At its monthly meeting June 11, the DNR's Natural Resource Commission approved the final Iowa resident deer hunting rule for the 2020-21 season, with no discussion. The final rule is unchanged from what was proposed by the DNR staff in March.

First, general deer licenses are reestablished as valid in seven counties (Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Grundy, Hancock, Hardin, Winnebago, and Worth) for all seasons, and in all of northwest Iowa for the early muzzleloader season. Deer populations have been steadily increasing in the northwest, the DNR says, allowing for this increase.

Second, the January antlerless-deer-only season is rescinded for all counties. Due to a widespread outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in the summer of 2019, deer numbers and harvest have been down across much of the state.

And third, this rule modifies the resident county antlerless-deer license quotas for a total of 23 counties. Quotas are increased in Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Guthrie, Jackson, Jones, Lee, Mitchell, Tama, Washington, and Winneshiek Counties to reduce deer densities for disease control or to alleviate negative human-deer interactions. Quotas are decreased in Adams, Bremer, Fremont, Jefferson, Montgomery, Page, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Taylor, Union, Wapello, and Woodbury Counties to stabilize a healthy local population. Statewide, the overall proposed quota change is an increase of 125.

Learn more about the final rule at this link (it opens a .pdf of the entire agenda; the deer rule is item no. 14). Hunting licenses go on-sale August 15.