Shotgun Hunting/Target Practice

Property owners within Dubuque city limits who want to hunt or have target practice on their property must have a permit. The Police Chief may issue an annual permit to a property owner for hunting and target practice within the corporate limits of the City on the owner’s property under certain conditions.  


  • Property must be zoned AG Agricultural (interactive zoning map)
  • Property must be at least ten (10) contiguous acres in size
  • Property owner agrees to be present and supervise target practice on their own property
  • Allowing hunting or target practice on the property will not constitute a danger to public safety


A permit for shotgun hunting and target practice can take up to ten (10) business days for processing after your application is received by the Police Department. Submitting an application, however, does not guarantee approval. Fees are refundable only if the permit is not issued. 

Apply online or download a fillable PDF application form and return via mail or drop off in person at 770 Iowa St., Dubuque.

Checklist for application

  1. Completed application form
  2. Site plan* that includes:
    1. Property lines and dimensions,
    2. Locations of buildings on property and dimensions
    3. Locations of buildings on adjacent property, public streets, recreational trails, or public waters
  3. Signed and completed agreement for Indemnity and Release of Liability (included in online application)
  4. Application fee of $50 (must mail or drop off at Dubuque Law Enforcement Center at 770 Iowa St., Dubuque.)

*Site plans can be created using Beacon, Google Maps (or equivalent), or hand-drawn.  For online applications, site maps can be attached as a JPG or a photo may be taken with a smartphone camera and uploaded to the application.

After the Application Has Been Submitted

The Police Department will review your application and then approve or reject the application. A permit is valid for a period of one (1) year from the date the Police Chief approves it.

Permit Suspension or Revocation

A permit may be revoked or suspended by the Police Chief by written notice for a violation of any of the provisions of the City of Dubuque Code of Ordinances or the laws of the United States or the State of Iowa. You may file with the City Clerk a written notice of appeal to the City Council from the suspension or revocation.

Rules for Retaining a Permit

1. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources hunting regulations state that, “you cannot discharge a firearm or shoot or attempt to shoot a game or furbearing animal within 200 yards (600 feet) of a building inhabited by people or domestic livestock or a feedlot unless the owner or tenant has given consent to do so”.

2. A hunter must comply with all state and local laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances governing hunting.

3. Firearms or other weapons authorized for hunting and target practice shall be limited to shotguns with shot ammunition size 4-9 excluding slugs. The use of rifles, pistols, deer slugs, and black powder rifles and all other firearms or other weapons is prohibited.

4. A hunter or a person engaged in target practice shall not discharge a firearm or other weapon in the direction of any person, livestock, building, public street, recreational trail or public waters.

5. The permittee must be present to supervise any target practice, and must notify occupants of adjoining property prior to beginning hunting or target practice.

6. The permittee must notify Non-Emergency Police Dispatch at (563) 589-4415 on the day on which hunting or target practice will occur and prior to the commencement of any hunting or target practice, of the location where the hunting or target practice will occur, and provide the contact name and phone number for the person hunting or supervising target practice. 

This information is not intended to cover every aspect of the application process. It should not be considered the final or definitive authority on any of the matters it addresses. It is only a general guide. Questions on specific issues should be addressed to:

City of Dubuque Police Department
770 Iowa St.
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
phone (563) 589-4410, fax (563) 589-4497