Places to Hunt in Iowa

Bill from Florida asks,

Hey Bill. I'm a big fan of yours. I really like your hunting shows/videos. I definitely think you've helped me be a better hunter. I've only ever hunted in Florida and Georgia and want to hunt Iowa one day but I don't know anyone. I've researched what it takes for out of state people to get a buck tag. My question is when I get my buck tag how do you think i should go about hunting as an out of state hunter. Should i go with an outfitter, my own lease, or just hunt public land? Any ideas where i should look for a lease? I really appreciate your help. I look forward to seeing more videos from you. Thanks

Bill responds,

Topic: Places to Hunt in Iowa

Places to Hunt in Iowa

Deciding where to hunt on a non-resident hunting trip is the hardest part of the challenge. Each option has trade-offs.


Thanks for the support. That is a really tough question. Each approach has its pros and cons and it is impossible to know for sure which one will work out better.  For sure the outfitter gives you the best chances for success, but the good ones are usually pretty well booked up and the cost is something to consider. 

Getting a lease is a good option if you have more than one week to hunt. It will likely cost more than (or roughly the same as) an outfitted hunt. So if you are hunting for only one week, the outfitter would likely be the better choice.  If you want to save the money, there is some pretty good public land spread throughout the state. I am not going to give recommendations on which ones to hunt, but I have scouted several now and been around others. I feel like those in the southern part of the state get a bit less hunting pressure.

Of course, the cost is the main upside for public land, but the lack of control of hunting pressure is the major downside.  If you have enough options, you can still be successful hunting public land even if a lot of hunters select the same area you wanted to hunt.

Now the question of how to find a lease. I don’t know.  I have never tried to do it until last season and that one fell into my lap.  I found that one only because I was there trying to buy land and the lease came up as an option since the guy wasn’t interested in selling.  I suppose if I was looking for a lease in a certain area, I would call a few realtors in that area and ask them if they know of anyone that is looking to lease out hunting rights.

That might work.  Otherwise, it will take a lot of legwork – posting your offer in local newspapers, for example.  There are lease networks but I don’t have any experience with them.  I wish I could be of more help, but that is the best I can offer related to finding leases.  Good luck. (5/8/21)


Comments (2)

  1. Bill G.

    Thanks a lot Bill. I really appreciate it. I look forward to more posts and videos.

    1. Bill Winke

      Thanks Bill. Have a great day.

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