How To Get A Whitetail Tag in Iowa

The Process: TAGS and Application

Casey Keefer

Iowa whitetail hunting is the stuff of legend – and for many reasons – most notably the Iowa Non-Resident Deer Application process. The Iowa draw odds are meticulously calculated by the Iowa DNR in a specific way that helps manage the deer population. Season dates and lack of rifle season also help contribute to Iowa’s status as one of the top destinations for big buck hunters – but it all starts with drawing a tag – so let’s look at one of the easiest and best ways to do that. Enter… Worldwide Trophy Adventures/TAGS!

WTA/TAGS is a full service licensing service available to today’s sportsmen and women. The bottom line is they help hunter’s draw the very best, limited entry big-game tags in the country. TAGS offers professional consultation built on decades of experience on where to apply – then they properly fill out and submit your application to the state – so you can sit back and relax. Heck, they’ll even float the expensive tag fees for you until you draw a tag! From my own hands on experience, TAGS is the easiest, most reliable and most complete service available to help assist hunters in drawing the tag of a lifetime. Before applying for a limited draw tag in Iowa you’ll need to takes few things into consideration – here’s what you need to know:

1. Set Realistic Expectations:

Starting with a goal that is achievable is very important. In limited draw states like Iowa, the cost of tags and licenses can add up quickly, never mind the cost of using an outfitter if that’s your style – so know your limitations, if any, and plan accordingly. If you need to save then save. While it’s unlikely you’ll draw with anything less than multiple (3+) points for an archery tag it’s still a random lottery – so a successful draw could sneak up on you. If you know for a fact you can’t hunt this season then opt to purchase a point instead. Purchasing a point in Iowa builds your status as a point holder without running the risk of drawing in a year that you can’t make work.

2. Do Some Research:

Iowa is sectioned out into various zones – all of which have different draw odds based on the number of allocated licenses and the number of applicants – break that down even further by method of take and type of hunt and you really start to see how knowing where to apply and when can become overwhelming. The good news for us hunters is that TAGS takes all that guesswork out of the process. If you have a general sense of what you’re looking for prior to talking with a TAGS consultant you’ll be all set! So hit up the Google machine for a bit prior to talking but don’t worry about going to deep down rabbit holes.

3. Good Things Come To Those Who Wait:

Iowa whitetail tags are some of the most coveted tags in the country – and supply and demand applies here! While it’s true that most archery tags in the state are currently on about a 4 year successful draw window, there are other tags in the state that take less. For example, shotgun or late season muzzleloader – in some units those tags can be drawn with 2 points. If you’ve got to have that archery tag then be prepared to wait it out – but if you just have to get yourself into a treestand in Iowa as soon as possible consider some other methods of take at various times throughout the fall – it can get you there sooner than later.


Ultimately, applying for whitetail tags, or any other tag for that matter, can be a daunting and intimidating task – so take the guesswork out of it and hit the easy button. Again, from my own hands on experience. TAGS is the easiest, most reliable and most complete service available to help assist hunters in drawing the tag of a lifetime. They’re a one stop shop for all things licensing and backed by their booking agency WTA, they can even help find the perfect outfitter just for you.