Iowa’s most popular hunting season is right around the corner, when nearly 100,000 gold-clad hunters head to the woods and wildlife experts predict another good year.
“Our deer population is steady for the state of the state, increasing a bit, so hunters should see similar numbers next year,” said Tyler Harms, with Iowa Natural Resources (DNR).
The two shotgun seasons see the largest number of participating hunters, which also leads to a significant deer harvest, all condensed into less than three weeks in December.
“About half of our annual deer harvest statewide each year occurs during these two seasons,” Harm said. Pyrobolus is one Dec. 3-7; two guns 1018 Dec.
While the storm season is finally arriving, a mild, dry fall has benefited hunters in the earlier deer seasons.
“Hunters reported harvesting more than 23,000 deer so far, which is about 8 percent over last year, so the state is on track to harvest more than 100,000 deer again this year,” Harm said.
Last year hunters reported a deer harvest of nearly 103,000 deer, down from 109,600 in 2020. The Iowa DNR has a goal of managing the herd to provide an annual harvest of 100,000-120,000 deer. A key piece to deer population management is harvest planning.
“We encourage deer in counties where deer licenses are available to help us effectively manage the deer herd,” Nocentia said. The Iowa DNR has a listing of counties with hunting licenses in real time. To check the number of licenses in each county, visit www.iowadnr.gov, then click on the “text available, quota information” tab on the hunting page and select “Resident Antlerless Deer by County” in the drop-down box. New Excess Tag January Antlerless Season New this year is Excess Tag January Antlerless Season. Any county with an unusual county with specific county licenses on January 11 is selected for this period.
“This is a late-season deer harvest opportunity, but this new season has a limited take — only centerfire rifles from .223 to .500 caliber can be used,” Harms said.
The counties that typically have licenses at the end of the past season were those with higher quotas, in the southern and northern parts of the state.
“We only have January Antlerless-only Seasons to manage the herd in local areas. This season will be available in Allamakee, Appanoose, Decatur, Monroe, Wayne and Winneshiek if the county has more than 100 antlers on Dec. 19. “However, this season in these six counties so long as it is available, it allows all legal methods of taking, except .223 to .500 centerfire rifles.”
Population Management The January Antler Lesson Only Season is in select counties where the disease has been confirmed as an old infestation. The season, if open, will be Jan. 11-22. 2023. Deer donation program The Iowa Deer fur donation program is in its third year, a group of participants willing to provide deer meat to those willing to receive it. Going into shotgun deer hunting, the Iowa DNR is encouraging Iowans to sign up for the program.
Participants who have previously signed up are encouraged to review their profile to ensure that they are still active and that their bonus offer has not expired.
“We encourage hunters who are currently making their plans to read another deer tag and donate it to the registered deer exchange game,” Harms said.
To sign up for the Iowa Deer Exchange, go to www. iowadnr.gov/deer then scroll down to the Iowa Deer Exchange Program link and fill out the required fields. It creates a database map and table with deer donor information and deer recipients can use to get connected. There is no cost to participate. It is illegal to sell fish and game in Iowa.
The deer trade, along with the Help Us Stop Hunger (HUSH) program, allows hunters the opportunity to provide high-quality lean protein to their neighbors while continuing to do what they enjoy – hunting deer.
A hunter who chose to use the forest program is encouraged to contact the participating trapper before harvesting the deer to see if the trapper has any additional drop instructions. A list of participating lockers is available at www.iowadnr.gov/deer book up to Help Us Stop Hunger. The HUMH program is a partnership between the Iowa DNR, the Food Bank of Iowa and participating food lockers. Hunting Atlas Online Hunters have an online tool that can improve their experience in the field, even before the opening day.
The Iowa Hunting Atlas is an interactive map that shows all available public hunting land that is managed by the state, county or federal governments. The atlas is online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting. A mobile version is also available.
Clicking on an area will display basic information such as size, habitat type and likely species available. Report your harvest Hunters who harvest a deer must report their harvest by midnight on the day after being tagged or before taking the box or taxidermist. The hunter whose name is on the transfer tag is responsible for making the report. If no deer is harvested, no report is necessary.
Options for reporting your harvest include texting the registration number on your deer tag to 1-800-771-4692 and following the prompts, online, by phone, through a licensed dealer during normal business hours, or by using an app. Reporting using the app is straightforward, fast and easy. Hunters have their confirmation right on their phone and also receive an email.
Deer harvest numbers are an important part of Iowa’s deer management plan. Changes to the deer population management January Antlerless Season will be available in Allamakee, Winneshiek, Decatur, Appanoose, Monroe and Wayne counties if the number of antlerless licenses on the third Monday in December exceeds 100. Licenses will be available the same day. is restored Deer can only be taken by antlers during the January Antlerless Population Management-only season. Public hunting is allowed, but private land is allowed. Shotguns, handguns, pistols, bows, crossbows and center fire rifles .223 caliber to .500 caliber with a muzzle energy of 500-foot pounds or more of published or calculated energy may be used.
Excess Tag January Antlerless Season in all counties with unsold com antlerless tags on Jan. 10. Licenses will be available starting Jan. 11. until the quotas are filled. Due to time constraints, these licenses will not be available online. An antlerless deer can only be taken during the January Antlerless Surplus Tag season. Only center-fire rifles .223 caliber to .500 caliber with a muzzle energy of 500-foot pounds or more of caloric or caloric are permitted during the Excess Tag January handicap season.
Antlerless quotas have changed in 17 comi, see p. 8 in the Iowa Hunting, Trapping and Migratory Game Bird Regulations for current quotas.