Iowa’s hunting opportunities are plentiful. As a favorite outdoor pursuit for both Iowans and visitors to our state, hunting is a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Here are some tools and tips to help your hunting season be the best it can be.
Scout it Out
Looking for new areas to hunt? Try Iowa’s online hunting atlas, highlighting more than 600,000 acres of public hunting land. The atlas shows which zone the area is in, type of shot allowed, wildlife likely to be found, gives the user an overhead look at the terrain and provides a downloadable or printable map. The mobile version of the atlas will show the hunter's location through GPS technology (if granted permission).
Find a New Spot
Another resource is the Iowa Habitat Access Program (IHAP), where private landowners open their property for hunting in exchange for receiving assistance for habitat improvements. The program has added more than 9,000 acres where hunters can access private property.
Site maps are available on the DNR’s IHAP web page showing boundaries, which species would be most likely attracted to the habitat and the location of a comment box where hunters can leave their thoughts on the program. Walk-in public hunting through IHAP is available between September 1 and May 31.
Iowa’s game populations are predicted to be either stable or growing for the upcoming seasons. Deer numbers are the same as past years, while pheasant and quail numbers are rising dramatically. Find out all you need to know about hunting duck, goose, pheasant, rabbit, deer or other game in Iowa so you can plan your next trip. Be sure to brush up on Iowa’s regulations to understand where, when and how you can hunt in Iowa.
Be aware of other hunters, as well as non-hunters who may be participating in other outdoor activities. Even if your season does not require wearing blaze orange, consider wearing at least one piece in and out of the woods to make yourself visible to other hunters.
Iowa has several options for taking a hunter safety course, including online or in a classroom. Find out more on the DNR’s Hunter Education web page.