Photos of a wild turkey and a white-tailed deer, buck
Successful Hunters - Report Your Harvest

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.

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.

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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) 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) 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
515-725-8200

Harvest Report Tag (top) and Transportation Tag (bottom)

Iowa's Deer and Turkey tags consist of a 2-piece tag. The primary reason for adopting this tag design was to provide a more convenient format for reporting a deer or turkey. The top part of the tag is the Harvest Report Tag, and is attached only after reporting your deer or turkey. The bottom part of the tag is the Transportation Tag, and is attached within 15 minutes of harvest and before moving your deer or turkey.


Iowa Harvest Reporting Tag


Attach the bottom Transportation Tag before transporting your animal, and the top Harvest Report Tag only after reporting your animal.

  1. The Transportation Tag must be attached to the deer or turkey within 15 minutes of harvest or before it is moved, whichever occurs first.
     
  2. Notch the month/day of harvest on Transportation Tag.
     
  3. Remove the Transportation Tag from backing and attach to antlers if it is an antlered deer, otherwise attach to deer or turkey leg. Press halves of the tag together to bond. Hunter's name, registration number and date of harvest must be readable.
     
  4. Report harvest by midnight of the day after tagging a deer or turkey, before taking it to a locker or taxidermist, before processing it for consumption or before transporting out of state, whichever comes first.
     
  5. Follow instructions on the Harvest Report Tag to report the animal. When reporting, you will need the harvest registration number from your tag and the Iowa county where the animal was harvested. For deer, report whether it was a doe, button buck, antlered buck, or shed-antler buck. For turkeys, report the length of the beard (fall) or length of the longest spur (spring).

  6. After reporting, record the confirmation number in the box provided on the Harvest Report Tag. An inexpensive pen (not a felt tip or marker) will write best on the tag material.
     
  7. Attach the Harvest Report Tag to the leg of the animal after it has been reported, but before the reporting deadline.
     
  8. Keep both the Transportation Tag and the Harvest Report Tag attached to the animal until it is processed for consumption.