New Deer Hunting Restrictions for Iowa Aimed at Culling Diseased Whitetails
Bob McNally 07.10.17
Hunters will not be allowed to collect as many whitetail deer this year from Iowa, as the state will be reducing deer tags to maintain a healthy deer herd and battle big game animal diseases, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) that has the potential to be deadly to humans.
Deer tags for antlerless animals will not be reduced, however. In fact, deer tag quotas will increase in some counties, while decreasing in others as the state strives to best manage its whitetail herd.
CWD is a neurological condition in deer that can take years to become evident. It attacks the brains of infected animals and causes a range of abnormal symptoms. There is no known cure for CWD, which has been recorded in over 20 states and two Canadian provinces.
During the 2016 whitetail season Iowa sportsmen tagged just over 100,000 deer, a number consistent with Iowa’s stable and improving big game population. Only a dozen deer last year showed signs of CWD, and all came from the northeast part of the state. Iowa will increase deer tags in that part of the state, but overall will reduce state antlerless deer tags from 74,500 to 72,100 for the season that begins in September and runs into 2018.
A deer tag surplus of 10,000 were not claimed last year, and authorities expect a similar surplus this year for tags. Yet in some counties all tags traditionally sell out.
Another new wrinkle in this year’s Iowa deer season is rifles will be allowed that fire straight-walled cartridges, such as the traditional .357 round, made chiefly for handguns.