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The legal equipment for turkey hunting is listed below by resident, non-resident, season, and license type.

Iowa Residents (Spring and Fall)

  • Archery-Only License
  • Equipment
      • Longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows that shoot broadhead arrows that are at least 18 inches long
      • Blunthead arrows with a minimum diameter of 9/16-inch
    • Restrictions
      • The arrow must not contain poison or any stupefying chemical.
      • The arrowhead tip must not have an explosive tip.
      • Crossbows are not legal, except for physically handicapped hunters who have a special permit.
  • Firearm/Archery License
  • Longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows that shoot broadhead arrows that are at least 18 inches long
  • Muzzleloading shotguns or shotguns that are 10-, 12-, 16-, and 20-gauge shooting number 4, 5, 6, 7½, or 8 lead or nontoxic shot
  • Number 2 or 3 nontoxic shot
Compound bow

Non-Residents (Spring Only)

Note that non-residents are not eligible to hunt turkeys in the fall.

  • Firearm/Archery License
  • Longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows that shoot broadhead arrows that are at least 18 inches long
  • Muzzleloading shotguns or shotguns that are 10-, 12-, 16-, and 20-gauge shooting number 4, 5, 6, 7½, or 8 lead or nontoxic shot
  • Number 2 or 3 nontoxic shot
  • Muzzleloading Shotgun-Only License
  • Muzzleloading shotguns shooting number 4, 5, 6, 7½, or 8 lead or nontoxic shot
  • Number 2 or 3 nontoxic shot

Iowa residents and non-residents may not:

  • Use muzzleloading rifles to hunt turkeys.
  • Have any shot sizes, other than those listed as legal, in their possession while hunting turkeys.