The thrill of the hunt doesn’t get any better than in Iowa, where hunters of all kinds can find thousands of acres of pristine land awaiting them. But before the adventure can begin, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to purchase hunting/fishing combo licenses, review safety guidelines and the state’s regulations.

Public Hunting Areas

Iowa has thousands of acres of wildlife management areas open for public hunting. These areas offer unique wetlands, prairie and timber habitat for many types of game species. A few exceptional examples include:

Union Hills Wildlife Management Area

Travel to northern Iowa’s Cerro Gordo County near Clear Lake for upland game bird hunting at Union Hills, featuring more than 2,000 acres of habitat perfect for pheasant and waterfowl.

Lake Odessa and Port Louisa

Bordering the Mississippi River in southeast Iowa near Wapello, the Odessa Complex showcases more than 6,000 acres of premiere hunting and wildlife habitat. The land is managed in partnership between the Iowa DNR and as a National Wildlife Refuge by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Dunbar Slough

Located in Greene County in central Iowa near Scranton, Dunbar Slough offers more than 2,200 acres of shallow marsh and prairie, perfect for waterfowl, rabbit and dove hunting.

Sedan Bottoms

Southern Iowa’s Sedan Bottoms in Appanoose County near Centerville combines timber, upland prairie and wetland habitat for any hunting opportunity including turkey, deer, waterfowl and pheasants.

Loess Hills State Forest

Trek through more than 11,000 acres of prime hunting property in Western Iowa near Pisgah, where you'll find an abundance of turkey, deer and other game.

Private Hunting Areas

Iowa hunters have access to more than 20,000 acres of private land open to hunting through the Iowa Habitat and Access Program. Landowners open their land to public hunting, and in exchange receive aid to develop habitat on those acres. Visit the DNR website for maps, tips and hunting guidelines. Here are additional private hunting areas to visit:

Hole N' The Wall Lodge

Have pheasant fever? The Hole N' The Wall Lodge in Akron provides the perfect habitat for pheasants - and hunters - to thrive.

Doc's Hunt Club

When you walk onto Doc's Hunt Club near Adel, you'll be surrounded by 500 acres of prairie grass, gently rolling hills and timber - perfect territory for pheasant, quail and chukar hunting.

Oak View II Hunting Club

Pheasants. Chukar. Quail. Hunt as many of these birds as you want, because there's no bag limit on game birds at Oak View II in Runnells.

LJS Hunting Lodge

LJS Lodge in Albia offers 600 acres of deer hunting with amenities such as tree stands, mineral stations and tree cameras for hunting – and comfortable quarters for sleeping.