Hunters are now able to hunt on almost 8,000 acres of private lands in Iowa, thanks to landowners who participate in the Iowa Hunting and Access (IHAP) program. Landowners receive funding and expertise for habitat improvements when they enroll in the program, and in turn allow public access to their land for hunting.
To help make this program be successful, hunters are asked to respect private property when hunting and follow these IHAP tips and guidelines. Walk-in public hunting through IHAP is available between September 1 and May 31st. Areas are posted with signs (to the right), and are regularly patrolled by Iowa DNR conservation officers. Safety zones also are clearly marked. Learn more about the IHAP program and benefits to landowners and hunters.
Hunter Guidelines and TIPS for IHAP Tracts:
- Hunt only on IHAP property. Do not walk or hunt on adjacent property. Allow a buffer around livestock and buildings. IHAP tracts are for walk-in hunting only. Do not enter properties with vehicles. Do not open gates. Park along the road or in areas designated as parking areas. Avoid stretching fences when crossing them.
- IHAP tracts are for hunting only. Other activities such as target shooting, camping, horseback riding, or professional dog training are NOT included in the contracts and, therefore, are prohibited.
- Obey all Iowa hunting regulations and respect the rights of the landowners when using the area. Treat the land as if it were your own and act responsibly. Current IHAP contracts are only for three to ten years. Hunter behavior will decide the future enrollment of these areas.
- Take all your trash with you when you leave an area. Make an effort to pick up any trash left by others.
- IHAP tracts are open from September 1 through May 31st.
- The maps that are provided (Iowa Habitat and Access Program (IHAP) - Maps) are intended to assist users in identifying the locations of Iowa Habitat & Access Program properties. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of these maps, they are intended for use as a general reference. Signs will mark the actual IHAP boundary. Use posted signs as the true boundaries.
- At each IHAP site you will find checkout cards and drop box. When you are ready to leave, please complete a checkout card documenting your hunt and place in the drop box. Your feedback helps maintain good relationships with IHAP landowners.
On occasion, some tracts of land enrolled in IHAP may be removed from the program. Make sure the land you are entering is posted with "Iowa Habitat and Access Program" signs.
Kelly Smith, Kelly.Smith@dnr.iowa.gov