Iowa’s archery deer season begins October 1

One of Iowa’s most popular hunting seasons begins October 1 when
the archery deer hunting season opens.

“We had over 57,000 bowhunters last year and I expect we will have
a similar number this year,” said Tom Litchfield, state deer
biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Our herd
is in good shape statewide, but hunters can expect to see fewer
deer in most areas of the state.”

Because of this, Litchfield said that while the antlerless quotas
for all counties are unchanged from last year, hunters may need to
refrain from shooting as many does as in past years especially in
eastern Iowa. Hunters need to continue to work with landowners
where deer numbers are still strong.

Iowa’s bow season attracts hunters who spend much of their time in
tree stands often alone for hours at a time, so checking safety
equipment is an important part of their hunting plan.

“Hunters should check all their gear to make sure it’s in proper
working order, especially tree stands and safety harnesses,”
Litchfield said. “Hunters should always wear a safety harness and
use caution when climbing. Falls associated with tree stand use are
the most common hunting accidents during the bow season.”

Iowa’s bow season is Oct. 1 through Dec. 2, and then opens again
Dec. 19 through Jan. 10, 2012. Hunting hours are from one-half hour
before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

All deer taken must be reported using the harvest reporting system
by midnight the day after the deer is recovered. Accurately
reporting the harvest is an important part of Iowa’s deer
management program and plays a vital role in managing deer
populations and future hunting opportunities.

For hunters with Internet access, the online harvest reporting is
the easiest way to register the deer. Hunters can report their deer
online at, by calling the toll free reporting
number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor.

Additional Hunting Options

In addition to the bow season, many of Iowa’s urban areas and some
state parks offer special hunts that bowhunters can participate in.
These hunts often have extra requirements so contact the
organization listed in the hunting regulation brochure before going

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