DNR Taking Comments on Proposed Deer Hunting Rules

DNR Taking Comments on Proposed Deer Hunting Rules

Several amendments have been proposed to Chapter 106 of Iowa Administrative Code regarding resident deer hunting rules for 2018-19. The proposed changes involve reestablishment of a January antlerless-only season in three northeastern counties and one southern county, license requirements, season dates, bag limits, and the means and method of take.

A January antlerless season has been proposed for Allamakee, Appanoose, Clayton, and Wayne counties. This season is coupled with increased county quotas for these counties and is targeted at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD).

Also, modifications to the resident antlerless deer county quotas are proposed for Allamakee, Appanoose, Bremer, Butler, Clayton, Fayette, Madison, Wayne, and Winneshiek counties. With the exception of Bremer County, all quotas are increased in order to reduce deer densities for disease control or to alleviate negative human-deer interactions. The quota in Bremer County, however, is decreased modestly as a first attempt to stabilize a healthy local population. Statewide, the overall proposed antlerless quota change is an increase of 1,550.

In addition, a limit of six cartridges is imposed for shotguns, straight wall cartridge (SWC) rifles, and handguns. The six-cartridge limit is being added to improve human and hunter safety and to reduce the likelihood of wounding deer, according to the DNR.

Clarifications are also proposed to the definition of a legal handgun and to the legal calibers for SWC rifles. These clarifications will ensure that hunters can determine what firearms are a legal method of take for deer hunting in this state. These definitions apply only to the firearms that may be used while deer hunting and have no bearing on or relevance to other firearms laws, the DNR says.

This rule also proposes to remove handguns as a method of take from the late muzzleloader season to restore the original intent of the season.

Go to this link to read the proposed 2018-19 resident (and non-resident) deer hunting rules.

Any interested person may submit written comments to the DNR no later than 4:30 p.m. on May 1. Comments should be directed to: Tyler Harms, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East Ninth Street Des Moines, Iowa 50319; email:; or by phone: 515-432-2823. 

The DNR plans to adopt the final rules at a special Natural Resource Commission teleconference meeting scheduled at 7:30 a.m. on May 16. Commissioner contact information can also be found at this link.

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