Iowa’s 2022 deer harvest increased seven percent over the 2021 season, due, in part to the new Excess Tag January Antlerless Season approved by the Iowa Legislature last spring.
“A lot of hunters chose to participate in the new season, and the harvest was on par or a little above the other firearms seasons,” said Jace Elliott, state deer biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Hunters reported more than 2,500 deer taken during the Excess Tag January Antlerless Season, thanks, in part, to favorable weather across the state.”
Overall, hunters tagged deer at a rate of 30-35 percent which is similar to previous years, for a total reported harvest of more than 109,600 deer.
Deer harvest varied regionally, with the north central and southeast regions seeing an increase over 2021. “The north central deer population is recovering over the past decade and is trending in the right direction,” Elliott said.
The far western counties and southwest region saw a decline in harvest, likely due to the recent outbreaks from EHD and from floods in the Missouri River valley. “The deer herd has shown that, given time, it can recover from EHD outbreaks,” he said. “And 2022 was a mild year with respect to EHD in that area.”
The deer population model indicates the herd size is stable to slightly increasing and is within the goal of the Iowa deer study advisory committee.
The Iowa DNR has deer harvest information by county by year dating back to 2006 online at https://gooutdoorsiowa.com/RealTimeHarvestReport.aspx.