Iowa Outdoors Report

Hunting seasons will begin closing soon in early January. Pheasant, archery turkey and deer seasons, and late muzzleloader deer season close on Jan. 10. Goose seasons start closing first in the north zone on Jan. 13, followed by the central zone on Jan. 20, and the south zone on Jan. 27.

The season for quail, partridge, ruffed grouse, and squirrels closes Jan. 31. Rabbit season closes Feb. 28.

The furbearer hunting and trapping seasons also close on Feb. 28. Furharvesters can continue trapping beavers until April 15.

Iowa hunters have reported harvesting 96,000 deer so far during the 2023 season.

2023 hunting, fishing and trapping licenses expire on Jan. 10.

HIP Reminder – Hunters who pursue migratory game birds are required to register for Harvest Information Program (HIP) either through the Go Outdoors Iowa app on their smartphone, through a link at or at and answering a few questions. 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 physically write a confirmation number on the line provided at the top of the license as proof of registration. The HIP registration can be found on the home screen in the GoOutdoorsIowa mobile app. Registering for HIP is a federal requirement for all migratory bird hunters.

Wildlife Rules Meeting – The Iowa DNR is busy reserving locations for its town hall-style public meetings that will be held in late February. These meetings are led by local staff who provide updates on recently completed hunting and trapping seasons, discuss possible changes to hunting and trapping rules and regulations, and address other topics as requested. Meeting dates and times will be announced once the locations are finalized.

The meetings are open to the public. Comments collected from these 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.