The final regular deer season ended Jan. 10 when the late season muzzleloader and the archery season closed. Deer hunters had reported taking nearly 113,000 deer at the end of the season which is about 4 percent lower than was reported last year at this time and about 21 percent below the reported harvest in 2006.
While the harvest is lower, the number of deer licenses issued during the regular seasons has stayed about the same since 2006.
“The reduced kill is a result of the reduced deer population,” said Dale Garner, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau. “Deer numbers in many areas are near the established goal. We continue to hear complaints from hunters that they did not see 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.”
Hunts for antlerless deer continue until Jan. 29, in select counties and urban areas. Even though licenses may be available, not all areas in these counties need the extra harvest, Garner said. Hunters need to work with the landowner where they hunt to determine if extra does need to be taken.
The DNR will review the harvest and population surveys after the seasons are complete in January and make proposals to reduce the deer kill and stabilize deer numbers. Reductions in the harvest were proposed in 2011 but not adopted.