WIUM Tristates Public Radio

SE IA Deer Hunters Face Tougher Season

Sep 12, 2013

After a better than expected deer hunting season last year, southeast Iowa hunters might have worse luck this year.

Iowa DNR Deer Biologist, Tom Litchfield, said Iowa’s deer population state-wide is declining, as part of a plan by the DNR.

A deer killed by EHD, which is present in SE Iowa this year.
Credit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr

He said the state wide herd did decline, but not at the rate  he expected it would. Litchfield said the extreme drought  gave hunters an advantage. Specifically deer had to travel farther for food and water.

"Anything that makes a deer more exposed while hunting season is going on, is going to result in more susceptibility to being harvested," Litchfield said.

He said while their are currently drought conditions, they are not as severe as last years and will not give hunters the same level of advantage.

Litchfield said last year also saw an outbreak of a hemorrhagic disease in deer, which largely spared southeast Iowa.

He said there is a minor outbreak of the disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, this year. Litchfield added that it's centered in the areas, like Southeast Iowa,  that were spared last year.