Iowa Deer Hunting Laws and Regulations

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Deer HuntingWallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034
Phone: 515-281-5918

Iowa Deer Impact, Ecology and Populations

There are an estimated 350,000 Deer state wide. The economic impact of Iowa deer hunting is estimated to be $225 million annually. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is in charge of monitoring deer regarding numbers, managed hunts, enforcing laws and regulations. They monitor the balance of deer in relation to economic, ecological and safety needs of the state. They implement programs designed to control the deer population. Damage from deer includes farm crops, plant extinction, forest damage, yard damage, plant extinction, forest damage car accidents and the spread of disease. They monitor the deer population for diseases such as Chronic wasting disease, Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease, tuberculosis, lyme disease and parasites. Deer-auto collisions have averaged at 24,000 per year over the past 4 years. The estimated Iowa deer hunting harvest in 2010 was 29,547.

Iowa Deer Hunting Laws & Regulations

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. Sights that project a light beam, including laser sights, are not legal for hunting A person shall not intentionally kill or wound, attempt to kill or wound, or pursue any animal, fowl, or fish from or with an aircraft in flight or from or with any vehicles commonly known as snowmobiles. Shooting Hours: Shooting hours for all deer seasons are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. Tagging Requirements: The head and antlers (if any) must remain attached to the carcass until it is processed for consumption. Hunters in the Youth, Disabled Hunter, Bow, Early Muzzleloader, and Late Muzzleloader seasons must shoot their own deer and tag only the deer they shoot.

Blaze Orange Required: To hunt deer with a firearm in any season you must wear one of the following articles of external, visible, solid blaze orange clothing: vest, jacket, coat, sweatshirt, sweater, shirt or coveralls.  An orange hat alone is not sufficient. No person shall use a blind for hunting deer during the regular shotgun deer seasons unless such blind exhibits a solid blaze orange marking with a minimum of 144 square inches visible in all directions.

Although you can hunt in a road ditch in Iowa using a shotgun shooting shot, you cannot discharge a firearm or shoot or attempt to shoot a game or furbearing animal within 200 yards of a building inhabited by people or domestic livestock or a feedlot unless the owner or tenant has given consent to do so.  You cannot shoot any rifle on or over any of the public highways or waters of the state or any railroad right-of-way. You cannot discharge a shotgun shooting a slug, pistol or revolver on or over a public roadway

Resident and nonresident Iowa deer hunting hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, must satisfactorily complete a hunter education course in order to obtain a hunting license. A person who is 11 years-old or older may enroll in a course, but those who are 11 and successfully complete the course shall be issued a certificate of completion which becomes valid on that person’s 12th birthday. Residents under the age of 12 can be issued deer and turkey licenses, but the youth hunter must be accompanied by and under the immediate control of or direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter. License not required for residents under 16 if accompanied by a licensed adult (18 years or older).  Lifetime Iowa deer hunting licenses are available to residents who qualify.


Iowa Deer Hunting Licensing and Costs


Iowa Deer Hunting – Conclusion

For other hunting laws and regulations, please see our page of US Deer Hunting. We hope this information on Iowa deer hunting was useful, and that you continue to enjoy the sport.