Plans to thin Iowa’s record deer herd appear to be off to a “bang-up” start. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says sales of deer hunting permits are nearing 300-thousand — well above last year’s record of 265-thousand. D-N-R spokesman Terry Little says part of the record is due to the increase in doe or female deer permits. He says they doubled the number of doe permits that had available last year. Little says taking more does will help thin the deer population, and give deer hunters more options. He says a lot of hunters in the past have bought only one license and wanted to first go after a trophy buck. He says hunters who didn’t get the buck right away were in a quandary as to whether they should go after a doe or continue looking for a buck. Little says they now can get both permits and get a doe first if they see one and then go after the buck. With all those permits out and a record number of deer, are hunters successful? He says it’s hard to tell, but the preliminary discussions with field officers indicates hunters have been successful. He says they won’t know for sure until surveys come in later this year. Little expects to hear good things. He says they find if they can sell the permits, the hunters will get the deer — so he’s expecting an all-time record deer harvest. The D-N-R decided to up the deer harvest after an increase in deer-vehicle accidents, and crop and residential landscape damage. According to the D-N-R, counties with doe-only permits still available as of Dec. 16 include: Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Audubon, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Fremont,Guthrie, Henry, Howard, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Mills, Montgomery, Page,Ringgold, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Washington, and Wayne.
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