Compared to recent years, fewer deer were taken in Iowa during the recently completed shotgun deer seasons. Dale Garner is the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ wildlife bureau chief.
He says hunters harvested just under 69,000 deer, down about 9% from last year and down nearly 30% compared to 2006. The D.N.R. has been working to reduce Iowa’s deer population in recent years. Garner said it’s probably frustrating for many hunters.
“But, it’s also a good thing for land owners, farmers and motorists as well because as the (deer) population drops, hopefully traffic accidents and damage to crops goes down as well,” Garner said. Some hunters are concerned the herd reduction efforts have gone too far.
Garner said his advice to those hunters is to work with the landowner to see if the deer population is at a desirable level and adjust the local doe harvest accordingly. The D.N.R. will make a recommendation on what direction to take with the deer population next spring.
Antlerless and muzzleloader hunting seasons are scheduled for January, and they’ll wait to see how those turn out before the projections. Reductions in the harvest were proposed this year, but were not adopted.
Learn more about the deer harvest at: www.iowadnr.gov