My mouth salivated, my hands tremored and my knees buckled.  No this wasn’t a first date, this was the first time I saw my buddy’s Iowa deer hanging on his wall. Since that moment, I knew I had to hunt Iowa someday. As we all know, Iowa grows big deer and the hunters there let them grow old. This is the age old recipe for awesome deer hunting and many of us can’t help but want a piece of that pie, me included. That being said, when I recently got an email from an outfitter encouraging me to apply for preference points for Iowa, I knew I needed to pay attention. In order for a non-resident to bow hunt in Iowa, you must first buy preference points for a couple years. I’ll be purchasing mine this year, with hopes to some day harvest an Iowa brute. The deadline this year is June 6, so time is running out. If you hope to hunt Iowa some time down the road, make sure to get your preference points ASAP. I’ve copied below the information about the Iowa license application process that I recieved in the aforementioned email from Performance Outdoors. It’s pretty helpful.

General rule of acquiring the Tags and Licenses to hunt South East or Southern Iowa

  • Archery takes a minimum of 2 years of acquiring preference points, and hunting the 3rd year is likely.
  • 1st shotgun season (or muzzleloader) takes a minimum of 1 year of acquiring preference points, and hunting the 2nd year is likely.
  • 2nd shotgun (or muzzleloader) can often be acquired with ZERO preference points, about 60% chance.
  • Muzzleloader only takes 1 year of getting the point, and hunt the 2nd year is likely
  • Preference Points are not allocated to any particular season or zone.  They are accumulated and once you go for the Tag, you must preference the details of the hunt.

Iowa License Application Deadline is June 6th, 2010

To apply Online go to:               

To apply by phone call:                        1-800-367-1188

General IA DNR info:                

To contact the IA DNR call:                1-515-281-5918