In 1990, the first deer management zone hunt (then called Special Hunts), was conducted at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie county. This came about following several years of increasing concerns regarding deer numbers and the negative impact the increasing herd could have on commodity crops as well as natural vegetation. This also followed an intensive study on deer movements in and around Springbrook and measuring the impact deer browsing was having on crops adjacent to the park.
During this time and shortly after, communities were also expressing concerns about unchecked deer numbers and their impact on ornamental plants, gardens, etc. and deer/vehicle collisions. The city of Waterloo was the first to explore the option of a controlled bow hunt within their city limits. A task force developed a set of special rules for this hunt, defining when, where and at what times bow hunting could take place. This hunt has proved successful at reducing and maintaining deer levels at a lower level and consequently reducing complaints regarding deer.
At this time, we have 18 communities and 25 state and county parks conducting these controlled hunts across Iowa.
Contacting the Depredation Biologist in Your Area
Deer Management Zone Procedures (City Administration Guidelines)