Is It Legal to Trap and Kill Raccoons in Iowa? [Yes]

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Raccoons are intelligent creatures with great adaptability. A hungry raccoon loves to live in a garbage can, but you can find it anywhere in your lawns, attics, and chimney. They can harvest your crops and buildings. It is vital to know: Is it legal to trap and kill raccoons in Iowa to evict them from your property?

Yes, you can trap or kill raccoons in Iowa. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), you must have a fur harvester license to trap raccoons or furbearers. You can kill raccoons outside the hunting season only if they cause a nuisance. 

Although raccoons trapping or hunting is not the first choice to get rid of them, their nuisance behavior provokes you to do so. The following guidelines will give you all the legal information about trapping or hunting raccoons in Iowa.

Yes, you can trap raccoons in Iowa if you have a resident or non-resident fur harvester trapping license. According to DNR, after trapping the raccoons legally, you can relocate them ten miles away from the original trapping site. To trap and relocate raccoons legally, you must beware of the following points:

  • If you are less than 16 years old resident of Iowa, you do not need a license to trap raccoons.
  • As you reach 18 years of age, you must have a fur harvester trapping license to trap raccoons.
  • You can trap raccoons from Nov 5 to Jan 31 without restriction on the daily limit.
  • According to DNR, you can not release raccoons within a city limit of any city.
  • You must obtain the landowner’s permission before relocating raccoons on private property.
  • After trapping raccoons, you can not hold raccoons for more than 24 hours. 

Yes, it is legal to hunt raccoons in Iowa. According to DNR, If you have a resident or non-resident fur harvester hunting permit you can hunt raccoons under the following rules:

  • If you are less than 16 years old, you can hunt raccoons without a hunting license till 18 years of age.
  • A non-resident from Iowa under 16 years must have a non-resident youth preserve license to hunt a raccoon.
  • You can hunt raccoons on your land without having a hunting license.
  • If you are with your dog, you can hunt raccoons with the help of artificial light.
  • During the hunting season, you can hunt raccoons without restriction on the daily limit.
  • Moreover, you can hunt raccoons by using legal traps and shotguns.
  • If you are older than 11 years, you must enroll in the Iowa hunting education course to get a hunting license.

Laws Governing About Raccoon Trapping in Iowa

Over the past few years, the number of raccoons trapping has declined. In Iowa, raccoons are fur-bearing animals. People trap raccoons for their furs. To get benefits from raccoons or to decrease their increasing population, it is necessary to trap them. You can trap raccoons by the below guidelines:

  • First, you must have a resident or non-resident trapping license to trap raccoons.
  • Instead of setting box traps, you can use a snare for trapping raccoons.
  • You can trap raccoons throughout the day without following the daily limits of trappings.
  • For trapping raccoons in water, you can use a mechanical device or snare to catch raccoons.
  • It is legal to use body-gripping traps or conibear-type traps to trap raccoons except on public roads.
  • You must tag a trap with your name and address before setting up a trap to capture a raccoon.

Laws Governing About Raccoon Shootings in Iowa

Raccoons become highly annoying when they start damaging your crops and belongings. In Iowa, the number of shooting raccoons has decreased due to less trapping. However, shooting rules are not strict, you must adhere to the following terms:

  • If you have a hunting or shooting license, you can shoot raccoons only if they cause a nuisance.
  • You can shoot raccoons with the help of shotguns, rifles, and handguns during the hunting season.
  • From sunset to sunrise, you can shoot raccoons with a gun having 0.22 caliber.
  • You cannot use poison to kill raccoons in Iowa.
  • You cannot use an axe or saw for killing or hunting raccoons or furbearers.
  • Moreover, you can use an arrow or archery to shoot raccoons.
  • According to DNR, you can also shoot raccoons following a banner shooting range.

How Can You Trap Raccoons in Iowa?

Raccoons can damage your crops and lawns, especially on a rainy day. If you are a cat lover, raccoons can tease your cat by eating its food. However, trapping is not advisable, you can still trap raccoons by following the below terms and conditions of the Iowa department of natural resources:

  • After obtaining a resident or non-resident trapping license, you can trap raccoons throughout the day during the trapping season.
  • You cannot damage the dens of raccoons to trap them unless you have a written permit from the director of DNR.
  • Box traps or colony traps are not allowed for trapping raccoons in Iowa.
  • After capturing a raccoon in a trap, you must remove it within 24 hours.
  • According to Iowa laws, you can use a snare as a trap to trap raccoons, but it cannot touch a fence near the roadside.
  • For trapping raccoons, you cannot use a foothold trap with extended jaws wider than 7 inches.

How Can You Shoot and Hunt Raccoons in Iowa?

In Iowa, raccoons come under the category of furbearer animals. You can hunt or shoot raccoons for their furs and to throw away their annoyance. In Iowa, you can shoot and hunt raccoons by obeying the following regulations:

  • First, you must have a valid resident or non-resident hunting license for hunting or shooting raccoons.
  • Before purchasing a hunting license, you must be certified in the Iowa hunter education course.
  • You can not use any beam-projecting device or laser sights to hunt a raccoon.
  • During hunting season, you can use artificial light to help you hunt or shoot raccoons with your dog.
  • Above all, along with a hunting license, you must pay a habitat fee for hunting raccoons in Iowa.
  • For shooting raccoons, you can use a shotgun with a shot size of not more than 0.22 caliber.
  • To protect your belongings, you cannot use slugs for shooting or hunting raccoons.

Summing Up

Statistical analysis showed Iowa has the highest population of raccoons in the entire state. Being omnivores, raccoons enjoy eating various foods, including crops and bird eggs. To protect your crops and lawns, you can trap or hunt raccoons by abiding by the Iowa hunting or trapping laws.

Primarily, if raccoons irritate you or create annoyance, you must know why they are in your place and why they do so. After ruling out the cause, you can proceed toward legal trapping or hunting raccoons. 

Hopefully, the above article has cleared your doubts regarding hunting or trapping raccoons in Iowa.