Urban Bow Hunting

Urban hunting season begins September 15, 2018 and ends January 10, 2019

The Urban Deer Bow Hunting Program is a cooperative effort between the City of Marshalltown and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The purpose of the program is for deer management within the City limits. The IDNR controls the number of deer hunting licenses issued for hunting within the City limits. (Additional licenses for the identified perimeter areas outside of the City limits will also be available, but are not regulated by these urban hunting regulations.) The urban bow hunting license will be for hunting during an annually specified season and will be for antlerless deer only.

Urban Bow Hunter Permit

The City will issue the permit necessary to obtain the urban deer hunting license. The permits are available at the Parks and Recreation Department, 10 West State between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The cost of the permit is $10. The IDNR special urban license may be purchased at The General Store.

To receive the urban bow hunting permit, hunters must meet all the requirements established by the IDNR for bow hunting, and the City regulations when more restrictive than the State regulations.

The City has set the following requirements that must be met in order to receive an Urban Bow Hunting Permit:

  • Provide proof of successful completion of a ten-hour bow hunter safety education program.
  • Provide proof of successful completion of an annual archery proficiency test.
  • Be 18 years of age or older the day of the hunt.

The Proficiency Test

  • Hunters must pass an authorized proficiency test each year with the weapon they will use to hunt within Marshalltown.
  • The proficiency test must be administered by a certified International Bowhunter Education Foundation (IBEF/NBEF) instructor.
  • Hunters must show evidence that they have passed a one time Bow Hunter safety course overseen by the DNR. (These are taught by a certified NBEF Instructor).

Bow Hunter Education

The Iowa DNR website has information about this program online.

Special Bow Hunting Rules

  • The Urban Deer Bow Hunting season is from the third Saturday of September and ends on the last legal hunting day of the deer hunting season, as set by the Iowa DNR (September 15, 2018 through January 10, 2019).
  • The boundaries will be described as everywhere within the City limits that comply with the bow hunting distance requirements. Some public areas, specifically parks, may have further restrictions.
  • Hunter must carry with them while hunting:
    • The City issued card with photo and permit number; and
    • A signed permission form granting hunting rights on the private property or the City owned land being hunted; and
    • A license for special bow hunting issued by the Iowa DNR; and
    • All Iowa DNR required licenses
  • Hunter cannot hunt within 200 feet of a house or building and cannot shoot an arrow back into the distance separation. Exceptions:
    • When hunting on their own property and adhering to the distance separation requirements from the house or building of adjoining property owners.
    • When a property owner waives the distance requirement in a written permission form on file with the City.
  • Hunter cannot position or use an elevated stand within 75 feet of a recreational trail, road or right-of way and no shot shall be taken that may cross or enter the same.
  • All shots must be taken from an elevated stand at least 8 feet above the ground and at a deer no further than 75 feet. All shots shall be made in a downward trajectory and an attempt must be made to retrieve every arrow.

Where it is not feasible to hunt from an elevated stand or where the possibility of hunting success would be improved hunting from the ground or a ground blind, a request for an exception may be granted.

The location for the exception must meet approval as determined by two members of the Deer Committee. The committee will review the location, mark the acceptable area, and place limitations as to what direction shots may be made to insure that no shots would be elevated. Shots must be down hill unless an acceptable backstop exists behind the target for shots parallel to the ground. If a ground blind is made of natural cover materials from the area, the usage of that material must be agreed to by the property owner.

  • All elevated stands must be clearly marked with hunter name and City permit Number , portable, with no permanent stands erected. Stands on public property: Stands on public property cannot be erected using nails or screws driven into trees. Stands cannot be erected sooner than one week prior to the start of the season and must be removed within one week following the season.
  • All bows must be cased while traveling to and from the hunting stand site.
  • Hunter must cover harvested deer before transporting or moving deer.
  • Field dressing is not allowed on public or private property.
  • If a deer is mortally wounded and wanders off the property being hunted onto another property, the hunter shall attempt to notify the other property owner before entering the property to recover the deer.
  • A hunter who wounds a deer and is unable to locate the deer shall report it to the Marshalltown Police Department 641-754-5725 as soon as possible.

Incentive Program to Allow DNR Special Issue Buck Tag

  • Hunters in the 2018-2019 season that harvest three does by October 31, 2017, or have harvested one doe plus have two carryover from the previous (2017-2018) season, will be placed on a list in the order they complete the taking of three doe deer. (In the event of multiple does harvested on the same date, a drawing will determine the hunter eligible for Buck Tag from the DNR.) These deer must be taken to the Marshalltown Fire Station for review and have their right ear notched. A record of the deer taken to the Fire Station will be retained to compile the list for antlered tags
  • A request must be placed with the Iowa DNR for the special buck tags. Only one incentive buck tag per hunter will be permitted. The Iowa DNR has determined that there will be three (3) available buck tags this season. The tags will be issued on or after November 1, 2018.
  • This incentive may be extended for future seasons at the discretion of the Iowa DNR. Two carry-over doe will be allowed for does taken between November 1, 2018 and the last day of hunting season in January of 2019. These carry over doe will be used as two of the three does for the 2019-2020 season provided the incentive program is renewed.

Other Program Information

Hunters must remove themselves immediately from any harassment situation and contact the Marshalltown Police Department at 641-754-5725.

Hunters are asked to report violations of these rules to the Marshalltown Police Department, 641-754-5725.
When a permit is issued, a vehicle tag will also be issued. It is recommended that hunters display this vehicle tag prominently in the windshield to help identify the presence of hunters in the area.

Hunters found in violation of these rules will be subject to having their permits revoked.

The City reserves the right to control the number of hunters in certain areas when deemed necessary.

Reporting Harvest

  • Hunters must report harvest within 24 hours to the Iowa DNR as required by law.
  • To better help the City manage and evaluate the success of this program, hunters are asked to report the harvest and location of harvest to the Marshalltown Parks and Recreation Department by calling 641-754-5715. If calling outside of regular business hours, a message may be left. Please give your name, deer harvested and harvest location information.

Parkland Area Restrictions

  • Riverview Park: No hunting allowed between the dike and Woodland Street
  • The OHV Park at Nicholson-Ford is excluded as one of the hunting areas