Iowa Deer Population:  About 400,000 deer in 2014 through 2016, a downward trend since 2006, but about stable in 2015 after a mild winter and early spring and in 2016.  The  population peaked at about 650,000 in 2006.  Herd analysis at right.  Historic Iowa deer hunting data and news archive.
Iowa Deer News

... collecting 4,879 tissue samples from wild deer across the state. Out of these, 12 tested positive for the disease, with a handful of results pending from several counties. The disease, which first appeared in Iowa in 2013 ...

... House File 475, which has already been passed by the Iowa House ...allows the use of straight wall cartridge rifles starting with .357 caliber and larger handgun ammunition...

     The DNR is closing the books on 2016 chronic wasting disease monitoring efforts, collecting 4,879 tissue samples from wild deer. From those, 12 samples tested positive for the disease; test results are pending on deer from a handful of counties, including a few dozen from a special deer collection effort in Clayton County....

Sioux Falls deer hunt bags the limit March 15, 2017 Iowa, KELO AM-FM
... the city's annual deer herd culling program  ... police officers shot 50 deer - the limit - between January 1 and March 13, focused in the southeast and northeast parts of town...

Annual check finds 12 Iowa deer with chronic wasting disease March 14, 2017 Iowa, KIMT 3
... 12 deer taken during the 2016-2017 hunting seasons tested positive for chronic wasting disease... out of 4,879 tissue samples...

New home planned for Oleson Park deer March 8, 2017 Iowa, Fort Dodge Messenger
... They will be taken from the steep ravine where they now live and will be placed in a fenced-in enclosure behind the Oleson Park Bandshell ... eight deer in the park’s herd ...

Will special deer hunts let Iowa prevent spread of fatal disease? Chronic Wasting Disease March 2, 2017 Iowa, DesMoinesRegister.com
... The hunt has sparked debate about how Iowa should battle the disease, discovered in 18 wild deer since 2013 ... "I don't see the reason to kill 250 to 300 deer," said Matt Stark, who lives in Coralville but hunts regularly in northeast Iowa.  "In southwestern Wisconsin, they killed any whitetail deer that walked. … And the disease is still there." ...

2016 Iowa Deer Harvest Tops 100,000 February 28, 2017 DNR News
   Deer hunters reported harvesting 101,397 deer during the 2016 Iowa deer hunting season, which is about 3,000 fewer than were reported in 2015, but nearly identical to the 2014 harvest... The Iowa DNR has a goal to manage for a deer population that can provide a harvest of between 100,000 and 120,000 deer each year ...

Full house on hand for meeting on chronic wasting disease February 24, 2017 Iowa, Spencer Daily Reporter
... The Allamakee County scientific collection effort that ended Feb. 5, has found a positive deer that was taken near Waterville. It is the 18th wild deer to test positive for chronic wasting disease. Volunteers collected 263 deer in the target area of Allamakee County, of which 203 were adults and 60 were fawns...

Where have all the deer gone? February 17, 2017 Iowa, Quad City Times
... A conservative estimate of the population in 1936 placed statewide numbers between 500 and 700 animals ... By 1950, deer were reported in most counties and the statewide estimate topped 10,000... the first modern deer season was held in December of 1953, and 4,000 deer were taken. The harvest in 1996 exceeded 100,000 for the first time ever..,

... The meeting was prompted after a deer harvested during the 2016 hunting season in west central Clayton County tested positive for chronic wasting disease. It was the first wild deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease outside of Allamakee County...

Cherokee man offers reward for information on poaching case February 11, 2017 Iowa, Siouxland Matters
... Someone used a power tool to decapitate a trophy buck in Cherokee, during Iowa's January deer hunting season.... 

Deer near Elkader tests positive for chronic wasting disease February 4, 2017 Iowa, Telegraph Herald
... The Iowa DNR began collecting deer tissue samples in 2002 after the CWD outbreak in Wisconsin. Since then, more than 61,000 samples from wild deer and 4,000 samples from hunting preserve deer have been collected and tested. The first wild deer tested positive in 2013, followed by three in 2014, two in 2015 and 11 so far in 2016..,
... hunter shot the deer northwest of Elkader... Clayton County is only the second one to have a positive test for CWD in wild deer and all the other positives have come from Allamakee County ..,

... Nine samples from hunter-harvested deer from near Harpers Ferry during the 2016 hunting seasons have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total of CWD positive deer from the area to 15.  The disease is spread from animal to animal through nose to nose contact and through environmental contamination from urine, feces and saliva left by positive deer ...

Nine samples of chronic wasting disease affecting deer detected in Allamakee County January 25, 2017 Iowa, The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
... Nine samples from hunter-harvested deer collected near Harpers Ferry during the 2016 hunting seasons have tested positive for the always-fatal chronic wasting disease ...

Bill seeks to limit DNR's authority to seize wildlife, firearms January 15, 2017 Iowa, DesMoinesRegister.com
... The acquittal of an Iowa hunter accused of using bait to shoot a once-in-a-lifetime whitetail deer is driving a new effort to limit Iowa conservation officers' authority to seize firearms and trophy antlers in suspected poaching cases....

... Statewide, there have been 42,178 does, 43,064 antlered bucks, 8,536 button bucks, and 431 shed-antler bucks harvested this hunting season, for a total of 94,209 white-tailed deer...

Council Bluffs, Multiple agencies investigating illegal deer kill in CB city limits December 30, 2017 Iowa, KMAland
...  the 3000 block of 14th Avenue, which is Union Pacific Railroad property. Callers indicated that two men had shot a deer, loaded it into a vehicle and driven away...

Hunting with lead ammunition kills eagles December 28, 2016 Iowa, DesMoinesRegister.com
... The eagle was uncoordinated, weighed only 8 pounds and had a blood lead level higher than the facility’s diagnostic equipment could measure... in Iowa, hunters are free to legally spray lead across our fields and ... with shotguns and boxes of shells and hope to return with a deer ...

Chronic Wasting Disease discovered at Buchanan County deer farm December 24, 2016 Iowa, Cedar Valley Daily Times
... The farm is expected to maintain their fencing to try and prevent it from infecting the wild deer herd, but that is why the DNR will do increased testing in the area to ensure it doesn’t get into the wild population ...

Deer harvest slightly down in Iowa after shotgun season December 23, 2016 Quad City Times
... Between both shotgun seasons, hunters reported 2,610, or 5 percent, fewer deer than last year's seasons ... hunters purchased 2,118 fewer licenses, or tags ...

Chronic wasting disease found at deer farm in Buchanan Co. December 20, 2016 Iowa, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
...  Chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in one captive white-tail at a deer farm in Buchanan County.  The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has quarantined the site...

Update on Iowa's firearm deer seasons December 7, 2016 Iowa, Dickinson County News
... Iowa’s overall deer harvest across all seasons last year was 105,401, down 30 percent from the 2006 peak and the 2016 harvest should be similar. The 2014 harvest was estimated at 101,595...

Hordes of deer hunters expected to hit the timber this weekend December 3=2, 2016, Iowa, Quad City Times
... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources expects 75,000 hunters ... As of Friday morning, 65 percent of the state's licenses had been sold...

A preview of Iowa's 2016 shotgun deer season December 1, 2016 Daily Iowegian
...  fewer whitetails than in the early 2000s... A decade ago, state lawmakers instructed the DNR to reduce the deer population, after steady growth through the previous few decades... 

Shotgun deer season just around the corner November 30, 2016 Iowa, Kmaland
... Iowa’s overall deer harvest across all seasons last year was 105,401, down 30 percent from the 2006 peak and the 2016 harvest should be similar. The 2014 harvest was estimated at 101,595...

High volume expected for Iowa deer opener November 26, 2016 Iowa, Omaha World-Herald
... Iowa DNR’s wildlife staff will be collecting tissue samples during the season to test for the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease.,,  concentrate in southeast Allamakee County ...

... The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about whether the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has the authority to order the owners of the land to keep the fences in place to stop wild deer from entering the grounds and potentially being exposed to the disease [chronic wasting] ...

The deer stay, but driving through will go November 15, 2016 Iowa, Fort Dodge Messenger
... Future visitors to Oleson Park will be able to watch deer in a new enclosure ... The cost of the new deer enclosure is estimated at from $331,125 to $397,350 ... for eight deer ...

Council Bluffs, Warm weather is keeping deer under wraps November 1, 2016 Iowa, The Daily Nonpareil
... in reducing the female deer population within Council Bluffs, according to a city official...   Dierks annually purchases 10 buck (male deer) tags as an incentive for hunters to get out more during October. In years past, those who bagged four or more does by Oct. 31 got their names put into a hat with those names drawn getting one of those buck tags, allowing them to bag a buck within city limits...

Elk runs wild near Iowa highway October 26, 2016 Iowa, KCCI Des Moines
... there have been over a half dozen elk sightings in Iowa this year alone.  The sightings may be more frequent because the elk are more visible with the crops harvested ...

Elk spotted near Big Spirit Lake October 18, 2016 Iowa, Dickinson County News
..."All of the places a wild elk could have wandered from are around 200, 300 miles away," ... thinks the elk traveled to northwest Iowa searching for new territory or a possible mate.  "Elk used to be native to Iowa, but they haven't been for more than 100 years," ...

How do you judge a deer's age? October 18, 2016 Iowa, DesMoinesRegister.com
... Each ear is usually about 6 to 7 inches long. If a buck's inside spread is wider or past than the deer's ears, tip to tip. That should put the inside spread at least 16 to 17 inches on most 3.5- to 4-year-old deer...

Deer poachers caught by their own website October 11, 2016 Iowa, KCRG
... Investigators examined the videos and pictures of game they killed and referenced them with the hunting licenses they claimed to have on their website. The information they provided didn't match up with the hunting videos they were posting...

Urban deer hunting flies 'under the radar' in the Q-C October 1, 2016 Iowa, Quad City Times
...  in Bettendorf and Davenport. The controlled archery-only programs were implemented at separate times more than a decade ago to thin herds in the respective cities... "If nothing’s done at all, it’s safe to say your herd will grow by a third every year,” said Ross Ellingson, wildlife depredation biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. [If that were true, deer would cover the planet, see research on deer habitat and population

Iowa's archery deer hunting season opens Saturday September 28, 2016 Newton Daily News
... Our deer population is relatively stable ... n estimated 62,000 bow hunters will purchase more than 90,000 deer licenses this year.

Town rescues deer from raging flood waters September 25, 2016 Iowa, WTVD-TV
... A man strapped on his life jacket and jumped in the water to save the deer in distress. Everyone else helped pull the deer to safety...
     Man risks life to save deer September 24, 2016 Iowa, WKOW
... Sallis held the man who was tethered to a nearby railing. As Evansdale jumped in with his life jacket, strapped the deer, and they were able to pull it to safety...

Iowa's youth deer season begins Saturday September 16, 2016 Spencer Daily Reporter
... An unfilled youth season tag may be used during the early or late muzzleloader season or one of the two shotgun seasons only... about 10,000 youths who are participating in the youth deer hunting season ...

Iowa's youth deer season begins next weekend September 10, 2016 Quad City Times
... the state expects about 10,000 novice hunters to participate this fall...

Decorah, City will handle deer problem itself September 7, 2016 Iowa, Decorah Journal
... City officials have been struggling for years on how to deal with the city’s deer population. The option approved unanimously by the Council Tuesday night allows for a locally controlled bow-hunting program, administered and operated by city administration...

... some of the new hunters in the city’s deer management program are having difficulty finding appropriate places to hunt... This bow hunting program began in 2008 ... Since then, 951 does have been bagged ...

Decorah Park-Rec votes in favor of deer hunt September 4, 2016 Iowa, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
... allow hunting in a limited area within city parks... The Park-Rec Board is in favor of a two-week hunt, not the four-month hunt proposed ...

Davenport, 10th Annual City of Davenport Urban Deer Hunt August 30, 2016 Iowa, KWQC-TV6
... Archery is the only allowable means to harvest deer during the urban deer hunt. Participants must have a valid Iowa hunter’s safety card ...

Six from Iowa charged with swapping deer tags August 25, 2016 Daily Republic
... investigators discovered they were allegedly involved in a series of tag swaps surrounding the shooting of multiple bucks...

Oskaloosa urban deer management season August 18, 2016 Iowa, Oskaloosa Herald
... For the seventh year in a row, the City of Oskaloosa is preparing for the upcoming 2016/2017 Urban Deer Hunting season ... 

... Two southeast Iowa men have been charged after several deer were found shot and left to rot last winter... charges of hunting deer with a motor vehicle as well as a charge of hunting by artificial light...

Decorah, Decorah City Council tables deer hunting proposal August 15, 2016 Iowa, decorahnews.com
...  the board had concerns about public safety; needed more education on the issue; wanted more data on the local deer population; and wanted to consider a shorter hunting season...

Council Bluffs,  The city's bow-hunting deer season is coming soon August 14, 2016 Iowa, The Daily Nonpareil
... All new hunters ... pass a $30 online test sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to be certified to hunt in this program. Once that’s earned, hunters need not take the test again ... This bowhunting program began in 2008 ...

Iowa board heeds request to replace 'suicidal deer' sign August 11, 2016 DesMoinesRegister.com
... meant to be attention-getters for motorists navigating areas with high deer populations ... gained criticism from some people who thought the signs made light of mental illness ...

Scott County Park - Archery Controlled Deer Hunt June 26, 2916 Iowa, Scott County, Iowa
... The Scott County Conservation Board has approved a special deer hunt for archery hunters only from October 8, 2016 through January 10, 2017 at Scott County Park...

Oh Deer! Clover Kids Inspired June 1, 2016 Iowa, Mason City Globe Gazette
... Oh Deer” is a simulation game where youth become “deer” and learn components of habitat. This activity emphasized the most essential things that animals need in order to survive: food, water, shelter, and space. This game also showed how animal populations increase and decrease from year to year ... Iowa State University Extension ...


Iowa farmer loses prize antlers to state May 31, 2016 DesMoinesRegister.com
... An Iowa farmer has lost his fight to keep a valuable set of antlers from a trophy whitetail deer that he claims was suffering from a broken leg when he killed it out of mercy...

Urban bow hunters claim 400 deer in Polk County May 29, 2016 Iowa, DesMoinesRegister.com
... a 20-year-old program that allows bowhunting in designated spots within city limits ... During the latest season, hunters killed 400 deer ... The latest estimate, from 2014, showed 12 deer per square mile in Des Moines’ Water Works Park, compared with 53 in 1998...

ORALVILLE, Iowa -- Fetch, not just with Fido, but a feral deer. - May 30, 2016


 Iowa Deer Analysis:  About 400,000 deer in 2014 through 2016, a downward trend since 2006, but about stable in 2015 after a mild winter and early spring and in 2016.  In 2014, the state issued 10,000 fewer antlerless deer licenses in an effort to stabilize the population, no antlerless licenses in the northwest where deer populations have fallen dramatically.  DNR maintained the license numbers for 2015 and 2016.   An estimated 425,000 - 435,000 deer in 2013, the deer herd had been on a planned decline since 2002. The long winter of 2013-14 further reduced the herd into 2014. Drought and EHD accelerated the decline in 2012.  
    Iowa’s deer population peaked at about 650,000 in 2006 (data are all before the hunt).  By 2014 the deer population had fallen back to levels of the 1990's.  The first case of chronic wasting disease in the wild herd came in 2013 in Allamakee County, a couple of cases in captive herds - one in Davis county in 2012.  Later, 284 of the 356 captive deer at the Davis County hunting operation tested positive.  The 2015 population was about 33 percent below the 2009 population.  The 2014 harvest was 39 percent below peak.
   Chronic Wasting Disease.  The first wild deer tested positive in 2013, followed by three in 2014, two in 2015 and 11 in 2016.
   White-tailed deer were reported to be abundant when European settlers arrived in Iowa in the early 1800's. Clearing and cultivating of land for agriculture initially improved habitat, but over hunting for food and hides rapidly reduced deer numbers. By 1880 deer were rarely sighted and in 1898 the deer season was closed. Deer had been virtually eliminated from all parts of the state. The herd was rebuilt by trapping and relocating deer from other states, and by natural immigration.  In 1936 there were only 500 to 700 deer in the state.  A 1947 survey put the number at 1650.  By 1950, about 10,000 deer.  When hunting resumed in 1953 there were around 12,000 to 15,000 deer.  In 1987 Iowa made it illegal to kill white deer.  In 1997 an estimated population of 300,000 after the 1996 harvest of over 100,000 deer. Hunting statistics
     Elk were eliminated in Iowa by 1871 as a result of over hunting and habitat loss.  Iowa has no wild elk herds but elk are seen when they escape from private farms where they are considered "alternative livestock."
 
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Other useful links:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources 





Iowa Whitetail Deer