Iowa DNR Reports Chronic Wasting Disease Numbers; Additional Deer Season in January

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According to a press release from the Iowa DNR, any counties with unsold antlerless deer tags on January 10th, 2024, will be open for the excess tag January antlerless-only season. The season runs from January 11th to the 22nd. These tags go on sale January 10th and due to the compressed timeline, they will not be available for online purchase.

Only centerfire rifles .223 to .500 caliber with a published or calculated muzzle energy of 500-foot pounds or higher are allowed in this season. The excess tag January antlerless season was created by the Iowa legislature in the 2022 session.

Hunters may also participate in the population management antlerless season in Allamakee, Appanoose, Decatur, Monroe, Wayne and Winneshiek counties. These counties met the requirement of having 100 or more antlerless licenses on the third Monday in December. Shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, bows, crossbows, and centerfire rifles .223 and larger may be used in the population management antlerless season. The season runs from January 11th to the 22nd. Tags for the population management antlerless season went on sale December 19th.

Currently late muzzleloader season and the reopening of the archery season is underway. Around 25,000 hunters participate in the late muzzleloader season which accounts for about 10 percent of the overall deer harvest. The late muzzleloader and archery deer seasons close on January 10th.

As always hunters who bag a deer are required to report their harvest by midnight on the day after it is tagged, before taking it to a locker, taxidermist, before processing it for consumption, or transporting it out of state.

“Harvest reporting provides us critical data to responsibly manage this population. Annual harvest is a major component of how we model the deer population in Iowa, which informs important management decisions. By reporting their harvest, hunters are contributing to the success of our deer management program. We’re right on track with the deer harvest as compared to last year, The deer harvest during the first shotgun season was the highest in five years at more than 25,000, and the second season harvest was similar to last year at around 20,000. Iowa’s strong deer numbers in combination with relatively good weather made for productive shotgun seasons this year.”

-Jace Elliott, State Deer Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

So far this hunting season more than 93,000 deer have been confirmed through the harvest reporting system.

To go along with those numbers, Chronic Wasting Disease has a been a hot button issue for deer hunters and conservationists alike. Samples from more than 4,600 deer from across Iowa have been collected for chronic wasting disease testing. Of those, 1,100 samples have been processed, with 11 deer testing positive so far. Chronic wasting disease is always fatal.

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You can even see surveillance results in real-time here: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Deer-Hunting/Deer-Health/Chronic-Wasting-Disease/Surveillance-Results

Samples collected from the shotgun seasons are still being tested, but results are expected within a few weeks. Most of the counties have met the sample quota. Hunters interested in having their deer tested after the sample quotas are met or have a fawn or other lower priority deer, can have it tested on their own. Step by step instructions on how to do this can be found at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Deer-Hunting/Deer-Health/Chronic-Wasting-Disease/Hunter-Submission-Pathway.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>