The end of summer isn’t something everyone wants to celebrate. It means the days are getting shorter, prime vacation time is ending, and kids are heading back to school.
For hunters, on the other hand, the end of summer means only one thing — the beginning of hunting season! Time to dust off the blaze orange gear (or blaze pink, if you’re hunting in Minnesota) and bag some game. It’s hunting season in the Midwest!
The Reason for the Season
Deer hunting is far and away the most popular type of hunting in the United States, and that’s true across the Midwest as well. More than three-quarters of all hunters are deer hunters. White-tailed deer is the most popular game species in the Midwest, with Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin routinely making lists of the best states for whitetail hunting.
Let’s take a look at the upcoming deer hunting season in the Midwest, including important dates, rules, and regulations. After all, there’s no season like deer season!
Deer hunting season in Iowa runs from September 16 to January 10, 2024. Shooting hours start 30 minutes before sunrise and end 30 minutes after sunset. For the specifics of everything from shotgun season to archery season, you can find more details on the state’s Department of Natural Resources website.
The most popular deer hunting season in Iowa, of course, is shotgun season. This year, as it was last year, the season will be split into two periods. Shotgun season one runs from December 2 through the 6th. Shotgun season two lasts from December 9 to December 17.
All hunters in Iowa must purchase a hunting license and abide by hunting limits. For residents of the state, a general hunting license currently costs $35. Your license will be good until January 10 of the next year. Nonresidents can purchase a hunting license for $131. In addition to your general hunting license, you’ll be required to obtain a permit for every deer you bag.
The Kansas deer hunting season opens on September 11 and runs through January 31, 2024. The state has a great mix of public and private lands open to hunters, including an estimated 300,000 acres of public land and over 1 million acres of private land.
Anyone wanting to hunt in Kansas will need to purchase a general hunting license from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Hunting licenses are good for 365 days from the date of purchase. Residents will pay $27.50 for a basic license, while the cost for nonresidents is $97.50.
If you’re looking to hunt deer in Kansas, you’ll also need to purchase deer permits, the cost of which depends on the type of hunting you’ll be doing and where. Nonresidents can enter a draw in order to obtain these permits. If you are unsuccessful in one year’s draw, you earn preference points for a future draw.
This year, deer hunting in Minnesota starts on September 16 with the opening of the archery season. Firearm hunting begins a bit later, on October 19. As is customary, the state’s deer hunting season will close on the last day of the year.
Minnesota hunting licenses can be purchased online from the Department of Natural Resources. Licenses run from March 1 through February 28 of the following year. Deer licenses cost between $18 and $34 for residents and between $45 and $185 for nonresidents.
While deer hunting remains the most popular type of hunting in the state, Minnesota also offers opportunities for larger game like bears, moose, and elk. And the state certainly doesn’t lack hunting territory — Superior National Forest alone boasts 3 million acres of huntable land.
The 2023-24 deer hunting season runs from September 15 to January 15. Last year’s season saw roughly 300,000 deer harvested, and this year’s number is likely to be similar. The vast majority of the deer harvest occurs during firearm season, which will run this year from November 11 through November 21.
The Missouri Department of Conservation manages hunting permits in the state, which can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person. Resident permits are quite affordable, with firearm deer permits costing only $17 and archery permits running $19. Nonresidents will pay more, with both archery and firearms permits costing $265.
The most popular hunting areas in the state are generally along the Missouri River corridor. Whitetail deer find plenty of foliage to feed on in the region, which means hunters find plenty of targets.
This year, deer hunting season begins on September 1. The late season, which allows only for antlerless hunting on private lands, runs through January 31, 2024. The popular November firearm season will stretch from November 11 through November 19 this year.
Hunting permits were reduced this season in Nebraska due to declining wildlife numbers. Nebraska’s Game and Parks Commission set slightly lower quotas for deer, antelope, and elk, with the majority of the cutback coming from nonresident permits.
Hunting permits in Nebraska are available for purchase from the Game and Parks Commission on a species-specific basis. Residents are able to purchase most deer permits for $37, while nonresidents will pay $285.
North Dakota’s 2023-24 deer hunting season runs from September 1 through January 7. Gun season runs from November 10 to November 26. Licenses are sold online and in person, with resident prices totaling $50 and nonresidents $275.
As in Nebraska, available licenses are down this year due to a combination of weather and disease. Some areas of the state have seen nearly 25% decreases in deer populations.
Nevertheless, North Dakota still offers excellent opportunities for hunters. Two million acres of public land are available to hunters, and the PLOTS program provides significant access to private land as well. All of which means lower hunter density and better chances for success.
This year, South Dakota became the last state in the country to impose limits on the number of nonresident bowhunters on public lands. Local hunters are hoping the changes will lead to less overcrowding for the 2023-24 hunting season.
Deer hunting season runs from September 1 through January 1, 2024, with bowhunting permitted for that entire period. Gun season dates vary by region, with detailed information available from the state’s Game, Fish, and Parks Commission.
Hunting licenses are available from the same agency and can be purchased online or in person. Resident licenses for deer generally cost $40, while most nonresident licenses are available for $286.
Last but absolutely not least, the state of Wisconsin is well known for its trophy whitetail deer. The state regularly tops the prestigious Boone & Crockett Club rankings and consistently produces bigger bucks than any other place in the country.
The 2023-24 deer hunting season runs from September 16 to January 31 in Wisconsin. Gun season starts on November 18 and goes until November 26.
Wisconsin hunting licenses are available from the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Gun and crossbow licenses cost $24 for residents; for nonresidents, a gun license runs $200, while a crossbow license is available for $165.
There you have it. All the information you need to take part in this year’s hunting season in the Midwest. Whether you’re hunting for deer or other big game, be sure to double-check the rules and regulations in your area. Be safe and happy hunting!
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