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Mourning Dove

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
  • Purchase and view / print your licenses & permits
  • Submit harvest reports and check quotas
  • View and Manage Your Customer Account


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Harvest Information Program (HIP)

Hunters who plan to pursue migratory game birds will be required to register for Harvest Information Program (HIP). Migratory game birds mean more than ducks and geese; it includes ducks, geese, coots, doves, woodcock, rails, and snipe.

Once registered, hunters will need to write their confirmation number on the line provided at the top of their hunting license as proof of registration. The HIP registration can be found in the GoOutdoorsIowa mobile app by clicking on the purchase license button, and then logging in to your account.


Migratory Game Bird Season Dates


We work hard to keep our calendar current, but always refer to the hunting regulation booklet for official, legal season dates.

2024-2025 North Zone Central Zone South Zone
Youth Waterfowl Sept. 21-22 Sept. 28-29 Oct. 5-6
Ducks, Mergansers & Coots Sep. 28 - Oct. 4
Oct. 12 - Dec. 3
Oct. 5 - 11
Oct. 19 - Dec. 10
Oct. 12 - 18
Oct. 26 - Dec. 17
Dark Geese & Light Geese Sep. 21 - Oct. 6
Oct. 12 - Dec. 3
Dec. 14 - Jan. 11, 2025
Sep. 28 - Oct. 13
Oct. 19 - Dec. 10
Dec. 21 - Jan. 18
Oct. 5 - 20
Oct. 26 - Dec. 17
Dec. 28 - Jan. 25, 2025
 2024-2025 Statewide Limit
Special September Teal Sept. 1 - 16 Daily limit is 6
Doves Sept. 1 - Nov. 29 Daily limit is 15
Snipe Sept. 7 - Nov. 30 Daily limit is 8
Rail Sept. 7 - Nov. 15 Daily limit is 12
Woodcock Oct. 5 - Nov. 18 Daily limit is 3
  • Metropolitan Goose Hunting Season (in specified areas): Sep. 14-22, Daily limit is 5. Only in designated zones around Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Cedar Falls/Waterloo. Special regulations apply. Maps: Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Zone, Des Moines Zone, and Waterloo/Cedar Falls Zone
  • Light Geese Conservation Order (additional regulations apply. Jan. 26 - May 1, 2025