Iowa Turkey Hunters Have a Few Days to Prep for the Season to Start

(Radio Iowa) Iowa’s spring turkey hunting season is scheduled to start soon. Nate Carr, a conservation officer with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says Iowa’s youngest hunters will fire the first shots.

“Youth season is going to get us kicked off April 7th,” Carr says. “It’ll go on for a few days and then we’ll get into our regular spring turkey hunting seasons which is broken up into four different seasons.” Those seasons start April 10th, 14th and 19th, with the final season running April 26th through May 14th. Carr says the turkey has a storied past in Iowa as the pioneers had to hunt to survive.

“Back in the late 1800s, early 1900s, early settlers were pretty hard on our wildlife here in Iowa, turkeys included,” Carr says. “They were actually extirpated from the state, which means they were completely wiped out within the state of Iowa and the last wild turkey was seen around 1910.” Carr says it was a lengthy recovery process for the big birds, which vanished from our soil for more than five decades.

“It was a long road to get them back in the ’60s through different reintroduction efforts,” Carr says. “We were able to get some birds from Missouri who really had a similar issue, but they were starting to see their wild population come back. So we transplanted some birds from Missouri, up into Iowa in different locations and have really seen them be fairly successful throughout Iowa.” The D-N-R usually issues around 50-thousand tags for spring turkey hunting season, with roughly 22-percent getting filled, which equates to a harvest of around 11,500 birds. Learn more at
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)