Iowa Natural Resources Commission Works to Update Regulations as Fall Turkey Season Approaches

Contact: Kent Keene, Assistant Manager, Lower Midwestern States and Agriculture Policy

  • During the September Commission Meeting, the Iowa Natural Resources Commission was requested to approve rule changes to allow the use of .410-bore and 28-gauge shotguns and shot as small as Size 10 during the turkey season.
  • This request follows the passage of Senate File 2334 during the 2022 legislative session which officially took effect in July.
  • The ability to utilize lighter recoiling options represents a great opportunity for many who may be sensitive to the recoil generated by larger shotguns.

Why It Matters: Though we should always strive to maintain the fair chase ethic that defines us as sportsmen and sportswomen, improvements in ammunition have allowed shotgun option once considered to be underpowered to serve as viable options in the turkey woods. These lighter, softer recoiling firearms represent great options for younger, smaller, or otherwise recoil sensitive hunters who may have shied away from turkey hunting due to the limited options. 

During their September meeting, the Iowa Natural Resources Commission heard a proposed rule change that would authorize the use of .410-bore and 28-gauge shotguns and shot as small as Size 10 during Iowa’s firearms turkey hunting seasons. Following this meeting, the Commission will open a public comment period and host a public hearing in October. 

The proposed regulatory changes follow the unanimous passage of Senate File 2334 during the 2022 legislative session. SF 2334 amended existing statute that currently limited hunters to shotguns chambers in 20-gauge or larger and capped shot size at size 8. This move represents a win for turkey hunters who wish to take advantage of improvements in shotshell technologies that have allowed lighter recoiling shotguns to serve as effective options in the turkey woods.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is proud to have worked with the leaders of the Iowa Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Kim Reynolds, and our great mission partner organizations in support of this effort.

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