Learn to Hunt
Report Your Harvest
Current Fishing Report
Taking Kids Fishing
Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Natural Resource Plates
Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges.
Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle.
Natural Resource Plates
Iowa DNR Customer Service
Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:30pm CST
Submit Online Inquiry
Information / Records Requests
Contact Information by County
- Report Your Harvest Online, call 800-771-4692 -or text your registration number to 1-800-771-4692 and follow the prompts
Hunting / Fishing Licenses- Purchase or Renew Online -
Plan Your Trip- Interactive Hunting Atlas -
Sign up for Hunting News
Hunter Education / Safety- Find a Class Now -
The following video was presented during Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) town hall-style meetings where local staff accepted feedback on recently completed hunting and trapping seasons, and discussed possible changes to hunting and trapping rules and regulations. The DNR continues to accept comments on the proposals via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, through U.S. mail at Chris Ensminger, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034, or by calling the office in Des Moines at 515-725-8200.
Public meetings will be considered along with other related comments received by the Iowa DNR prior to proposing changes to hunting rules and regulations. Proposed rules will be presented to the Natural Resource Commission during a regular public meeting for consideration and additional public comment.
This is not a complete set of hunting, fishing and trapping laws but contains the information you are most likely to need to safely participate in these outdoor activities.
The Iowa DNR is excited to announce several new fishing and hunting license options! These licenses will increase convenience, help lessen worry about expiring, save money and give you new opportunities to fish and hunt.
Residents and nonresidents can also now purchase:
Buy your new license today online or at your Local License Retailer.
Establishing residency in the state of Iowa
Were the last licenses or tags you purchased in the state of Iowa nonresident tags? Are you now permanently living in Iowa? Here is what is required to prove eligibility of Iowa Residency. ( for former nonresidents)
Resident License Application Form Changing Your Residency Status FAQ
All hunters hunting licensed hunting preserves must obtain an Iowa small game hunting license and habitat fee, or obtain the hunting preserve hunting license valid only on licensed preserves, and the habitat fee. Resident Iowa youth under the age of 16 are not required to have a license, but must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years of age or older. Non-resident youth under the age of 16 are required to possess a non-resident youth preserve license and habitat fee. The non-resident youth under 16 years of age are not required to have completed a hunter safety/education course.
All preserve game birds and game animals harvested on the licensed preserve must be properly tagged with transportation/kill tags as required by law. Hunting preserve operators are responsible for tagging the harvested game bird or animal before it is transported from the licensed preserve.
Populations of large mammals, once native to Iowa, have been gone from the Iowa landscape for 80 to 100 years. Learn more regarding wolves, bears, mountain lions and moose.
More information: Iowa's Occasional Wildlife Visitors
The Iowa DNR is required to authorize a club or individual to hold an organized dog trial (e.g. bird dog, retriever, coon dog, fox hound) within the state, regardless of whether the event is held on public or private ground.
At least 30 days before the scheduled date of the dog trial, an application must be filed with the DNR using the Special Events web-based application found at https://programs.iowadnr.gov/specialevents/.
For more information, contact your local conservation officer or wildlife biologist.
Did regulations change from 2020 to 2021 regarding allowable calibers?
Yes, the new regulations expanded what is legal for deer hunting. Hunters are no longer limited to using straight walled cartridge rifles. Everything that was legal in 2020 is also legal in 2021.
Will it change in the future?
It would take a change in Iowa law through the Legislature to make changes to allowable cartridges. No changes are being proposed or discussed for the foreseeable future.
How do I determine my cartridge size?
The caliber, or bullet diameter, is typically printed on the ammo box.
Is the list of allowable cartridges in the regulations a complete list?
No, it's not. We have tried to include common ones, but there are many less popular cartridges not shown on the list. The most important criteria is, that it is at least .350 but no greater than .500.
Are .350 and .500 "in or out" of what's legal?
They are legal. It it's .349 or less OR .501 or more, it's not legal.
Can I use a revolver and are there limits on size?
A revolver is legal if the barrel is at least 4 inches long
I just bought a .350 Legend. Is it legal or not legal?
I just bought a .45-70. Is it legal or not legal?
What bottle-shaped cartridges are legal?
All of them with a bullet diameter between 0.350" and 0.500".
How do I verify whether or not my cartridges are legal if I still have questions after reading this Q/A and the regulations?
Contact your local conservation officer. A list is available on p. 53 of the hunting regulations or by clicking here.
Is there a magazine capacity limit for deer hunting in Iowa?
No, there is not a maximum round count for rifle or shotgun magazines for deer hunting in Iowa.