Iowa Turkey Season 2023: What You Need to Know to Bag the Big One

As the crisp autumn air sets in, hunters in Iowa begin to gear up for turkey season. The excitement of bagging a big Tom turkey runs high as hunters scan the grounds for the perfect spot to call home for the next few weeks. With Iowa turkey season 2023 quickly approaching, there is much to know about bagging the big one.

Turkey hunting in Iowa is an activity enjoyed by thousands of hunters every year. The sport is especially popular to hunters as it takes place during the spring and fall seasons; when the leaves are turning colors, and the air is crisp.

The turkey hunting season in Iowa starts in April and lasts till May, with the fall season usually starting in early October and ending in early December. Hunters from all over Iowa and neighboring states come to Iowa to try their luck and see if they can bag the elusive Tom turkey.

In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to have a successful Iowa turkey season. We’ll cover what gear you need, where to go, and what the best strategies are for hunting these elusive birds.

Gearing Up for the Season

As with any hunting trip, well-made equipment is essential. Turkey hunting requires specialized gear and clothing that is specifically designed to help hunters get close to the birds and outsmart their camouflage.

When it comes to gear, the most important items are a shotgun, a turkey call or two, and camouflage clothing. The shotgun should be a 12, 16, or 20 gauge, or even a 410 shotgun. A few other recommended items include binoculars, a headlamp or flashlight, and a good pair of boots.

The turkey call is crucial to imitate the various sounds turkeys make to help entice them towards you. The three main calls are yelps, clucks, and purrs. As the season starts, it’s important to practice with a turkey call to become proficient in making the various sounds to attract the Tom turkey.

Turkeys have incredible eyesight, so having camouflage clothing that covers your entire body is extremely important. It’s recommended to wear loose-fitting drab colors and avoid shiny fabrics as turkeys have excellent eyesight and can spot anything out of the ordinary.

Scouting the Area

Scouting the area is essential when planning a turkey hunting trip in Iowa. Different regions have different nesting habits, and turkeys can be found in different locations in the early morning or late afternoon.

Talking to other hunters in the area, resort to a local Iowa hunting magazine or website intended for hunters, and even talking to landowners in the area can be a great way to scope out the ideal hunting spots.

Searching for feeding areas and places where the Tom can breed and the female turkeys can lay their eggs are key places to stay for hunters.

Best Time to Hunt

The most successful time to hunt turkeys is during the morning and late afternoon. Turkeys usually start to come alive around 6 am, so it is recommended to take your position inside your hunting spot when there is a few hours of a natural light.

On the other hand the late evenings right before sunset may also prove effective as turkeys tend to call it a night and head to their roosting spot. It is recommended to keep your call as low as possible to prevent them from being spooked. If the hen turkeys in the area starts to call, it raises the chances of success to try calling them towards you.

Hunting Regulations

To be allowed to hunt turkeys in Iowa, there are certain regulations that hunters must adhere to. The hunting license requirements are based on whether hunters are residents or non-residents of Iowa, as well as their age.

Hellen Kurtz, the Iowa DNR (Department of Natural Resources) Wildlife Biologist said “We remind everyone to double check their shotguns, ammo and hunting gear before the season starts and to take hunter education courses”, taking courses for Hunter’s Safety Education (HSE) is good for learning the basics of safe hunting and becomes even more important if hunting rifles are not something you’re regularly familiar with.

There are also regulations on the number of turkeys hunters can bag, depending on the season. For the spring season, hunters can only bag one bearded turkey, while the fall season allows hunters to bag one turkey of any gender. It is important to review the hunting regulations on the Iowa DNR website to avoid any penalties for rule violation.


Iowa turkey season 2023 is quickly approaching, and with a little preparation, it’s possible to bag the big one. Knowing where to scout and how to use the right gear and techniques can make all the difference when turkey hunting in Iowa.

By following the tips mentioned above, hunters will be well equipped to have a successful hunting trip in Iowa turkey season 2023. While there are many challenging aspects of turkey hunting, with the proper equipment and knowledge, these birds can be bagged with relative ease.

Jameson Hunter

Xin chào, tôi là Jameson Hunter, một chuyên gia chia sẻ kiến thức và nhà sáng tạo nội dung với hơn 10 năm kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực này. Tôi sinh ngày 14/05/1989 tại Đà Nẵng, và tốt nghiệp Đại Học Bách Khoa Đà Nẵng. Tôi đam mê giải đáp và review các sản phẩm, dịch vụ trong nhiều lĩnh vực khác nhau, và luôn cố gắng chia sẻ những kiến thức hữu ích nhất cho cộng đồng. Cảm ơn vì đã đọc giới thiệu của tôi.

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