Most hunters are familiar with the concept of building points to win lottery tags in Western states for big game like mule deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, and sheep. Many play this “game” and invest countless hours weighing options in the springtime before sending in their checks and waiting to see if they get a rebate check back in the mail or that coveted tag for a highly sought after unit.
Though preference points and lottery draws are far less common in the East, the highlight for white-tailed deer is, without a doubt, Iowa. Opening the 4th of May, the application period stretches until June 2. Most units require 2-4 points/years to ensure drawing and once a tag is drawn it will cost roughly $600-$650 including each $50 preference point plus the final cost of the tag. Many hunters might scoff at this, but consider the numbers – only 2,100 nonresidents pick up a bow in Iowa each year. The numbers alone should suggest that this is a hunt worth waiting and paying for…and the numbers don’t lie. Iowa is at the top of the heap and should be on the application list for those interested in an exceptional deer hunting experience.