The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says hunters can still purchase a deer tag in many counties for the November antlerless hunt that begins on Friday. D.N.R. state deer biologist, Tom Litchfield, says it the season is available in 41 counties.
“It has mixed popularity throughout the state, some hunters really like it, and some hunters hate it,” Litchfield says. The season was added as a temporary season to take a few extra antlerless deer. The number of antlerless tags available in each county depends on the deer population.
He says the objective established in 2003 was to return the deer herd to levels of the mid to late 1990’s, and as counties reach those goals, then it takes less of a doe harvest to maintain the numbers. Shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders and bows may be used. There are some special rules that apply to this hunt.
Litchfield says the licenses are only valid on private land as that is where the bulk of the remaining “high density” deer populations are. Litchfield says there are still some areas that need to drop the deer herd numbers. He says from approximately south-central Iowa into south-western Iowa into the Loess Hills and scattered counties in central Iowa.
Litchfield says there are some counties in southeast Iowa that could be hunted, but the need isn’t there like it has been in the past. He expects the overall deer harvest to be down five to six percent this year.
Hunters reported taking just over 127,000 deer in all hunts last year, which was down about 7%. The November season ends Sunday (November 26).
The regular shotgun deer season will begin in December.