Harvest Reporting System

The Harvest Reporting System is an electronically based system for collecting deer and turkey harvest information from hunters. Reporting is mandatory: ALL successful hunters must report ALL deer and turkeys they harvest. Hunters have the option to report via the internet, toll-free telephone, or by visiting their local hunting license agent.

All successful deer and turkey hunters must report each deer and/or turkey they harvest. The hunter whose name is on the transportation tag is responsible for reporting the animal. Only successful deer and turkey hunters must report.

Why does Iowa require harvest reporting?
Prior to harvest reporting, Iowa had a long history of using postcard surveys to estimate the harvest of deer and turkeys. However, these surveys were slow and cumbersome, and often didn't provide reliable information about deer and turkey harvest at the county level. The harvest reporting system provides harvest information much faster, and with a much higher level of detail. This leads to more responsive management of our deer and turkey populations. Checklist for Tagging / Reporting Deer: Reporting Checklist & Tags

Do I need to report my deer or turkey before I take it to a locker or taxidermist?

Yes. You are required to report your deer or turkey prior to taking it to a locker or taxidermist, or before transporting it out-of-state, whichever occurs first. Lockers and taxidermists are not required to check for a confirmation number before accepting a deer or turkey.

Before reporting a deer or turkey, you must first have the following information:

  1. First, gather the information you will need to report. Have a pen and paper available. Paper is not necessary if the hunter records the confirmation number directly on the Harvest Report Tag.
  2. The 9-digit harvest registration number that is printed on the tag that has been attached to the deer or turkey. This number appears under the heading "Step 2:" on the Harvest Report Tag. Each tag has a unique harvest registration number.

    For Deer:
    a) Determine the sex of the deer. (i.e. Doe, Button buck, Antlered buck, or Shed-antler buck). A buck with non-forked antlers (i.e., "spike" buck) is considered an antlerless deer.
    b) The Iowa county where the deer was harvested.

    For Fall Turkey:
    a) Determine the beard length of the turkey. (i.e., no beard, less than 4 inches, 4 inches or longer)
    b) Where the bird was harvested (i.e., public land or private land)
    c) The Iowa county where the turkey was harvested.

    For Spring Turkey:
    a) Determine the spur length of the turkey. (i.e., less than 1/2 inch, 1/2 to 3/4 inches, greater than 3/4 inches)
    b) Where the bird was harvested (i.e., public land or private land)
    c) The Iowa county where the turkey was harvested.

Choose your Method of Registration:
Hunters can report their deer or turkey online, by telephone, or by visiting their local hunting license agent. The Iowa DNR recommends online reporting because it is a quick, easy, and reliable form of reporting your harvest. Many hunters who have tried internet reporting have indicated a strong preference for this reporting method. Telephone reporting is also easy and convenient, but some hunters may have problems with the telephone system understanding their voiced responses.

Attention Cell Phone Users:
The most common reason hunters are unable to complete their telephone report is because of a poor cellular telephone connection. Signals that are weak, fade in and out , or "clip" speech will not work with the system. Once you have attached the transportation tag to your deer or turkey, you have until midnight the day after you harvested the animal to report your animal. Wait until you are out of the woods and receive a clear strong cell phone connection before placing your call.
DNR Customer Service Center