Iowa Deer Population:  For 2023, the state estimates about 450,000 deer pre-hunt and 350,000 post-hunt.  An estimated 478,000 deer in 2021, stable to slightly increasing in 2022 and 2023.  About 445,000 deer in 2020, down from 460,000 in 2019, and 475,000 deer in 2018.  A downward deer population trend from 2006, but about stable in 2015 after a mild winter and early spring, and into 2017.  Starting in 2014, a reduced number of antlerless licenses were issued to help stabilize the herd. The population peaked at about 650,000 in 2006.  Herd analysis at right. 

Iowa Deer News

Iowa deer hunters will be out and about  December 2, 2023 Times Republican

... the archery takeoff and the gun takeoff will be close to 100,00 harvests... The remaining deer population that remains is fully capable of replacing what hunters took off the land. An estimate of the overall population of deer at the end of all seasons will be about 350,000 animals, plus or minus..,

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease outbreak affecting Iowa's whitetail deer population Deember 3, 2023 Iowa, YAHOO!News

... Epizootic hemorrhagic disease is caused by a virus that is spread by the bites of tiny flies ... So far this year, those bites have resulted in 1,876 suspected EHD deaths in Iowa’s whitetail deer, predominantly in the far southeastern part ..,

First of Iowa’s popular gun deer hunting seasons opens Dec. 2 November 21, 2023 Iowa DNR News

... Iowa’s deer population is stable to slightly increasing across much of the state, with the exception of certain parts of northwest, west central and southwest Iowa... In 2022, hunters reported harvesting 109,600 deer and Elliott is predicting a similar harvest this year..,

Climate Change Now November 20, 2023 Iowa,

... You can definitely see a big decrease in the deer population. It’s just everywhere you go, I’ve been talking to farmers and just in Harrison and Crawford County it’s over 75 deer dead, just found... over 1600 cases, that’s 1,600 of EHD, or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, had been reported ...  While deer have demonstrated the ability to bounce back from EHD, the slower spread of Chronic Wasting Disease has shown steady growth ..,

Iowa DNR To Hold Virtual Public Meeting On Chronic Wasting Disease November 18, 2023 KIWA Radio

... scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29th and will be held via Zoom. You can register at this link: ... as of November 14th, 263 wild deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in 16 Iowa counties..,

Deer disease surges in Southeast Iowa after drought October 29, 2023 Iowa, Southeast Iowa Union

... Hundreds of dead deer have been spotted in Southeast Iowa over the last month ...  Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD... spreads between deer through culicoides midges: small, mosquito-like flies that bite animals to feed on blood. The mortality rate of the virus in white-tailed deer is as high as 90% ..,

Hundreds of deer fall to Iowa’s most widespread outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease October 26, 2023 Iowa, The Gazette

... The most widespread and third-most severe outbreak on record ... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has received 1,074 reports of suspected EHD-related deer deaths so far this year ... reports span 68 of Iowa’s 99 counties ..,

Several Elk In Iowa Currently October 20, 2023 KASI-AM

...  the time of year when the adult male elk wander, seeking a mate and sometimes they'll make it into Iowa... sightings are becoming more common, likely because of growing herds in both Minnesota and Wisconsin...

Deer stuck in Halloween bucket in SE Cedar Rapids October 20, 2023 Iowa,

... a deer is running around, trapped in a Halloween pumpkin bucket.  Cedar Rapids resident Taylor Fields says she saw the deer two times within the past week. She says she's concerned about the deer getting food and water...

Urban deer hunt underway in Fort Dodge October 19, 2023 Iowa, Messenger News

... This hunt, the first one to be held in the city ... complaints over the years about deer gobbling up gardens and running into streets, nearly causing crashes... There was public opposition to the hunt, and final approval of it came on a 4-3 council vote... 

Iowa deer population slightly increasing October 3, 2023 Iowa DNR News

... The results of Iowa’s annual spring spotlight survey indicate the population has slightly increased over the last several years, said Elliott, who coordinates the project.   “Our estimates can be variable from year to year, but for the past several years, the population has been relatively stable,” he said.  He said the deer data shows statewide trends are stable to slightly increasing..,

Iowa DNR Confirms Sighting of Mountain Lion in Indianola September 8, 2023 Iowa, KNIA KRLS Radio

... The Iowa DNR has a confirmed sighting of a Mountain Lion that was seen in the northwest portion of Indianola this week, the second such sighting of a big cat in the last two years..,

Chronic Wasting Disease: Deadly deer disease shows ‘exponential growth’ in Iowa August 7, 2023 Iowa, Ottumwa Courier

... “We know based on data and how the disease has progressed in other states that we would expect to see this kind of slow progression for the first six to 10 years, and then once the disease is established, this exponential growth,” said Tyler Harms, a wildlife research biometrician for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources..,

DNR adds main beam antler length to harvest reporting requirements August 2, 2023 Iowa DNR News

...  “For roughly 95 percent of the deer measured, deer with antler beams less than 14 inches were one-and-a-half-year’s old or younger, and deer antler beams 14 inches and over were two-and-a-half-year’s old or older.” ... this information will provide age structure to the DNR’s population models and produce a better overall picture of Iowa’s deer herd...

Chronic wasting disease found in Marshall County deer August 1, 2023 Iowa DNR News

... A tissue sample collected in mid-June from a road killed adult buck deer in Marshall County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. With the addition of Marshall County, 260 deer have tested positive in 16 Iowa counties since 2013..,

Weather conditions affecting white‐tailed deer harvest in Iowa.  2023 - The Journal of Wildlife Management

...  We examined the effects of weather on deer harvest during the Iowa, USA, firearms seasons from 2006–2021 using a generalized mixed-effects linear model. Weather conditions during the hunting season were related to overall deer harvest. Specifically, deer harvest was positively correlated with snowfall on opening day and negatively correlated with average minimum temperature, average snow depth, rainfall on opening day, and number of rainfall and snowfall days...

Fort Dodge, The hunt is on June 9, 2023 Iowa, The Messenger

... The measure was approved on a 5-2 vote on the second reading and by a 4-3 vote on the third reading. Having an ordinance pass with a declining majority on each of three votes is rare. The council’s action sent the matter to the Iowa Natural Resources Commission. The commission unanimously approved a long list of proposed hunts. There was no discussion of the Fort Dodge hunt...

Pair of all-white deer spotted in Iowa June 2, 2023 Iowa, KCCI Des Moines

... The Fayette County Sheriff's Office shared photos of a pair of all-white deer spotted Thursday morning outside West Union.  "Just a reminder that they are a protected species and can not be hunted," ...

Fawning season is here, deer are on the move May 23, 2023 DNR News

... Callers report finding an “abandoned” fawn in an unusual place, like a flowerbed or small patch of cover. Rest assured this is normal deer behavior.  “The doe searches out an isolated location where she feels safe and on occasion those places are not what we may think of as ideal. She chose that location because it made sense to her,” ...

Annual surveillance confirms 96 deer and three new counties for chronic wasting disease May 16, 2023  Iowa Department of Natural Resources

... Chronic wasting disease was confirmed in 96 deer that were tested during the 2022 monitoring season, including deer from three new counties – Jasper, Grundy, and Lucas. With the addition of Jasper County, chronic wasting disease has again come into central Iowa...

Iowa's 'other' deer season has begun March 12, 2023 Globe Gazette

...  For an increasing number of outdoor-minded households, spring shed hunting is becoming a traditional kid-friendly family event... For a select group of dedicated hard cores, the search for antlers becomes an obsession ...

Iowa deer harvest shows increase February 28, 2023 Oelwein Daily Register

...  Iowa hunters harvested more than 109,600 deer during the 2022 season, which reflected a success rate of between 30 and 35%, one that, the DNR reported, is in line with that from recent years..,

Three counties see first cases of CWD in deer February 13, 2023 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... during the recent season ... about 84 deer tested positive across the state this year... out of about 5000 deer that were sampled ... Plymouth County, Grundy County, and Lucas County all detected their first positive case ..,

Number of deer taken by hunters increased this year February 8, 2023 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... [DNR state deer biologist, Jace Elliott] says. “And we’re well within our management objective, which is basically to manage the statewide deer population at the level that it was in the mid-1990s. And we’re more or less there and have been for years.” ..,

Hunters harvest nearly 110,000 deer during 2022-23 season February 7, 2023 Iowa, Iowa DNR News

... Iowa’s 2022 deer harvest increased seven percent over the 2021 season, due, in part to the new Excess Tag January Antlerless Season approved by the Iowa Legislature last spring... Overall, hunters tagged deer at a rate of 30-35 percent which is similar to previous years, for a total reported harvest of more than 109,600 deer... The deer population model indicates the herd size is stable to slightly increasing and is within the goal of the Iowa deer study advisory committee..,

New bill would allow 'airbows' for Iowa deer hunting January 31, 2023 Iowa Capital Dispatch

... Senate File 138 would not allow airbows to be used during bow season but rather for any deer season that allows firearms.  “This just seems like the perfect weapon to poach deer with,” said Fred Long, president of the Iowa Conservation Alliance ...

Legislation would increase number of out-of-state deer hunters by 25% January 24, 2023

Iowa Capital Dispatch

... Out-of-state hunters pay a premium to shoot deer in Iowa, and the demand for those licenses regularly exceeds the long-running 6,000 limit.  The state received about 10,700 applications for the licenses in 2022 and about 11,300 in 2021...

Elk appearing on trail cameras in central and western Iowa January 10, 2023

     Elk seem to be visiting Iowa more frequently each fall, and thanks to social media, their visits are now shared at the speed of downloads among tens of thousands of people among the various social networks.  Most of these sightings are in western Iowa due to the proximity of the larger wild elk herd found in the Black Hills of South Dakota and in central and western Nebraska ..,

These are the 'good old days' of deer hunting January 5, 2022 Iowa, The Gazette

...White-tailed deer were eliminated from most of Eastern Iowa by the 1860s. Total legal protection of deer in 1898 was too little and too late. Iowa State professor emeritus James Dinsmore said the deer was extirpated as of 1900. Then regulations, deer releases, and changing attitudes revived the herd to the point where Iowa legalized a new deer season in 1953...

Iowa DNR Posts Chronic Wasting Numbers December 28, 2022 Eagle1023fm

... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates that the state has a deer herd of 500,000, writes The Associated Press ... 1,100 samples have been processed, with 11 deer testing positive so far...

Donated Iowa venison isn't tested for protein that kills deer December 1, 2022 Iowa Capital Dispatch

... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recommends that all hunters test their deer for chronic wasting disease before eating the animals’ meat, but it does not yet require any testing for venison that is donated to food pantries...

Two more Iowa counties increase testing for Chronic Wasting Disease November 21, 2022 KCRG

... So far this year, one animal harvested from Wayne County has been confirmed positive for CWD...

For Iowa’s deer hunters, the wait is nearly over, shotgun deer seasons begin Dec. 3 November 15, 2022 Iowa DNR News

... “Our deer population is stable to slightly increasing statewide, so hunters should expect to see numbers similar to last year,” said Tyler Harms, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...  The Iowa DNR has a goal to manage the herd to provide an annual harvest of 100,000-120,000 deer..,

Iowa deer population slightly increasing October 19, 2022 Iowa,

... The results of Iowa’s annual spring spotlight survey indicate the population has slightly increased over the last couple years, said Elliott, who coordinates the project. “Our estimates can be variable from year to year, but we observed about 4 percent more deer during the 2021 survey compared to in 2019,” ...

Harvest, hunting put deer on the move in Iowa October 4, 2022 Iowa, Radio Iowa

...  bowhunting season is underway and Jace Elliott says that is one thing that will increase movements. “It certainly will. You know, as more hunters enter the woods, it will slightly disrupt your movements. And yeah, we will see deer maybe change their habits a bit due to hunting pressure,” ...

Hunters with bows and arrows begin deer hunting Saturday September 29, 2022 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... “We are seeing sustained declines, although very small declines year to year when it comes to participation in any hunting season in Iowa,” Elliott says. “The exception was 2020, which saw an increase in license sales and hunter participants — which we mostly attributed to the COVID pandemic.” ...

Iowa deer population slightly increasing September 27, 2022 Iowa DNR News

... “Our estimates can be variable from year to year, but we observed about 4 percent more deer during the 2021 survey compared to in 2019,” he said. “So far, 2022 has been a relatively minor year for epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) compared to the last couple years. We’re hopeful that this will help deer populations recover in regions of Iowa that experienced more major outbreaks in years prior.”  He said the deer data shows statewide trends are stable to slightly increasing ..,

How Escapee Deer Helped Rebuild Iowa's Deer Herd September 26, 2022 Iowa, North American Whitetail

... “In 1885, W.B. Cuppy, of Avoca, Iowa, purchased five deer, and placed them in a paddock on his 600-acre farm. By 1900 they had increased to 32 head; and then one night some one kindly opened the gate ... by 1912 the local deer herd had increased to 400 ..,

While some cities see urban deer hunt success, Iowa City struggles to get its program off the ground  September 19, 2022 Iowa, The Gazette

... In 2010, Iowa City hired private sharpshooters with White Buffalo to thin the deer population within the city limits. A study showed the hunt decreased the deer population, but eight years later, the population was back up over 10,000 in surveyed areas of the city...

Whitetails explored at KPL by Iowa freelance journalist September 1, 2022 Iowa,  Daily Democrat

...   ... In 1953, it was estimated that there were 12,632 deer in Iowa, and the first official deer season was approved by the Iowa Legislature...

Fort Dodge, Urban deer hunt gets final OK in FD on 4-3 vote August 23, 2022 Iowa, Messenger News

... “I don’t think you can honestly say we have an over-population if we don’t have an accurate count,” she said. “I respectfully suggest you do it the right way and get a DNR count and see if we do have an over-population of deer.” ...

A proposed urban deer hunt in Fort Dodge August 20, 2022 Iowa, Messenger News

... Crouse started a Facebook page called “Fort Dodge Deer Friends” to encourage those who oppose the proposed hunt to contact their councilperson and voice their concerns.  “I found that most of the people I talked to personally were against it, but they didn’t know that there was anything they could do about it ...

Midwest states vary in how they handle risk of lead in venison donated to food banks June 6, 2022 Iowa, Missouri Independent

... Iowa stands out among Midwestern states in requiring a label warning about the potential hazard of lead ammunition and the fragments it can leave behind in shot-harvested game meat like venison. Donated venison in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska come with no similar warning label...

Fawning season is here, deer are on the move May 31, 2022 Iowa, DNR News

... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will not be rehabbing or co-mingling fawns with other deer to avoid the potential of spreading chronic wasting disease – or other disease - to new areas..,

Bill to create new deer hunting season, with AR-15s May 24,2022 Iowa,  Radio Iowa

... The range that I’m familiar with this type of weapon and round is ... about two and a half miles ... bill also calls on the Iowa Insurance Division, the Iowa DOT, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University to complete a study of the state’s deer herd by the fall of 2023...

New Ambassadors Sought to Help Fight Chronic Wasting Disease in Iowa White-tailed Deer May 17, 2022 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

... Chronic Wasting Disease “ambassadors” will be trained in the science-based management of CWD, both prevention and testing, and how to educate others within their community by wildlife biologists from Iowa State and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Participants can include hunters and non-hunters, community members and anyone interested in wildlife conservation...

State lawmakers vote to lower illegal deer hunting fines April 6, 2022 Iowa,

...  would lower the fine of unlawfully killing an antlerless deer from $1,500 to $500; and creates a statewide antlerless deer hunting season in February ...

Moose seen wandering around northwest Iowa dies March 30, 2022 Iowa, KEYC

...  the cow-moose died of natural causes linked to aspiration pneumonia...

Five plead guilty in western Iowa poaching ring March 30, 2022 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... 48 wildlife charges against five people from western Iowa with nearly $83,000 in fines and liquidated damages... recovered many animals that had been taken illegally — including some 70 deer...

CWD, Two Appanoose County deer found to be diseased March 23, 2022 Iowa, Ottumwa Courier\

... Samples from 407 deer in Wayne have been tested as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) effort to monitor for chronic wasting disease, resulting in 19 confirmed positives from the 2021-2022 hunting season. Two deer in Appanoose County also tested positive..,

Impressive displays at Deer Classic Times March 12, 2022 Iowa, Republican

... Regarding carrying capacity, the biologist noted that Iowa land could support a total population of four times as many deer as we now have ... From high deer population numbers of twenty years ago, the DNR now tries to manage hunters and hunting to keep the post hunt surviving breeding population of deer at about 300,000...

Multiple spillovers from humans and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer. 2022  PNAS

... To test the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating in deer, 283 retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) samples collected from 151 freeliving and 132 captive deer in Iowa from April 2020 through January of 2021 were assayed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Ninety-four of the 283 (33.2%) deer samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA as assessed by RT-PCR. Notably, following the November 2020 peak of human cases in Iowa, and coinciding withthe onset of winter and the peak deer hunting season, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 80 of 97 (82.5%) RPLN samples collected over a 7-wk period...

Two more counties have positive CWD tests in deer January 19, 2022 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... 36 positive chronic wasting disease tests from some 5,000 deer samples this hunting season... two new counties ... Greene County in central Iowa, and then also Fremont County in southwest Iowa. So that brings our total number of counties to 12 ..,

Iowa deer harvest down 6% from last year December 28, 2021 Iowa Capital Dispatch

... The state’s deer population declined significantly in the first decade of this century when hunters killed deer at about double the current rate. The estimated deer harvest in 2005, for example, was more than 211,000 ... The state’s deer population was mostly stable from 2013 to 2017 and has been slightly increasing in recent years ..,

Iowa’s deer harvest on similar track as 2020 December 14, 2021 Iowa DNR

... Iowa’s hunters reported harvesting around 75,000 deer heading in to the final weekend of Iowa’s shotgun deer season, which is similar to the 2020 deer harvest at the same point...

Good weather expected as shotgun deer season opens Saturday December 3, 2021 Iowa,  Radio Iowa

... one change from last year is the dropping of the “buck only” status in some counties.

“That restriction has been in place in about 24 counties in north-central and northwest Iowa since 2014... we have been slowly removing that restriction from counties as our data suggests that populations are recovering ..,

Deer hunting season to begin Dec. 4  November 23, 2021 Iowa,

... Iowa’s deer population is similar to last year statewide, and is continuing its slow upward trend in northcentral and northwest Iowa that has been a goal of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) since 2014...

Deer hunters can help monitor, manage chronic wasting disease November 22, 2021 Iowa, Hamburg Reporter

... So far during the 2021-22 deer hunting seasons, one hunter harvested wild deer from Wayne County has tested positive for the disease, bringing the total deer testing positive since monitoring began in 2002, to 112..,

Researchers Believe Over 80% Of Iowa's Deer Population Is Currently Suffering From COVID November 19, 2021 Iowa, LittleThings

... Approximately 80% of the deer tested had it... People believe that the deer may have caught COVID from either humans or environmental factors ... 

For Iowa’s Deer Hunters, The Wait Is Nearly Over, Shotgun Deer Seasons Begin Dec. 4 November 16, 2021 KIWA

 ...  Iowa’s deer population is similar to last year statewide, and is continuing its slow upward trend in northcentral and northwest Iowa that has been a goal of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) since 2014.  "We’ve been relaxing the regulations on deer in northwest and northcentral Iowa ...

Moose Sightings Reported In Lyon County This Week  November 5, 2021, Iowa,

... People reported seeing the moose between Rock Rapids and Little Rock that day. And there is video evidence of the moose being just north of the county in Luverne, Minnesota on Sunday, October 31st, and it was headed south at the time...

'We work approximately 16,000 Deer accidents annually...' November 5, 2021 Iowa, WTHI-TV 

..."On average in Indiana, we work approximately 16,000 deer accidents annually," ... 

Widespread Coronavirus Infection Found in Iowa Deer, New Study Says November 2, 2021 New York Times

... A new study of hundreds of white-tailed deer infected with the coronavirus in Iowa has found that the animals probably are contracting the virus from humans, and then rapidly spreading it among one another, according to researchers...

Falls season signals deer to be on the move, increases chances for accidents October 25, 2021 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... the peak of our deer rut is going to be the first or second week of November  ...  “Deer look at corn as habitat while it is standing. It provides a lot of cover and escape places for them...  the deer will move into wooded areas and waterways to seek refuge as the corn comes down...

Iowa has hundreds of thousands of deer. Not so long ago, the state had almost none October 21, 2021 Des Moines Register

... Iowa’s most recent population estimate for whitetail deer, in 2020, was 445,000... The first estimate in deer numbers was released by the DNR in 1936 and counted 500-700 whitetail deer ...  In 1947 ...a total population of 1,650 ...  By 1950, deer herd counts listed the population at almost 13,000...,

Outdoor news from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources October 19, 2021 Bulletin Review

... Iowa’s deer herd is managed to provide a harvest of between 100,000 and 120,000 annually. That is achieved by providing additional opportunities for hunters to harvest does. Last year, Iowa hunters reported harvesting nearly 110,000 deer...

Des Moines approves wildlife feeding ban  October 5, 2021 Iowa KCCI

...  They hope it will reduce the noise and mess produced by geese and keep deer out of populated areas...

Deer management program reaches 15-year mark September 30, 2021 Iowa, Clinton Herald

... the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and decided that the population shouldn’t exceed 35 deer per square mile... The main goal of the management program was to ensure a healthy herd by reducing its size by harvesting does, the City said...

Fawning Season Means More Car-Deer Collisions And Reports Of “Abandoned” Fawns June 9, 2021 Iowa,

... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will not be rehabbing or co-mingling fawns with other deer to avoid the potential of spreading chronic wasting disease – or other diseases – to new areas... fawning season also coincides with an increase in deer-vehicle collisions...

Fawning season is here, deer are on the move June 8, 2021 Iowa, DNR News

... newborn fawn is designed with a few survival tools built in – it is born without scent to avoid predators and its spots are cryptic camouflage that emulates the sunlight spots on the leaf litter in the timber. It will lay motionless to avoid detection and may remain in the area for up to two weeks all while under the care of the doe...

Bill calls for study of Iowa deer herd’s impact on property, car wrecks April 23, 2021 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... “to get a thorough look at the overall deer population ... also significantly cuts the civil fine for hunters caught illegally shooting an antlerless deer...

CWD found in local deer April 14, 2021 Iowa, Bellevue Herald Leader

...  in 2013, CWD was documented in Allamakee County ... scientists hoped against the odds that a single deer swam across the river during open season and was shot, snuffing out the spark ... Since then, some 111 deer with CWD have been identified in Iowa ..,

Iowa Senate proposal would add extra deer season to thin herd March 10, 2021 Iowa, KMAland

... would require the Department of Natural Resources to study deer populations and environmental impacts of those populations in each county... "In Appanoose County ... the DNR's target was to have 2,700 deer taken this past year, but only 2,200 were taken," ...

Chronic Wasting Disease Expanding in Northeast Iowa February 24, 2021 Iowa,

... over one hundred wild Iowa deer that have tested positive for the disease since 2013 when it was first discovered in the state..,

21 deer test positive for chronic wasting disease February 23, 2021 Iowa, DNR News

   The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ 2020 surveillance of Iowa’s wild deer herd for the presence of chronic wasting disease has yielded 21 new positive deer, and has added two new counties to the list where positive deer have been found..,

Changes proposed for deer harvest limits in several counties February 12, 2021 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... DNR’s Tyler Harms says general deer licenses are being reestablished for all seasons in Hamilton, Webster, and Wright counties. “For the past several years we have had an ‘antler deer only’ restriction on general deer licenses for the first shotgun season in counties in northwest Iowa to allow deer populations to recover to goal levels ... Our data shows that this is indeed occurring in these three counties.” ..,

Iowa DNR continues to monitor chronic wasting disease December 4, 2020

...Since 2002, the Iowa DNR has tested nearly 85,000 tissue samples from wild deer for CWD. There have been 91 positive tests in eight counties — Dubuque, Clayton, Allamakee, Winneshiek, Fayette, Wayne, Decatur and Woodbury counties..,

DNR seeking comments on proposed laws ahead of the 2021/22 deer hunting season December 1, 2020 Iowa, DNR News

... House File 2455 that requires hunters and dogs to be trained prior to tracking wounded deer.  In order to satisfy this requirement, the DNR proposes to provide a form to document the hunter and the dog’s blood tracking training and experience... Comment by December 14, 2020

Polk County minors charged with intentionally killing a deer with their vehicle November 18, 2020 Iowa, EIN News

... The driver was charged with careless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, prohibited destructive acts, hunting on a game refuge, illegal taking of deer, and no deer license or tag. The fines totaled more $900 ...

Iowa’s Popular Shotgun Deer Seasons Are Just A Few Weeks Away November 17, 2020

... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a goal each year of collecting more than 4,600 deer tissue samples statewide to test for chronic wasting disease and the majority of those samples come from the two shotgun deer seasons.  The disease surveillance effort includes colleting a minimum of 15 samples from each county ...

Iowa Legalizes Use of Dogs For Deer Recovery October 14, 2020 North American Whitetail Magazine

... Following the lead of 38 other states, Iowa now will allow the use of dogs in recovering deer...

Iowa Deer Seasons Have Begun October 8, 2020 Iowa,

... The results of Iowa’s annual spring spotlight survey indicate the population is 3 percent lower than last year. Part of the decline could be related to last year’s outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in certain locations.   “While we were in a pretty significant drought this year, we haven’t received any reports of the disease. That may change as the crops come out, but so far, so good.” ..,

Iowa’s archery deer hunting season begins Oct. 1 September 29, 2020 Iowa DNR News

... The results of Iowa’s annual spring spotlight survey indicate the population is 3 percent lower than last year, said Harms, who coordinates the project. Part of the decline could be related to last year’s outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in certain locations..,

Iowa City Deer Friends file petition asking for stay of upcoming deer bow hunt September 26, 2020 Iowa, UI The Daily Iowan

... The statement in the petition saying the city has acknowledged deer population as being under target numbers references a letter sent by Iowa City City Manager Geoff Fruin to the Iowa Natural Resource Commission in May after last year’s winter sharpshoot conducted by wildlife management organization White Buffalo...

Iowa City Deer Friends seeks to halt Iowa City’s first bow hunt  September 24, 2020 Iowa, ABC Kcrg 9 

...They claim The City has already achieved the reported goal of deer density numbers as a result of last winter’s sharpshooting activities and say the extremely lax regulations and licensing requirements pose a public safety risk to the citizens of Iowa City...

Iowa City Council agrees to rules for winter deer bow hunt September 2, 2020 Iowa, Iowa City Press

... For two decades, Iowa City has managed its urban deer population using a sharpshoot. The sharpshoot that culled over 500 deer this spring might be last. To manage deer in the future, the governor-appointed Natural Resource Commission required the city to use a system of 100-day bow hunts...

Iowa City to hold first of four annual bow hunts to manage deer August 31, 2020 Iowa, UI The Daily Iowan

... Crawford said an annual bow hunt is unnecessary because deer eventually regulate their numbers themselves, based on the availability of food. She anticipates a natural decline in the local deer population following the effects of the recent derecho that swept through Iowa, ... “When there isn’t sufficient food, the does will absorb their fetuses and they don’t have litters,” ...

Sioux City City Council discusses deer management zone August 24, 2020 Iowa, Siouxland News

... The state of Iowa is establishing a deer management zone in Woodbury County after a deer with Chronic Wasting Disease was discovered in Sioux City last year... Councilmembers expressed concern about any increased liability for the city ...

Iowa City prepares for inaugural bow hunt this fall August 4, 2020 Iowa, Iowa City Press Citizen

... in order to get a sharpshoot permit from the Iowa governor-appointed Natural Resource Commission, Iowa City Council had to agree to four years of 30-day bow hunt seasons. Tuesday night, the council will have the first of three considerations on an ordinance amending city code to allow a person to discharge an arrow ...

Continue to be on the lookout in case deer have EHD June 26, 2020 Iowa, Des Moines Register

... there was some suspicion of a couple epizootic hemorrhagic disease cases in Warren County and on the border of Clarke and Decatur counties two weeks ago... deer that are acting strangely or are deceased near water sources ...

  Albino or piebald? White deer spotted in Jasper County May 26, 2020 Iowa, Des Moines Register

... The doe is well-known to locals ... All-white deer rarely reach adulthood in rural areas, since they're more visible to predators ... In Iowa, it’s illegal to hunt deer that are more than 50 percent white...

DNR proposes changes to balance deer herd March 23, 2020 Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau

... would reestablish general deer licenses in seven counties and rescinds the January antlerless-deer-only season for all 99 counties... Due to a widespread outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) last summer in some 60 counties, particularly in central, south central, southeast and east central Iowa, deer numbers and the harvest were down in the state. The state’s total deer harvest last season was 93,964, a decrease of more than 12% compared with 107,857 the previous season..,

Survival of white-tailed deer fawns in central Iowa PG McGovern, SJ Dinsmore, JA Blanchong - PloS one, 2020

... We radio-collared 48 fawns in central Iowa from 2015–2017 to estimate survival, home range size, and habitat composition and identity causes of mortality. Estimated fawn survival (± SE) was similar to other Midwest studies at 30 (0.78 ± 0.07)) and 60 days (0.69 ± 0.08) ... We recorded 21 mortalities, the leading cause of which was disease (n = 9; 56% epizootic hemorrhagic disease [EHD]) followed by suspected predation (4) and harvest (3)...

Bedford man sentenced to probation for illegally transporting deer March 9, 2020 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... Undercover agents went on a hunt with Volkmar in 2013 and say he violated Iowa law by illegally tagging a deer and assisted in transporting it across state lines...

Iowa DNR Proposes Adjusting Deer Harvest Quotas In More Than 20 Counties February 21, 2020, Iowa Public Radio

... State biologists are considering increasing the number of antlerless deer that hunters can harvest in 11 counties next hunting season, while at the same time, decreasing the harvest quota in as many others... 

Five Iowa City parks will close early as sharpshooters start next phase of deer cull February 17, 2020 Iowa, Little Village

... sharpshooters will kill deer in the designated area, as part of the deer management program unanimously approved by the Iowa City Council ... A study by White Buffalo estimated the density of Iowa City’s deer population at 57.5 deer per mile. The goal for the management program is to reduce that to 25 deer per mile...

DNR expects deer population to rebound after disease outbreak February 13, 2020 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... “We had a significant outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease across the state. And that could’ve resulted in lower numbers of deer out on the landscape — and ultimately resulting in lower harvest,” Harms says. “We do know after an outbreak that we had in 2012 and 2013 we had similar trends ..,

Deer wasting disease found in 2 NE Iowa counties February 11, 2020 Iowa, The Courier

... Chronic wasting disease has been confirmed in wild deer from Woodbury, Winneshiek, Fayette and Decatur counties ...  nearly 7,000 deer tissue samples for testing ... in the 2019-2020 season that resulted in 43 positive wild deer..,

Iowa hunters harvest nearly 95,000 deer from the 2019-20 seasons February 11, 2020 DNR News

     Hunters reported harvesting nearly 94,000 deer during Iowa’s 2019-2020 hunting seasons, which is a decline from 2018-19, when hunters reported nearly 108,000 deer.  Wildlife experts say while there are a number of factors that likely contributed to the decline, the most prominent is the outbreak of hemorrhagic disease that killed thousands of deer across the state...

Iowa City deer management continues to draw controversy among residents January 21, 2020 Iowa, Univeristy of Iowa Daily Iowan

... Iowa City will be managing the deer population through 2025 — first through sharpshooting, and later through a bow hunt... Iowa City managed deer through sharpshooting from 2000 to 2010 ... One group upset by the City Council’s decision to sharpshoot and bow hunt deer is the Iowa City Deer Friends...

Wildlife group questioning city's deer management plan January 8, 2020 Iowa,

... Iowa City Deer Friends showed counselors pictures Tuesday of deer carcasses found at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in early December, claiming they had been shot during the city program and left to rot... "We can't imagine a scenario other than that these were deer killed by White Buffalo," ...

Overall Deer Numbers Are Stable in Iowa January 7, 2020 Iowa,

... the harvest numbers have been averaging 100,000 deer...   “So that tells you that the deer herd is staying really stable, it’s right where the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) wants it. Compared to 2005 when we had our peak deer harvest of over 200,000 deer. We’re harvesting just half the number of deer we did 15 years ago, so it’s probably safe to assume the deer herd itself is half the size that it was 15 years ago.” [Iowa increase hunting pressure around 2005 to reduce the deer herd] ..,

The First Shotgun Deer Season Begins Dec. 7 December 7, 2019 Iowa, KIOW

... “Our deer herd is trending slightly higher statewide but remains well within our population goals and based on our survey data ... More than 110,000 blaze orange clad hunters and landowners will be pushing and posting the timber in pursuit of Iowa’s legendary whitetails..,

Deer hunters preparing for shotgun opener December 4, 2019 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... we’re seeing a slight increasing trend in our deer population statewide, but we’re still well within our population goal,” Harms says. “I would anticipate a very similar to slightly higher harvest.” ..,

Iowa DNR places deer disease surveillance priority on Woodbury County December 4, 2019 Iowa DNR News

... A tissue sample from a road killed deer collected on the south side of Sioux City is undergoing a follow up test for chronic wasting disease after its initial results showed a high likelihood that the disease was present. If confirmed, Woodbury County would become the fifth Iowa county where a wild deer has tested positive for the always fatal disease...

More Than 110,000 Deer Hunters Expected To Hit Iowa During First Season November 30, 2019 Iowa, 1380 KCIM

... should expect to see about the same number of deer as last year, with one exception. Hunters in south central Iowa, where deer populations were impacted by an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease, will see a decline..,

Fate of CWD deer on farm in Van Buren County rests with federal officials November 26, 2019 Iowa, Radio Iowa

... there are around 25 deer involved. “Right now we have two herds that are positive... “They’re farm-raised deer ... used for hunting and federal officials will determine if they destroy the entire herd...

     Iowa officials confirm 2 cases of chronic wasting disease November 23, 2019 Miami Herald

... chronic wasting disease has been found in captive whitetail deer on two separate farms in Van Buren County in southeastern Iowa..,

     Chronic wasting disease confirmed in two captive white-tail deer farms in southeast Iowa November 22, 2019 Iowa, Des Moines Register on

... Officials will destroy the captive white-tail deer herds on two separate southeast Iowa farms where chronic wasting disease has been confirmed ... The last confirmed case in Iowa was in Buchanan County in 2016..,

Disease dwindles deer numbers in central Iowa November 20, 2019 Iowa, KCCI Des Moines

... Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, is the likely cause of 1,800 deer deaths in Iowa this fall... Warren County appears to be ground zero, with nearly 800 deer deaths in the county..,

For Iowa’s deer hunters, the wait is nearly over, shotgun deer seasons begin Dec. 7 November 19, 2019 Iowa DNR News

   Heading into Iowa’s busiest outdoor ‘opening day,’ shotgun deer season hunters should expect to see about the same number of deer in the timber as last year – with the possible exception for hunters in southcentral Iowa, where local deer populations were impacted by an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease..,

Prime time arrives for Iowa deer hunters October 31, 2019 Nevada, Clarinda Herald-Journal

... Iowa’s deer population is stable to slightly increasing over much of the state.  ... Iowa DNR has received reports of nearly 1,800 suspected deer mortalities due to hemorrhagic disease in 2019... Iowa has been testing deer for chronic wasting disease since 2002. To date, more than 70,000 wild deer have been tested with 46 coming back as positive..,

North Iowa parks turn to specialized hunting for deer management October 10, 2019 Globe Gazette

... Mason City's operates under deer management zone guidelines from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. According to the Iowa DNR's website, 18 communities and 25 state and county parks are currently conducting controlled hunts across the state...

EHD, Iowa DNR Says Hundreds of Deer Dead Due to Virus October 3, 2019 WHOTV

... Iowa is experiencing an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease or EHD.  As of late August, more than 400 deer have been found dead ...

Petition: Please Help Save the Wildwood Deer September 25, 2019 Iowa,

... The City of Charles City has decided to take the unusual move of wanting an entire herd of deer to be killed, possibly as large as 150 deer at Wildwood Golf course in Northeast Iowa... We have reached out to other golf courses in Iowa, as well as in the immediate area and they have successfully used other methods to deter deer ...

Iowa DNR holds informational meeting for Wayne County residents for an update on the diseases dropping deer across the state September 17, 2019 Corydon Times

... With 46 CWD positive deer in the State of Iowa since 2013, five have been confirmed in Wayne County within the Corydon Deer Management Zone. One testing positive southwest of Seymour and the other four on the southern outskirts of Corydon..,

Iowa DNR estimates at least 900 deer dead from EHD September 10, 2019 KCCI

...  almost 900 deer have died due to EHD and that there could be even more dead deer hidden among farmers' crops...

Number of deer and Iowa counties hit by EHD has increased August 30, 2019 Radio Iowa

... Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or EHD ...“Total statewide number of reported deer is 583. And we are seeing a bit of an expansion in terms of space and scope. So we are see it reported in some additional counties in southern Iowa — and also some counties in eastern Iowa as well,”  ...

Virus claiming deer in Iowa August 27, 2019 DNR News

... An outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is impacting deer primarily in south central Iowa with the largest concentration of infected animals being reported in Warren County... Current loss estimate is more than 400...

Iowa City Council agrees to four 30-day bow hunts in four years August 7, 2019 

Iowa City Press Citizen

... During the first year, there will be a winter sharpshoot. For each of the four years following, there will be a 30-day bow hunt... While DNR staff said deer density needs to be close to 10 deer-pe-square mile if they want to protect vegetation, the city's plan is for 25...

     Iowa City Council to vote on plan for four bow hunts in four years August 5, 2019 Iowa, Iowa City Press Citizen

... On three separate occasions, the Iowa National Resource Commission, a governor-appointed board that manages the state's deer herd, shot down the city's plans, primarily because of its reluctance for a public hunt... NRC indicated that it would approve a plan including a sharpshooting element only if it was followed by four years of "meaningful" bow hunts ...

Using spotlight observations to predict resource selection and abundance for white‐tailed 

deer  2019, Iowa.  DJ Kaminski, TM Harms, JM Coffey - The Journal of Wildlife Management.

... From 2012 to 2017, we conducted spring spotlight surveys in each of 99 counties in Iowa ... Population estimates for 2012 were variable, indicating that atypical weather conditions may affect spotlight counts and population estimates in some years. For 2013–2017, we predicted a mean population of 439,129 (95% CI ∼ ± 55,926), 440,360 (∼ ± 43,676), and 465,959 (∼ ± 51,242) deer across years for extrapolation, ZIP, and ZINB models, respectively...

Using spotlight observations to predict resource selection and abundance for white‐tailed 

deer  2019, Iowa.  DJ Kaminski, TM Harms, JM Coffey - The Journal of Wildlife Management.

... From 2012 to 2017, we conducted spring spotlight surveys in each of 99 counties in Iowa ... Population estimates for 2012 were variable, indicating that atypical weather conditions may affect spotlight counts and population estimates in some years. For 2013–2017, we predicted a mean population of 439,129 (95% CI ∼ ± 55,926), 440,360 (∼ ± 43,676), and 465,959 (∼ ± 51,242) deer across years for extrapolation, ZIP, and ZINB models, respectively...

Ames, Urban deer hunting returns this fall July 24, 2019 Iowa, Ames Tribune

... For the 13th consecutive year, the Ames’ City Council has approved an urban deer management program that allows licensed residents to bow hunt in approved areas ... the city and the DNR added an incentive that anyone who harvests five doe are eligible to hunt buck the following season...

Iowa City's deer hunt plan would "pit neighbor against neighbor" June 25, 2019 Iowa, Iowa City Press Citizen-18 hours ago

... The amended deer management proposal bows to the NRC's demand for less than 10 deer per square mile. Des Moines is allowed 30 deer per square mile... officers will be tasked with tracking and removing bloody arrow-shot deer from lawns of unsuspecting residents who oppose urban hunts...

Iowa City Council agrees to deer bow hunt June 19, 2019 Iowa City Press-Citizen

...  Iowa City's request for permission for a new hunt by sharpshooters has twice been rejected by the commission. The concern from the NRC is that the plan relies too much on sharpshooting for long-term management and that allowing bow hunting by area hunters would be more effective...

Fawning season is here, deer are on the move May 28, 2019 Iowa, Iowa DNR

... Callers report finding an “abandoned” fawn in an unusual place, like a flowerbed or small patch of cover. Rest assured this is normal deer behavior.  “The doe searches out an isolated location where she feels safe and on occasion those places are not what we may think of as ideal..,

The state of wildlife April 24, 2019 Iowa, Pilot Tribune

... “In Buena Vista County, the whole northwest part of the state really, we have been somewhat concerned. The deer population has been trending below the population we would like to see. We have not allowed antlerless harvest for a few years to try to get the numbers back up, and it looks like they are just starting to recover,” ..,

Iowa City, Support non-lethal control of local deer April 22, 2019 Iowa, The Gazette

... Neighboring Coralville has been conducting amateur bow hunts since 1999, with underwhelming results. Deer-vehicle incidents actually increased from 2015 to 2017. After several years of bow hunting in nearby Muscatine, the herd grew by a third. Clearly, this is not the way to control a local herd...

Annual Spring Wildlife Survey Underway April 13, 2019 Iowa, KIOW

... The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) annual spring spotlight survey is underway with Wildlife and Law Enforcement staff conducting nighttime counts of all furbearing animals, and white-tailed deer... will follow the route driving below 20 miles per hour, shining spotlights from both sides of the vehicle...

Iowa City Council undecided on how to deal with deer population April 1, 2019 Iowa, UI The Daily Iowan

... “It is our understanding that the [commission] will approve professionally contracted sharpshooting for one year to decrease the number to the commission-approved density level, but then some form of public hunt must be utilized to maintain the numbers for the remainder of the five-year plan,” ...

DNR continues to monitor Dubuque County deer population after extended hunting season March 25, 2019 Iowa, ABC Kcrg 9

...  one case of chronic wasting disease in January ... the DNR will also work with the city of Dubuque... "we'll work with them as far trying to get more samples from those hunters that hunt within the city limits so we can monitor and find out if the disease is actually in the city." ...

Iowa City council members feel 'trapped' with potential deer management plan March 12, 2019 Iowa, ABC Kcrg 9

... The sharp shooting would potentially be approved [byDNR]  if the city agreed to an urban hunt, likely a bow hunt ... Council members like Susan Mims said the majority of people she has spoken with do not want a bow hunt in the city...

Timber management techniques benefit oaks, wildlife in southern Iowa forests March 11, 2019 Iowa, Newton Daily News

... Most of the timber stand improvement is achieved by identifying mast producing trees, like oaks and walnuts, or other target trees and getting rid of the trees around it that are competing for sunlight...  forest with a healthy mast production will benefit acorn eaters, like deer ...

Iowa City deer population 'a problem,' work continues for management program March 6, 2019 Iowa, ABC Kcrg 9

...He and his wife wrote a letter to the city council expressing their concerns after deer starting eating the trees and bushes on their property ... We've tried iron fencing ... hasn't worked at all... from 1999 to 2010, the city hired a sharp shooter ...

Harsh winter hurting deer and wildlife population February 26, 2019 Iowa, ABC Kcrg 9

... seeing deer closer to neighborhoods isn't something to celebrate. It means they're having to work harder to find a meal.  "They're exposed more in the outside instead of in the brush where they can stay away and keep warm,"  ...

Iowa data:   In 2023, the state estimated the pre-hunt deer population at about 450,000 with about 100,000 expected to be taken during the hunting seasons for a post-hunt population of 350,000.  The deer herd is reported to be stable slightly increasing into 2023 and in 2022 with a rough estimate of 500,000 for 2022. The state deer biologist said in early 2023 that the population is about at the level of the mid-1990s, the management objective, and has been there for years.  An outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in 2023 reduced populations and there were other reports of a general population decline.  The 2023 spotlight deer survey declined by 9.1 percent and was about the same as in 2020.

The 2021 survey observed 4 percent more deer in 2021 compared to 2019 after a 3 percent decline in 2020 from 2019 which accounts for the estimate of 478,000 deer in 2021 and 445,000 deer for 2020.  The state comments that the population was about the same in 2021 with a slow upward trend in the northcentral and northwest portions of the state, a result of reduced hunting pressure.   

A 2020-2021 report concludes "statewide, the deer herd declined from 2006-2013, stabilized from 2013-2017, and has been slightly increasing since 2017."  The deer kill fell by 7.3 percent in 2019 while the number of hunting licenses purchased fell by 3 percent for a population estimate of about 460,000 in 2019.

A rough estimate from the state of 500,000 deer in 2018 with lower numbers in the northwest and higher numbers in the south and along the Mississippi river. More details.  The analysis explained below from various sources puts the deer population at about 475,000 for 2018, or in the range of around 500,000.  Restrictions on hunting anterless deer were placed on counties in the northwest to allow the population to recover for several years prior to 2021.  Graphics showing the results of the deer hunt from 1995 to 2020 are at the bottom of this column.

A 2018 Iowa population report (p,4) estimates the deer herd "is slightly increasing in 2018."   Research published in 2019 estimated these average deer populations for the state for 2013-2017 using three different models.  Averaging the three models for each year gives these estimates:  432,534 in 2012, 479,363 in 2013, 421,765 in 2014, 447,941 in 2015, 455,225 in 2016 and 440,356 in 2017.  Interpreting graphical information from the state's 2018 report indicates about an 8 percent increase in the pre-fawn deer population, for a 2018 population of about 475,000.  

Preliminary harvest data fell by more than 10 percent in 2019, but the spotlight survey for 2019 showed in increase of about 8 percent.  Comments from state agents indicate a stable to declining population in 2019 after an outbreak of EHD in central Iowa reduced the herd somewhat.  A 3 percent decline is used to reconcile this information for a rough estimate of 460,000 deer in 2019.  The state survey shows a 3 percent decline in 2020 for a population of about 445,000 deer.

A downward trend into 2016 from 2006 when state lawmakers instructed the DNR to reduce the deer population.   About stable in 2015 after a mild winter and early spring.  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 reduced antlerless licenses numbers for 2015, 2016 and 2017 to stabilize the population.   The state issued a document around 2017 estimating the after hunt population at 400,000.  

A state estimate of 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.   An estimate of 470,000 in 2010 and 13,000 in 1953.  An estimate of 500,000 in 2009.

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 2015 population was about 33 percent below the 2009 population.  The 2014 harvest was 39 percent below 2006 peak.   In 1997 an estimated population of 300,000 deer after the 1996 harvest of over 100,000 deer. In 1990 about 200,000 whitetail deer in the state.

Chronic Wasting Disease  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 first wild deer tested positive in 2013 in Allamakee County, followed by three in 2014, two in 2015, twelve in 2016, and eight in 2017.  In the 2018-19 hunting season, 14 cases.  A total of 46 by early fall 2019 with two captive deer farms testing positive in late 2019.  For the 2019-2020 hunting season 43 tested positive out of about 7,000 tested.  A total of 91 positives by late 2020.  For the 2020-21 season, 21 new positives for a total of 111.  For the 2021-22 season, 36 positives from some 5,000 deer samples with two new counties, Greene County in central Iowa and Fremont County in southwest Iowa,  bringing the total number of counties to 12.  For the 2022-23 season 96 deer tested positive out of about 5,000 tested.  As of August, 2023, 260 deer have tested positive in 16 Iowa counties since 2013.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease  In 2023 the most wide spread outbreak, first reported in Iowa in 2012.

History  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 by 1898.  Around 1900, someone opened the gate on a pen that held 32 deer, helping the deer recovery in Iowa.

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 1,650.  By 1950, about 10,000 deer.  When hunting resumed in 1953 there were around 12,000 to 15,000 deer.  Another 1953 estimate of 12,632. 


      Population Estimates

Year          Winter        Maximum

                Population     Fall Pop.

1954         11,892          20,395

1955         10,684          18,323

1956         10,821          18,558

1957         10,294          17,654

1958         10,643          18,253

1959         11,726          20,110

1960         13,101          22,468

1961         14,155          24,276

1962         15,957          27,366

Source: Status and Management of the White-tailed Deer in Iowa, 1954-1962

Population estimates for 1990 to 2007

In 1987 Iowa made it illegal to kill white deer. 

Population estimates:  1940:  1,000.   1950:  4,500.    1960:  22,468.     1968:  38,000

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."  Elk sighted in 2016.

Mountain Lions were eradicated from Iowa around 1900, one female returned and was shot in 2017, then another spotted on a trail camera.  Confirmed sightings in 2022 and 2023.


Turn In Poachers (TIP):   (800) 532-2020

Graphics below from the Trends in Iowa Wildlife Populations and Harvest 2020-2021, Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  September 2021