Deer Hunting News: Safety First, Iowa Harvest Down

April 1, 2014

Now This Is Treestand Safety!

Last hunting season a whitetail hunter near Medora, Ind., had an experience none of us ever want to have. On October 18, Darren “Andy” Royalty was forced to leap to safety from his treestand moments before the rotating blades of a tree trimmer suspended from a helicopter ripped through his stand and his crossbow. The helicopter-powered saw was trimming trees in the area of power lines for Duke Energy, Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported.

And you thought lightning was dangerous?

Never Forget Safety First

With deer season fast approaching, now is good time to remember that your mantra should always be “Safety First” while in the woods. A prime example is the case of a 48-year-old Omaha, Neb., man who died following a hunting incident near Macy in northeast Nebraska last October.

The incident took place on the Omaha Indian Reservation, where an early deer-hunting season was in progress. The victim was in a five-person hunting party when he was shot in the buttocks with a rifle. He was transported to a Winnebago hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Do not ever think it cannot happen to you, or someone you love.

Iowa's Deer Harvest Declined For Eighth Straight Year

For the first time since the mid-1990s, Iowa's deer harvest has dropped below 100,000. Hunters reported 99,406 deer for the 2013 season, which is a decline of 14 percent from 2012, and 34 percent from its high in 2006. The 2012 reported deer harvest was 115,606.

"Hunters responded when we asked them to reduce the size of the herd, but now we are encouraging them to work with landowners and base their harvest decisions on local herd conditions," said Dr. Dale Garner, chief of Wildlife for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The harvest data will be used as a consideration when the DNR begins the process of discussing upcoming hunting seasons.

Deer hunters purchased 359,956 licenses, nearly 18,500 fewer than in 2012.

Deer hunting in Iowa provides an economic impact of nearly $214 million, paying more than $15 million in federal taxes and nearly $15 million in state taxes. It supports more than 2,800 jobs, and provides more than $67 million in earnings.