Mourning Dove
2019-20 Hunting, Trapping and Migratory Game Bird Regulations

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.

Register for HIP to Hunt Doves

To hunt doves and other migratory birds in Iowa, federal regulations require that hunters be registered with the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Hunters who hunt waterfowl or other migratory birds such as woodcock register for HIP when they pay the state migratory bird fee (stamp). Although dove hunters are not required to pay the state or federal migratory bird fee they must still register for HIP to legally hunt doves. Landowners who are only going to hunt on their own land or hunters such as those 16 and under who do not need a license do not need to register for HIP.

This year, hunters who purchased their hunting licenses after August 14th should have been asked whether they were going to hunt doves. If they responded “yes” then: “Dove: Y” was printed on their license. If a hunter changes their mind they need to register with HIP to hunt doves even if they paid the state migratory bird fee.

Dove hunters can register for HIP in two ways:
  1. They can go to the DNR’s online license sales site and login as if they were going to buy a license. Once they have entered their ID information (either the DNR # printed on their hunting license, their driver license number or their social security number and date of birth) they will see a "Dove Registration" button on the top of the screen.

  2. Hunters who do not have access to the internet can call a toll free number: 855-242-3683.
Hunters do not need to pay for a duplicate license that has the Dove: Y printed on it to go hunting for doves. Registering for HIP online or by phone is all that is needed.

Determining accurate harvest levels for game species, such as doves, are critical to the scientific management of game populations,” says Dale Garner, Iowa DNR Wildlife Bureau chief. “The HIP program gives biologists the information they need to ensure conservation of migratory bird populations while providing quality hunting opportunities.”

Mourning Dove Hunting in Iowa

Iowa became the 42nd state to have a hunting season for mourning doves in 2011. Dove hunting provides an opportunity for hunters of any age or experience level to participate due to an abundance of birds, simple equipment needs and moderate physical activity.

Doves are a  migratory bird and can be found in all 99 counties with highest populations in the Loess Hills and southern three tiers of Iowa counties. They prefer open habitats such as farmland, prairies, grasslands and lightly wooded areas.

Dove Hunting in Iowa Guide
Landowner Tips for Attracting Doves

Food Plot Sites
DNR Wildlife Management Areas & IHAP Sites with Food Plots Attractive to Doves