Deer Harvest Declines for 7th Straight Year

Donnie Kasat, left, and Mike Wagner of Eau Claire, Wis. walk along a trial in the Clark County forest near Fairchild, Wis. while hunting on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 during the Wisconsin deer gun season opener. (AP Photo/Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Shane Opatz)


By Ellen Kurt

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials said Tuesday that Iowa's deer harvest declined for the seventh straight year.

Hunters adjusted to the smaller herd, and to fewer antlerless tags, officials report.

Hunters reported 115,606 deer to the harvest reporting system for the 2012 season, a decline of nearly 5 percent. The harvest is down 23 percent from its high in 2006.

Deer hunters purchased 378,447 licenses last year.

"Hunters are doing their part to help us manage the deer herd by judiciously using available antlerless tags in counties where we would like to reduce the population, and by working with landowners to be more selective in other areas," said Dr. Dale Garner, chief of wildlife for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Officials said deer hunting in Iowa has a nearly $214 million impact on the state's economy.

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