The Iowa Department of Natural Resources state deer biologist says while the number of deer taken last season was down, more counties are approaching their goal number for deer. Tom Litchfield says about 40-percent of the 99 counties are at or near their goal.
Litchfield says the northwestern and northcentral areas of the state are already at their objective, or even below their objectives, while it will likely take another two years before the other areas meet their goals.
Litchfield says some counties had good hunts that help them reach their goals. He believes this year’s harvest will help 10 counties in the east-central part of the state to reach their goals. Litchfield says they still have to do their spring surveys to determine if those counties are at their goals. Other counties won’t reach their goals for awhile.
Litchfield says many of the southern counties and the four most northeastern counties "still have a ways to go" and he expects it will take another two hunting seasons to see them reach their goals. He says people in central Iowa who think there are too many deer, will have to wait awhile for the deer population to come down.
Litchfield says the very central portion of the state, the Des Moines area and moving west, will likely be the very last to reach their objectives for deer numbers. "Since those units were the slowest to respond to this increase in harvest, it only makes sense that they will be the last to meet objectives too," Litchfield says.
The numbers show Clayton County in eastern Iowa had the most reported deer taken, at 6,738, followed by Allamakee with 4,001. You can see a county-by-county breakdown of the deer numbers here .