Although the Electronic Licensing System for Iowa (ELSI) has made buying licenses substantially more convenient, turkey hunters should consider buying licenses now to avoid a possible late-season rush.
All spring turkey licenses are currently being sold over the counter at any one of the approximate 800 ELSI license agents statewide. Due to the flexibility of the electronic system, hunters can purchase tags through the end of the seasons, a convenience many hunters are apparently taking advantage of. State officials said as of mid-March, slightly more than 25 percent of the anticipated spring turkey license purchases had been recorded. DNR officials anticipate another 45,000 license being sold within the next two months.
DNR officials are warning, based on the current sales rate, there could be long lines at the sales counters as the seasons draw closer. To avoid the anticipated rush, officials are recommending hunters purchases licenses soon.
"We expect 2001 license sales to be similar to last year when approximately 60,000 tags were sold," said Alan Foster, DNR information specialist. "Current sales totals are under 16,000, which means there could be a lot of people scrambling at the last minute. My advice is buy now or be prepared to wait in line."
There are four spring turkey seasons; April 16-19, April 20-24, April 25 – May 1 and May 2-20. Hunters may purchase up to two combination gun/bow licenses as long as at least one is for zone four, season four; or up to two archery-only licenses.