Duck Season Iowa

Latest dates for the duck Hunting Season Iowa 2016-2017

SpeciesSeason DatesBag Limits (Daily)Possession Limits


Oct 3 to 18
Oct 24 to Dec 18

Oct 3 to 7
Oct 17 to Dec 10

Missouri River
Oct 3 to 7
Oct 24 to Dec 17
6 in aggregate with no more than:
4 mallards (only 2 hens)
3 wood ducks
3 scaup
2 redheads
2 pintail
2 canvasback
1 black duck

Mergansers: 5 (Max 2 hooded)

Coots: 15
3 times daily bag limit
DovesSept 1 to Nov 9153 times daily bag limit
SnipeSept 5 to Nov 3083 times daily bag limit
RailsSept 5 to Nov 13123 times daily bag limit
WoodcockOct 3 to Nov 1633 times daily bag limit
September TealNorth
Sept 5 to 20

Sept 5 to 20

Missouri River
Sept 5 to 20
6 (bluewinged, green-winged & cinnamon teal only)3 times daily bag limit
Dark GeeseNorth
Sept 26 to Jan 10

Oct 3 to Jan 8

Missouri River
Oct 10 to Jan 15
Dark Geese: 5 (Max 2 Canada(3 after Nov))3 times daily bag limit
Light GeeseNorth
Sept 26 to Jan 10

Oct 3 to Jan 15

Missouri River
Oct 10 to Jan 15
Light Geese: 20None
Ligh Goose Conservation Order (White & Blue Phase Geese & Ross' Geese)Jan 16 - Apr 15 (Regs Apply)20None
Youth WaterfowlNorth
Sept 26 to 27

Oct 10 to 11

Missouri River
Oct 17 to 18
Same as regular duck and goose seasons

Iowa Duck Hunting Season Zone Map

hunting seasons in iowa

Duck hunting is loved by many people from all over the country. Every year when the hunting season begins people gather to have some fun while hunting ducks. While this might seem like something that is anarchic and undisciplined, the truth is that duck hunting has many laws that have to be followed if you do not want to have any problem with the authorities. As a matter of fact, every state in the country has its own set of laws that have been set for waterfowl hunting, and Iowa is no different. Hunting seasons in Iowa usually go without any incidents, and if you want your Iowa duck hunting to go the same way then you should follow the rules and make sure that you meet the requirements.


The necessary documentation for every hunter that wants to shoot some Iowa waterfowl includes:

  • Hunting License

Residents of the state of Iowa who are 16 years of age or older and all non-residents, except those who are under 16 years of age, are required to always carry a valid hunting license with them. In addition to the hunting license, they also have to have paid all the necessary habitat fee and Iowa migratory game bird fee, and carry a valid federal migratory waterfowl stamp, also known as duck stamp. The non-residents of the state who are aged under 16 are only required to carry a valid hunting license and pay the habitat fee.

All of the military personal that is stationed in Iowa can purchase a resident hunting license, regardless of what their official state of residency is.

  • Wildlife Habitat Fee

In order to hunt any kind of Iowa waterfowl game birds, all residents of Iowa who are between the ages of 16 and 65, and all of the non-residents, are also required to pay a wildlife habitat fee. However, residents who have special disabled-person licenses are exempt.

  • Iowa Migratory Game Bird Fee

All of the residents and non-residents who are aged 16 or older must also pay the Iowa migratory game bird fee. This fee is required for waterfowl hunting including geese, ducks, brant, snipe, rail, woodcock, gallinule, and coot. This fee must be paid, regardless of whether a hunting license and habitat fee are required.

  • Federal Duck Stamp

All residents and non-residents who are aged 16 or older must have their own valid federal duck stamp while they are waterfowl hunting. This stamp has to have been signed by the hunter across the face. This stamp is required even when a hunting license and habitat fee are not. You can find federal duck stamps available at most of the post offices in the country, national wildlife refuges, and at some license agents. You can also purchase one online.


Hunting seasons in Iowa have their own regulations that have to be followed. This includes:

  • Shooting Hours

The shooting hours for Iowa waterfowl hunting are from ½-hour before sunrise to sunset.

  • Bag Limit

The daily limit for ducks during Iowa duck hunting season is 6. The possession limit is three times the number of the daily bag limit.


You are not allowed by the law to use a shotgun that is able to hold more than three shells during Iowa duck hunting seasons. If you have a shotgun capable of holding more, you can plug it so that it can hold as much as three, however the plugged material has to be removable only after the disassembling of the gun. Other than that there are no restrictions for the gun.

Other equipment that you should bring with you includes decoys that you can use to distract the birds or get their attention, and well camouflaged clothing that the birds won’t be able to recognize among the land. If you want to be even better prepared for waterfowl hunting you could also bring your specially trained dog that will take care of all the game birds that you manage to shoot down. However, the dog has to have certain training and the necessary documents in order to be allowed.

If you want your Iowa duck hunting season to go smoothly for you then it’s advisable that you follow all of the regulations and meet every requirement.


For more detailed info check out the The Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

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