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NR Application Tips
Contributors to this thread:
MN_Bow_Hunter_1980 30-Aug-18
NEIAbowhunter 30-Aug-18
MN_Bow_Hunter_1980 31-Aug-18
drbonner 05-Sep-18
4nolz@work 12-Sep-18
1boonr 13-Sep-18
4nolz@work 25-Sep-18
Shawn 27-Sep-18
4nolz@work 02-Oct-18
4nolz@work 02-Oct-18
4nolz@work 02-Oct-18
hawkeye arrow 20-Oct-18
4nolz@work 22-Oct-18
Fainsirly 15-Jul-20
Hello, I mainly hunt MN and WI but am really looking to expand my archery experiences. I have been thinking a lot about Iowa and what the state may offer. I am not a trophy hunter per se but really enjoy the experience of new hunts. Don't get me wrong I would love to harvest a trophy but that isn't what drives my hunting experience. That said, I have ZERO knowledge of how to go about tackling IA's application process. I have read the NR IOWA Deer Application Instructions and just have some questions.

1) When the hell can you apply for the bow season? 2) Do you have to know what zone/area you want to apply to immediately? 3) When can you purchase PP for the current or future seasons? 4) Is the cost of a bow license the same as the Gun? The instructional PDF on the IA DNR page tells you what to do just not how to do it and when. A little confused. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks in advance.

P.S. I would be hunting public land as I do not have private land access

I am a resident so I don't know all of this for sure. A call to Des Moines would be best or asking on the general forum as a lot of them apply here. However, I looked online at our website. It appears 1) you can apply from May 5-June 3. Results are posted July 21. You must specify Season C which is the bow season 2) It appears you need to know what zone unless you are applying for a preference point only, which most zones take 3 years to draw it looks. 3) May 5-June 3 $50 for PP (non-refundable) plus application fees. You do not lose your points if you purchase an antlerless tag. 4) I would say yes. $426 for the deer license, $112 for the hunting license and $13 for the habitat stamp.

Also, if you google Iowa public hunting there is an interactive map that shows all the public areas and how many acres they are. This may aid in your "which zone" to hunt dilemma.

Hopefully this helps.

Thanks NEIAbowhunter. Much appreciated brother (or sister) I have no idea

From: drbonner
Iowa DNR website has a pretty extensive list of FAQs with answers and links


From: 4nolz@work
its simple you apply for what season and zone you want to hunt during the 30 day application period in May or June,pay your money.If you draw fine if not you get most of it back by refund and are awarded a preference point.If you want you can just buy a preference point on the years you are pretty sure you arent going to draw(it takes 3-4 years to draw an archery tag).You cannot get more than 1 preference point in a year.if you reapply for a doe tag (gun 1 and 2 season only offered) it does not use your preference points up.

From: 1boonr
If you are not a trophy hunter there is no need to jump through all the Iowa hoops and wait 4 years to draw. Go to Wisconsin, North or South Dakota and you will be able to expand all you want every year.

From: 4nolz@work
I agree go to Wisconsin,North or South Dakota. :)

From: Shawn
It does not take 3 or 4 years to draw Iowa!! Some areas it does but not all of them. I would start by buying a preference point and than another. After that look at applying to some spots! Shawn

From: 4nolz@work
for ARCHERY it took me 4 years this last time Shawn check the drawing stats,some zones just arent that good of hunting,Ive never drawn an ARCHERY tag in less than 3 years.Maybe for gun season every other year but NOT for archery.

From: 4nolz@work
draw results are public

for 2017 zone 4 archery 13 of the 448 tags had 2 points 362 of the 448 tags had 3 points 56 of the 448 tags had 4 points

From: 4nolz@work
2018 zone 4 archery 1 point 0 of 448 2 points 0 of 448 3 points 300 of 448 4 points 121 of 448

tell me it doesnt take 3-4 years to draw go hunt NW Iowa if you want :)

There is not a big buck behind every tree here, like outdoor television would leave you to believe.

From: 4nolz@work
just like people come to Florida expecting to catch 10# bass hand over fist.120" deer are great but its a BIG leap to the big boys and very regional and even in pockets of Counties depending on management.When they eventually get rid of group/party hunting things will improve(and they will eventually)-and I love party hunting I grew up doing it!

From: Fainsirly
Thanks a lot for sharing this information with me. I really liked it a lot.

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