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Regulations and other information

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.

  • Bonus Line License – resident and nonresident anglers can fish with one additional line (with the purchase of the annual fishing license, which allows two lines), for $12.
  • Outdoor Combo License – annual resident hunting/fishing/habitat combo license for $47.
  • Angler’s Special* – a three-year fishing license for $53.
  • Hunter’s Special* – a three-year hunting license with habitat included for $86.

Residents and nonresidents can also now purchase:  

 

 

  • Resident hunting/habitat combo license for $30.
  • Resident fur harvester/habitat (age 16 and over) combo license for $33.50.
  • Nonresident hunting/habitat (age 18 and over) annual for $123.
  • Nonresident hunting/habitat (under age 18) annual for $43.
  • Nonresident fur harvester/habitat annual for $213.
  • Nonresident fur dealer one day, one location for $252.

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.


Hunting - Firearm FAQs

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?
Legal

I just bought a .45-70. Is it legal or not legal?
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.