DES MOINES, Iowa — The number of deer harvested in the state during the 2022-23 season increased by 7% over the previous season, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR said the new Excess Tag January Antlerless Season is partly responsible for the increase. It was approved by Iowa lawmakers last spring.
More than 2,500 deer were harvested during the excess tag season in January and the favorable weather across the state was helpful to hunters, according to Jace Elliott, State Deer Biologist with the DNR.
For the entire 2022-23 season, a harvest of 109,613 deer was reported. That’s the highest number since 2014 when the DNR said 115,608 deer were harvested.
Some areas of the state did see a decline in the number of deer taken by hunters, like western Iowa and the southwest part of Iowa. The DNR attributes it to recent outbreaks of Epizootic hemorrhagic disease(EHD) and flooding in the Missouri River valley.
“The deer herd has shown that, given time, it can recover from EHD outbreaks,” Elliott said. “And 2022 was a mild year with respect to EHD in that area.”
Deer harvest data dating back to 2006 can be found here.