Iowa’s popular archery deer season began Monday with nearly 60,000 hunters expected to head to the timber.
Bow hunters should have prime conditions for seeing deer as more than 35 percent of the corn crop is already out of the field, reducing cover and concentrating deer in the remaining cover.
Tom Litchfield, state deer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said good early season strategies are hunting food sources and along trails connecting bedding areas to food or water sources.
“Our white oak acorn crop is spotty, but the trees with mast began dropping their acorns in early September and were still dropping well this past weekend,” Litchfield said. “We expect the red oaks to have below average mast crops, and the trees with acorns will likely drop earlier than usual.”
Iowa’s deer herd is slightly above its population objective in central, south central and southwest Iowa, but is trending towards herd goals.
“We have locations where additional doe harvest is needed but for the most part, hunters should work with landowners to determine if the herd is at the desired levels in their area,” Litchfield said.
Hunters can report their deer on the DNR website www.iowadnr.gov, by calling the toll free reporting number (800) 771-4692 or at any license vendor.
Hunters reported harvesting 23,650 deer during the 2011 archery season, a 4 percent increase from the previous year.