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Iowa Deer Harvest Lower for Sixth Straight Year


This news story was published on February 24, 2012.
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Hunters reported harvesting 121,407 deer in Iowa during the 2011-12 seasons, which is 4.5 percent lower than the 127,094 deer reported in 2010-11.  To date, Iowa’s deer population has been reduced by 30 percent from its peak in 2006, and is still declining.
“Deer numbers in many areas are near or below the department’s objective,” said Dale Garner, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau. “We are hearing complaints from hunters that they are not seeing the number of deer that they had in the past and some are voicing their concerns that the herd reduction may have gone too far.”

The DNR will review the harvest and population surveys this spring and make proposals to reduce the deer kill and stabilize deer where deer numbers are at or below the goal.  Current data indicates that it will be necessary to adjust the antlerless quota and season structure to stabilize declining deer numbers.

In areas where deer numbers have not reached the department’s goal, hunters will still have the option to kill extra does. Many of these areas are near cities and towns where hunting is restricted due to safety or in southern Iowa where hunting pressure is lower.

There were 392,930 deer licenses issued during 2011-12, down slightly from the previous year’s total of 394,298. Does were the majority (52 percent) of the reported harvest for the seventh consecutive year.

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3 Responses to Iowa Deer Harvest Lower for Sixth Straight Year

  1. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    February 25, 2012 at 5:55 am

    What does the DNR say when you bring up your thoughts and comments up at the season setting hearings they hold?

    I agree with you, the deer numbers are way down in our part of the state, but remember….the numbers are down because of the pressure that was put on the DNR to bring those numbers down. They (DNR) needs to hear from hunters and sportsmen’s groups in order to be effective and to make certain they are acting in a way that they majority would like them too, not just the vocal minority.

  2. Avatar

    terry Reply Report comment

    February 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    As a hunter, i believe the dnr needs to cut down on the number of seasons of deer hunting we have!! Way too many seasons. We need to get rid of the number of landowner, maybe early muzzleloader and shortin the second season shotgun and give the deer population a chance to grow. I know here in mitchell county it was dam hard to fill tags because of the population. Just my thought of the deal. hope other hunter agree or we try to get things changed

  3. Avatar

    terry Reply Report comment

    February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    As a hunter, i believe the dnr needs to cut down on the number of seasons of deer hunting we have!! Way too many seasons. We need to get rid of the number of landowner, maybe early muzzleloader and shortin the second season shotgun and give the deer population a chance to grow. I know here in mitchell county it was dam hard to fill tags because of the population. Just my thought of the deal.