(Ottumwa) – The City of Ottumwa’s eighth deer season for bow hunters began on September 14, 2013 and recently concluded on January 19, 2014. During the season, thirty seven (37) hunters registered with the police department to participate in the program. During the four month season, forty-one (41) does, one (1) button buck, and one (1) buck were harvested bringing the total harvest number to forty-three (43).
Two hunters qualified for buck tags for the first half of next year’s season. Over the last three years, deer harvest numbers for the city deer season has declined approximately 6.5% however; participation in the hunt has remained relatively the same. Looking at Iowa as a whole, deer harvest numbers are down significantly statewide, and can be attributed to a number of factors to include high harvest rates in years prior, and a recent outbreak of EHD disease among the deer herd.
The Ottumwa city deer hunting program was started in the fall of 2005 as a means to reduce the deer population in Ottumwa. Since then, a total of 703 deer have been harvested from within the city limits through the program. The start of the City’s 2014/2015 deer season for bow hunters will be announced.