So, how can you get in on the fun? The best starting point here is with the matter of permits and licenses. All deer licenses in Iowa are allocated by a lottery draw, and you need to get cracking now to take part, as the application deadline is June 11. You can get application details from the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Plan on paying $150.50 for a non-resident any-deer license, plus a $5.50 habitat stamp. Odds of being drawn for a deer permit are quite good for most areas, ranging from a high of 90 percent down to about 79 percent. Just be aware there are no rifle permits in Iowa. All gun hunts here are with shotguns only, or with muzzleloaders, with the single exception that you can also hunt with a centerfire or blackpowder handgun during either gun season.
All of this leads to the question of what zone to apply in. Iowa is broken into ten different hunting zones, all of which have good public hunting areas. You can get a handle on all these areas by ordering a copy of Iowa Sportsman's Atlas for $20 from the Sportsman's Atlas Company. This fantastic guide will give you a comprehensive breakdown of each county including descriptions of each public area, listings of county attractions and motels, plus detailed maps showing everything from interstate........(continued)