The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting eight meetings in Western Iowa to discuss the status of the region’s deer herd as population levels have fallen in recent years. The meetings are open to the public.

State wildlife experts say there are likely multiple factors that have contributed to the decline in the number of deer on the landscape and it might take a multilevel approach for the herd to recover. 

“With the hindsight we have today, we can look back and realize that too much doe harvest was encouraged for too long in western Iowa. Significant outbreaks of hemorrhagic disease over the last decade have not helped populations recover, and changes in land cover resulting in less habitat makes deer more vulnerable to harvest,” said Jace Elliott, state deer biologist with the Iowa DNR. “This population decline impacts roughly one-fifth of the state so we are encouraging hunters and landowners to come to the meetings and give us their feedback. Every voice counts.”

The goal of these meetings is to move forward with a plan the department can execute and that hunters will support, he said.

Meetings are scheduled in July and run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

    July 8, Atlantic, at The Venue

    July 9, Denison, at Yellow Smoke Park Lookout Shelter

    July 10, Council Bluffs, at Bass Pro Shops

    July 11, Shenandoah, at the Public Library

    July 15, Onawa, at the Public Library

    July 16, Sioux Center, at Sandy Hollow Clubhouse

    July 17, Sioux City, at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

    July 18, Cherokee, at the Community Center Auditorium

DNR Contact: Jace Elliott, State Deer Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-249-7056.