This week is the heart of the rut and deer hunters are having good results, although they are reporting seeing many fewer deer. The number of licenses sold and the number of deer taken are similar to last year, but lower than its peak in 2006.
However, there is still time to take advantage of the 2013 bow season. Iowa’s deer are among the most sought after big game in the country and the season runs through Jan. 10, 2014.
“The reported harvest for the early muzzleloader season and the deer season for youth and disabled hunters were very similar to last year,” said Willie Suchy, wildlife research supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 20,000 deer have been reported through the harvest reporting system which is nearly identical to this time last year. Hunters are required to report any deer taken with 24 hours after the deer is recovered.
“Harvest information is a very important management tool for Iowa’s deer herd,” said Suchy.
The DNR uses the harvest and deer population trend surveys to evaluate the results after all seasons end in January. Iowa’s upcoming shotgun seasons in December are when most deer are taken.
Hunters can report the harvest on line at www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/DeerHunting/ReportYourHarvest.aspx or by phone at 1-800-771-4692.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has been reported in Iowa again this fall but at a lower level than in 2012. If hunters find dead or decomposing deer near water, they should report the finding to either their local conservation officer or wildlife biologist.
Hunters who are seeing fewer deer may want to refrain from shooting does even if there are antlerless licenses available in their county.