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Wildlife Management Areas

Welcome to Iowa's public wildlife management areas. The DNR's Wildlife Bureau manages over 356,000 acres that are available for public recreational use every day of the year. All of these areas are managed with revenues for the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses that are purchased by resident and non-residents. These state revenues are supplemented with Federal Sport Fish & Wildlife Restoration funding from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. This federal money is comprised of an excise tax on hunting and fishing equipment collected by the federal government and then distributed back to state fish and wildlife agencies. As such, wildlife management areas are funded almost solely by hunters, fishers, and trappers.

The funding sources used to manage these areas insure that they are managed to provide habitat for Iowa's native wildlife species and those species that migrate through our state. Developing and restoring wildlife habitat to ensure that wildlife species have a safe place to breed, rest, and feed is the primary management objective. Wildlife dependent recreational activities are allowed to enable residents and non-residents to enjoy these wildlife species.

Only basic public use facilities such as parking lots and boats ramps are provided. Portions of these areas may be designated as refuge and restrictions are placed on certain uses that may interfere with management goals and objectives.

Before visiting a public wildlife area, please check out Chapters 51, 52, and 53 of the Iowa Administrative Code to insure that you have a safe and successful experience on these areas.

Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 51: Wildlife Mananagement Areas
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 52: Wildlife Refuges
Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 53: Controlled Hunting Areas

Wildlife Area Forest Stewardship Plans

Lake Odessa Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife Management Areas- Staff

The DNR's Wildlife management staff manages over 356,000 acres that are available for public recreational use every day of the year. All of these areas are managed with revenues for the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses that are purchased by resident and non-residents. The funding sources used to manage these areas insure that they are managed to provide habitat for Iowa's native wildlife species and those species that migrate through our state. Developing and restoring wildlife habitat to ensure that wildlife species have a safe place to breed, rest, and feed is the primary management objective. Wildlife dependent recreational activities are allowed to enable residents and non-residents to enjoy these wildlife species. Only basic public use facilities such as parking lots and boats ramps are provided. Portions of these areas may be designated as refuge and restrictions are placed on certain uses that may interfere with management goals and objectives.


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