The first of Iowa’s two-day youth waterfowl seasons begin Saturday in the north zone and hunters planning to take a young person on this special hunt are reminded that only the youth may participate in the hunt and only ducks, mergansers and coots are legal species.
In previous years, Canada goose season was open allowing both youth and adults to harvest Canada geese. However, this year the Canada goose season will be closed and youth hunters will not be allowed to hunt Canada geese while participating in the youth only season.
The Iowa Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations addresses the change of legal species allowed to harvest in the youth season section, but includes the word “geese” in the daily and possession limit, causing some confusion among hunters.
“Canada goose season is closed during the youth season. We regret not catching that reference in the bag limit sentence while reviewing the regulations book prior to print,” said Orrin Jones, state waterfowl biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The Iowa DNR surveys a percentage of waterfowl hunters annually to collect their input on seasons, bag limits, and when they prefer to hunt to help guide season setting discussions.
“We received requests from waterfowl hunters to have the youth season prior to the duck season, which we did by shortening the special September teal season in two zones. One consequence from that change is that the youth season no longer falls during the open goose season,” Jones said.
“We are using all 107 days for goose hunting, which is the maximum number allowed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. If we move the dates to allow youth to harvest geese, we will lose our last weekend of goose season, which is a popular weekend among goose hunters,” Jones said.
Youth season in the north zone is Sept. 17-18, in the south zone is Sept. 24-25 and in the Missouri River zone is Oct. 1-2.