The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released the numbers from the first deer season in which hunters were required to report their kills. The DNR’s Steve Roberts crunches the numbers. Roberts says hunters reported taking 150,552 deer, with nearly 52-percent of them female deer. The DNR said last year that hunters took a record 211,451 deer, but Roberts says that was an estimate.
Roberts says it’s difficult to compare this year’s numbers to last year’s numbers because "the methodology used to obtain our numbers are so drastically different." In past years the DNR used postcard surveys of hunters to estimate the number of deer taken, compared to the new system in which hunters are required to report a kill.
Roberts says the number of does taken is good news. Roberts says taking more than 50 percent does is something they look for, as the more does are taken, the faster the deer population declines. Clayton County had the largest number of reported deer kills, with 7,389 and Calhoun County had the smallest number at 159. Roberts says there were no surprises in the county level numbers.
Roberts says there was one big positive from the hunt. Roberts says the fact that such a large number of hunters reported was pleasing, as he says Iowa has never had a long history of harvest reporting. Roberts calls the reporting "pretty phenomenal" for the first year. Roberts says it will take a few years of getting data from the new system to get a real handle on how the hunt is impacting the deer harvest. To see the complete results of the reported deer harvest by season, sex, and county, surf to the DNR’s website .