The deer and turkey bow hunting seasons open today (October 1) in Iowa. Alan Foster, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources , says thousands of bow hunters will take part. "We estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 bow hunters that are really avid about it," Foster says. Hunters can expect to see plenty of deer.
Foster says DNR programs are beginning to thin the herd, but there are still too many deer in the southern two-thirds of the state and in northeast Iowa. Foster says the deer population is starting to get back down to what the DNR would like to see in northwest and northcentral Iowa.
Foster adds, "The people that are hunting in those areas that have good habitat – southern Iowa, northeast Iowa, and even quite a bit in southcentral Iowa – they’re going to see some really good numbers of deer. They’re going to see some good quality animals and I think they’re really going to enjoy the season." Bow hunting can be dangerous, especially since most hunters prefer using a tree stand. Foster says those hunters should always wear a fall restraint system.
"I hear a lot of people that say ‘I have one, and I’ll put it on once I get into the stand,’" Foster says, "but the fact is, 75 to 80 percent of our falls happen when people are going up the tree stand or down." Hunters contribute millions of dollars to the Iowa economy. Foster says the sale of deer licenses help support DNR programs.
A deer license costs $27, with each multiple tag costing $12. The bow season will run today through November 30. The deer shotgun seasons are December 1-5 and 8-16. Another bow season will take place December 17 through January 10.