Wild Turkey in Iowa
Turkey Hunting in Iowa

By the early 1900's, unrestricted market hunting and drastic reductions in habitat had eliminated wild turkeys in Iowa. For many years, the thunderous gobbles of the wild turkey were absent from Iowa's woodlands and forests.

This silence was broken in 1966 when the Iowa Department of Natural Resources initiated a program to return the wild turkey to Iowa. Wild turkeys were released at several sites across the state, with the first release occurring in Lee County, Iowa. Over the past 30 years, the restoration of Iowa's wild turkey population has resulted from natural expansion from the early release sites.

Find online more information regarding hunting licenses & laws, license applications, places to hunt & shoot, harvest reporting information, left over quota licenses (available options for general quota information will be listed in left side menu) and hunter education.

YouTube Video #1: Turkey Hunting Safety (0:35)
YouTube Video #2: Turkey Hunting Safety (0:35) 

YouTube Video: Spring Turkey Hunting
Frequently Asked Questions, Turkey Hunting

Measuring Beards
Beards must be measured from the center of the beard (where beard is attached to the skin) to the longest portion of the beard tip. Pull the beard straight out when measuring and measure to the longest beard strand.

Measuring Spurs
Measure each spur in inches and report the longer of the two measurements. Spurs must be measured along the bottom curve, from where the spur protrudes from the leg to the tip of the spur. A flexible tape provides the most accurate measurement.

Scoring Your Wild Turkey
Information on measuring spurs, beards and scoring your turkey and entering your turkey into the record books can be found on the National Wild Turkey Federation's site under "How to Score Your Wild Turkey."

Shooting Hours (Fall Turkey Seasons)
Gun: 1/2hr before sunrise to sunset
Bow: 1/2hr before sunrise to 1/2hr after sunset

Shooting Hours (Spring Turkey Seasons)
Gun/Bow: 1/2hr before sunrise to sunset


Nonresident Application Period
Hunters may determine their drawing status online. Please do not call the DNR as your drawing status will not be provided over the phone. To look up your drawing status information, you must now go to the online purchasing site. After logging in, please click on the ‘View Application Status’ option on the right side of the page. For more information regarding Season Dates/Info, Application Dates, License Fee and Requirements, Application Instructions, Group Info, Landowner Info, Zones, etc please take a moment to view our Nonresident Turkey Application Guide.

Nonresident Leftover Limited Quota Licenses
If any license quota has not been filled, the excess licenses will be sold online or through the telephone ordering system, until the quotas are filled or the last day of the respective season, whichever comes first.

That's not all - check our Turkey Hunting FAQ for more questions and answers.

Buy Your Hunting and Fishing License Online

2016 Spring Turkey Seasons
Gun/Bow
  Youth* Apr 9 - 17
  Season 1 Apr 18 - 21
  Season 2 Apr 22 - 26
  Season 3 Apr 27 - May 3
  Season 4 May 4 - 22
Archery Only      Apr 18 - May 22

*Youth Season (Residents Only)

Comb. Gun/Bow licenses are on sale from December 15, 2015 until last day of the season.

Archery only licenses are on sale from December 15, 2015 until the last day of the season.

Hunters are required to report their turkey harvest online or by calling 1-800-771-4692

2015 Fall Turkey Seasons
Gun/Bow Oct 12 - Dec 4
Archery Only        Oct 1 - Dec 4
Dec 21 - Jan 10, 2016


Comb. Gun/Bow licenses are on sale from August 15, 2015 until quotas are filled.

Archery only licenses are on sale from August 15, 2015 until the last day of the season.

Hunters are required to report their turkey harvest online or by calling 1-800-771-4692