possession Limit is the number of animals of that species which may be kept in possession by a person at any time.
Iowa’s non-game animal species are protected, these species include wild birds, fish, bats, reptiles and amphibians or their eggs or nests, their dead body or body parts or a product made from their parts. Any bat, with the exception of the Indiana bat, that is found within a building occupied by humans is not protected.
Iowa’s non-game species that are not protected include the European starling, the house sparrow, and the common garter snake. Timber rattlesnakes are protected in Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, DesMoines, Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Jackson, Jones, Lee, Madison, VanBuren, and Winneshiek counties but not including an area of 50 yards around houses actively occupied by human beings in those counties.
Licenses, Fees and Stamps Required
Iowa residents 16 years and older, and nonresidents regardless of age, are required to have a valid Hunting License on their person, and have paid all applicable fees and possess all required stamps while hunting. Hunters should refer to the Iowa Hunting and Trapping Regulations to determine which stamps and other licenses they will need to pursue particular game animals.