For the third year in a row, hunters in Iowa have shattered records for the number of deer killed. Dale Garner, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife bureau, says the state’s efforts to trim the bounding deer population are working. The record harvest was 211-thousand-451 deer during the fall and winter hunting seasons — that’s up about nine-percent from the previous year, or about 17-thousand deer.
Garner says “We’re doing our job. We’re trying to bring the herd down by 25-percent and so far, it’s working.” He explains why the D-N-R is working to reduce the number of deer in Iowa. Garner says hunters are polled about the numbers they’re seeing. The D-N-R also tracks deer-car collisions, in addition to spotlight surveys and aerial surveys during the winter. He says they also check with landowners to gauge their tolerance for deer numbers.
Garner says the herds of deer across Iowa vary. One area where the deer numbers are “in check” is in northwest and north-central Iowa, where antlerless tags will be slightly reduced this year. He says deer numbers are still higher and need “more pressure” in northeast Iowa and in the state’s southern two tiers of counties.