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Iowa’s late muzzleloader deer season begins Dec. 18, which is the final season that any-deer licenses are available.
Nearly 40,000 hunters participated in the late muzzleloader season in 2016 and the DNR expects similar numbers again this year. Archery season also re-opens on Dec. 18 so bow hunters with unfilled tags will likely be heading back to their tree stands as well.
Hunters hunting with firearms are required to wear blaze orange during the late muzzleloader season but party hunting is not allowed.
Iowa’s second shotgun ends on Dec. 17.
If hunters are seeing fewer deer where they hunt they may want to refrain from harvesting extra does. Hunters should check with landowners to see if deer numbers are at an acceptable level and tailor their harvest accordingly.
Hunters are reminded to report their harvest within 24 hours of recovering their deer. This information is an important part of the data needed to manage Iowa’s deer herd.
Nonresident Holiday Deer Season
The nonresident holiday deer season is Dec. 24-Jan. 2, and is open in counties where the nonresident antlerless deer license quotas have not filled. Licenses for this season are on sale starting Dec. 15.
Antlerless licenses for the nonresident holiday deer season is $78, which is below the regular nonresident antlerless license fee of $228. The season was created to be an affordable option for individuals who come home to Iowa for the holiday to have the opportunity to go hunting while they are back.
Nonresidents must have a valid Iowa hunting license and habitat stamp in addition to the deer license. More information is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/nonresidenthunting