Iowa Hunting Seasons 2018-2019

Clever Hunters is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

If you’re a HUNTER who wants to experience BEST white-tail deer hunt as well as hunting other game? Iowa Hunting Seasons have plenty to offer. Learn about the season dates right away!

Wondering if it’s possible to experience hunting in Iowa? Well, of course, you can, after all, Iowa is famous for white-tailed deer since there’s a LOT of them.

The climate, as well as the abundance of food, has a great part in the increase of white-tailed deer population, and every hunter interested in hunting them is welcome.

Bear in mind that Iowa is a state which consists of vast grasslands and rolling hills. Crop fields cover around 60% of the entire state. The most popular upland game species are quail, cottontail rabbits, squirrels and pheasants.


Iowa Hunting Seasons and All Available Games

iowa hunting seasons 2019

1. Iowa Deer Seasons




October 1 – November 30
December 17 – January 10

Youth Season

September 15 - 30

Disabled Hunter Season

September 15 - 30


October 13 – 21


December 17 – January 10

Regular Gun (1st season)

December 1 - 5

Regular Gun (2nd season)

December 8 – 16

Non-Resident Holiday Seasons

December 24 – January 2

January Antlerless

January 11 - 27

NOTE: Hunters are required to purchase permit for every deer harvested.

2. Iowa Turkey Seasons



Fall Archery

October 1 – November 30
December 17 – January 10

Fall Bow or Gun

October 16 – November 30

3. Iowa Small Game Seasons



Rooster Pheasant

October 27 – January 10

Youth Rooster Pheasant

October 20 – 21

Ruffed Grouse

October 6 – January 31

Bobwhite Quail

October 27 – January 31

Cottontail Rabbit

September 1 – February 28


January 14 – March 31

Fox & Gray Squirrel

September 1 – January 31


Open Season


Open Season

License Requirements

Who can hunt in Iowa? Both residents and non-residents can hunt in Iowa if they obtain a hunting license. Residents younger than the age of 16 don’t need to have a license but need to be accompanied by a licensed hunter 18 years of age. Non-residents younger than sixteen must possess a non-resident youth preserve license, and it is not necessary for them to complete the hunter education course. 

Anyone who is born after January 1, 1972, is required to have a Hunter Education License before they are eligible to obtain any hunting license. You can buy all the licenses online.

Night Hunting in Iowa

There are no restrictions for night hunting on fox, raccoon, coyote, skunk, bobcat and opossum. Other animals cannot be hunted during night hours.

Artificial lights and sights that project a light beam and laser sights are not allowed for hunting. Infrared lights are considered as artificial lights and using it in a combination with a night vision device is not allowed. 

Where to Hunt in Iowa?

iowa hunting seasons and bag limits

The Iowa, Wildlife bureau manages over 370, 000 acres of land available for hunting. Wildlife Management Areas are a natural habitat managed for recreational hunting.

In Iowa there is a Habitat and Access Program where some landowners open their land to public hunting each year. That’s a great opportunity for landowners to improve their land because the state offers funding, and for hunters as well because they get more land where they can hunt.

If you need more information about the hunting areas, there is a Hunting Atlas. It’s an interactive map that gives basic information but also some descriptions like the size of the specific area, habitat description, species and links for more maps.

Before going on a hunting trip, always check season dates, regulations for certain areas where you plan to hunt and stay well informed!

Leave a Comment