Iowa’s late muzzleloader deer season began Dec. 23, which is the final season that any-deer licenses are available. Nearly 30,000 hunters participated in the late muzzleloader season in 2012 and the DNR expects similar numbers again this year. Archery season also re-opens on Dec. 23 so bow hunters with unfilled tags will likely be heading back to their tree stands as well. Hunters are required to wear blaze orange during the late muzzleloader season, but unlike the shotgun seasons, party hunting is not allowed. If hunters are seeing fewer deer where they hunt they may want to refrain from harvesting extra does. Hunters should check with landowners to see if deer numbers are at an acceptable level and tailor their harvest accordingly. Hunters are reminded to report their harvest within 24 hours of recovering their deer. This information is an important part of the data needed to manage Iowa’s deer herd.