Otter
ISU/DNR Bobcat Study

Learn more in regards to bobcat population dynamics, distrubution and landscape genetics via the results of an ongoing ISU/DNR bobcat research project.

Fur Harvester Education

Fur Harvester Education is not-mandatory in Iowa in order to hunt or trap.  This course is designed to give participants the knowledge, skill, attitude, and judgement to selectively and responsibly trap furbearing animals for the many benefits it provides.

Participants who attend a hands-on Iowa Fur Harvester Education Workshop will receive instruction on:

  • History and heritage of the fur trade;
  • Biology and management of Iowa furbearers;
  • Wildlife regulations and their purpose;
  • Ethics and responsibility;
  • Fur harvesting equipment;
  • The basics of harvesting Iowa Furbearers;
  • Marketing Furbearers;
  • Public relations; and
  • The basics of outdoor safety and survival.

To sign up for a hands-on Fur Harvester Education Workshop search our Statewide Online Database under "Advanced Hunter Education Courses" for an upcoming workshop in your area!

The Iowa DNR also recognizes the online Today's Trapper Course as a means to receive certification.  Those students wishing to complete the course online to receive certification must complete the course by clicking the link below and following the additional instructions to receive an Iowa Fur Harvester Education Certificate.

To take the online Today's Trapper Course visit:


Population and Harvest Trends
For information regarding the status of Iowa's wildlife populations, check out the Population and Harvest Trends logbook.


Occasional Wildlife Visitors to Iowa
Populations of large mammals, once native to Iowa, have been gone from the Iowa landscape for 80 to 100 years. While we no longer have breeding populations of these animals in Iowa, expanding populations in nearby states increases the potential to receive visits from wandering animals. Find out more about our occasional wildlife visitors.

Setting a trap and a successful harvest, photos

Buy Your Hunting and Fishing License Online

Trapping Seasons

Hunting & Trapping Regulations


Furbearer Hunting (p. 18)

Raccoon, Opossum, Badger, Striped Skunk, Fox (Red and Gray)
Nov 7 - Jan 31, 2016
no daily limit; no possession limit

Bobcats1, Nov 7 - Jan 31, 2016
1 daily; 1 possession
1Only one bobcat is allowed per season per licensed furharvester, either hunted or trapped. Additional requirements and map on p. 20 of the Hunting & Trapping Regulations booklet.

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Furbearer Trapping (p. 18)

Coyote, Mink3, Muskrat3, Weasel, Striped Skunk, Badger, Opossum, Fox (Red and Gray), Raccoon
Nov 7- Jan 31, 2016
no daily limit; no possession limit

Beaver3
Nov 7 - Apr 15, 2016
no daily limit; no posession limit

Otter1,3
Nov 7 - Jan 31, 2016
2 daily; 2 possession

Bobcat2
Nov 7 - Jan 31, 2016
1 daily; 1 possession

Civet Cat (Spotted Skunk)
continuous closed

Gray Wolf
continious closed

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1 Only two otters are allowed per licensed furharvester. See p. 20.

2 Only one bobcat is allowed per season per licensed furharvester, either hunted or trapped. Additional requirements and map on p. 20.

3 Taking by shotgun or spear is prohibited.

A furharvester license is required to hunt or trap furbearers. Coyote or groundhog may be hunted on a hunting or furharvester license.