CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday deer harvest numbers were down for an eighth straight year.
Hunters harvested nearly 99,500 deer. That's down about 16,000 from 2012. The 2013 season was also the first since the mid-90s that the harvest dropped below 100,000.
DNR officials said it's no cause for concern.
"We're about at where we'd like to see it. We'd like to see it around 100,000, that would be a good harvest number each year," said Tim Thompson, a DNR wildlife biologist.
About ten years ago the department was tasked with reducing deer numbers in the state. The animals had been damaging crops and causing collisions on the road. Doe tags and extra seasons were offered to curtail numbers. Thompson said it worked.
"We feel we have things under control and feel like we're at the point where we'd like to be right now. We really don't want to drop too much lower than this," said Thompson.
To make sure things don't get any lower, Thompson said the DNR may reduce doe tags next season. They'll be looking for input from hunters at meetings around the state next week, on the 26th.