Enjoying the great outdoors is a staple for many Iowa residents. Whether you're biking, hiking, fishing, visiting a state park, or hunting, thousands of Iowans enjoy spending their time in nature.

For many Iowans who enjoy hunting, it starts at a young age. Many parents enjoy this bonding time with their kids, which can become an incredible family tradition. Some parents may allow their kids to enroll in Iowa's Hunter Youth Program, which anyone can take as early as 11 years old. If you take this course at 11, you must turn 12 to receive a hunting license.

The program's goals are to educate Iowans about Hunter Safety, promote hunter education and ethics, train volunteer instructors to teach hunter education, and continue to keep hunting the safe activity it has become. Passing this class is mandatory before you can buy an Iowa Hunting License for any resident born after January 1, 1972.

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If a youth hunter has passed this 10-hour course and wants to go deer hunting by themselves, are they allowed to do this in Iowa?

Unsplash - Ken Kullik
Unsplash - Ken Kullik

Iowa Youth Hunters

For any youth hunter under the age of 16, they are not required to have a license to hunt but they must be accompanied by a licensed adult 18 years of age or older, according to Iowa DNR. All Iowa residents 16 of age or older must have a resident hunting license and residents from 16-64 must also pay the wildlife habitat fee. For Youth Hunters who do not reside in Iowa, they are required to possess a non-resident youth preserve license and habitat fee.

Here's where things make a BIG difference if you've completed the proper coursework.

Iowa Youth Hunters Who've Completed Gun Safety/Youth Hunter Program

I called Iowa's DNR office at 515-725-8200, and I asked what is the youngest age someone can hunt alone in Iowa if they've completed all of the proper gun safety classes/hunting programs. According to the woman I spoke on the phone with she said

"Someone as young as 12 can go hunting alone as long as they've completed gun safety."

Marshall County also says "Residents 12-15 years old may hunt without adult supervision but must have a Hunting License and must have passed a hunter education course."

As far as I can tell, the youngest you're allowed to hunt in Iowa, without adult supervision, is 12 years old. As long as you have completed all of the proper training courses.

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