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Waterfowl Season Summary
The DNR uses many sources of information when considering season dates - migration survey, federal harvest surveys, and hunter surveys, and is summarized in the linked presentation.
Developing Waterfowl hunting Season Regulations
Waterfowl are migratory birds and are influenced by factors that occur both within the state and beyond Iowa’s borders. Working with state wildlife agencies through the Flyway Councils, the US Fish and Wildlife Service identifies a range of reasonable alternatives for waterfowl hunting seasons.
2015-16 Migratory Game Bird Regulations
Fees, Special Hunts, Migratory Game Bird Season Dates, Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations, Reporting Banded Ducks and Geese, DNR Wildlife Refuges, Areas Closed to Waterfowl Hunting, National Wildlife Refuges, Areas Closed to Canada Goose Hunting, Sunrise/Sunset Table, Trumpeter Swan Identification, Mourning Doves Information
The Annual Process of Developing Waterfowl Hunting Regulations
Migratory game bird regulations are governed by a cooperative process involving Iowa government rules, nationally with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and internationally with Canada under the Migratory Game Bird Treaty. This is a step by step process that begins in January of each year and must be followed in order that the waterfowl seasons are allowed to open each fall.
Wetland Habitat Conditions
*Duck and Goose Hunting Zones:
For the 2016-2017 season, the north duck hunting zone is that part of Iowa north of a line beginning on the South Dakota-Iowa border at Interstate 29, southeast along Interstate 29 to State Highway 175, east to State Highway 37, southeast to State Highway 183, northeast to State Highway 141, east to U.S. Highway 30, and along U.S. Highway 30 to the Iowa-Illinois border. The Missouri River duck hunting zone is that part of Iowa west of Interstate 29 and north of State Highway 175.
The south duck hunting zone is the remainder of the state.
Habitat Acquisition Statistics:
Prairie Pothole Joint Venture
Wood Duck Nest Boxes
A simple wood duck box design. Fill with several inches of course wood shavings (not sawdust) and place on pipes over water. Erecting the boxes over land or in trees invites predators and extra measures must be taken to predator proof your nest box.
Special September Teal
North Zone: Sept 3 - 11
South Zone: Sept 3 - 11
Mo River Zone: Sept 3 - 18
Ducks, Coots & Mergansers
North: Sept 24 - Oct 2; Oct 15 - Dec 4
South: Oct 1 - 5; Oct 22 - Dec 15
Mo River: Oct 8 - 9; Oct 22 - Dec 18
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days
North: Sept 17 - 18
South: Sept 24 - 25
Mo River: Oct 1 - 2
(Canada geese, brant & white-fronted)
North: Sept 24 - Oct 9; Oct 15 - Jan 4
South: Oct 1 - 9; Oct 22 - Jan 18
Mo River: Oct 8 - Oct 16; Oct 22 - Jan 18
(white and blue phase snow geese & Ross')
North: Sept 24 - Oct 9; Oct 15 - Jan 13
South: Oct 1 - Oct 9; Oct 22 - Jan 27
Mo River: Oct 8 - 16; Oct 22 - Jan 27
Light Geese Conservation Order
Statewide: Jan 28 - Apr 15
(additional regulations apply)
Special Sept Canada Goose Season
Canada Geese: Sept 3 - 11
(only in designated zones around Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Cedar Falls/Waterloo)
Doves (Mourning and Eurasian Collared)
Statewide: Sept 1 - Nov 9
Statewide: Oct 1 - Nov 14
Statewide: Sept 3 - Nov 30
Rail (Sora and Virginia)
Statewide: Sept 3 - Nov 11
One-half hour before sunrise to sunset for all species except woodcock, which is sunrise to sunset. During the special September teal season shooting hours are sunrise to sunset.