Around 170,000 hunters are expected to take part in Iowa’s two shotgun deer seasons. Today is opening day of the first season. The second shotgun season is set for next weekend. Iowa DNR deer biologist Tom Litchfield says the heaviest populations of deer can be found in southern and northeastern Iowa.
"The department feels that we’re essentially at objectives in northwestern, portions of north-central, and central Iowa," Litchfield says of deer thinning efforts. "In northeastern, southeastern, and across the southern tier of the state, we feel we’re still above objectives." The deer harvest during the shotgun seasons in Iowa this year is expected to be similar to last year.
Litchfield says a little over 95,000 deer were shot and tagged by hunters during the 2006 shotgun seasons. The DNR has issued a new safety requirement this year for shotgun hunters that use a ground blind. Those hunters are asked to place a solid blaze orange patch near their cover or camouflage hut.
Litchfield suggests placing the orange swatch around a tree, so if anybody comes through the area, they’ll know there’s a hunter nearby. The DNR estimates that deer hunting accounts for $214 million in yearly economic output in Iowa and is responsible for 2,800 jobs.