DNR reports 2019-2020 deer harvest

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Rjack, Feb 11, 2020.

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  1. Rjack

    Rjack Well-Known Member

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    Iowa hunters harvest nearly 95,000 deer from the 2019-20 seasons
    Hunters reported harvesting nearly 94,000 deer during Iowa’s 2019-2020 hunting seasons, which is a decline from 2018-19, when hunters reported nearly 108,000 deer.

    Wildlife experts say while there are a number of factors that likely contributed to the decline, the most prominent is the outbreak of hemorrhagic disease that killed thousands of deer across the state. It was the second largest outbreak of hemorrhagic disease in Iowa, behind only the 2012/13 outbreak, and the reduced harvest is consistent with that following the 2013 outbreak.

    Tyler Harms, wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said one of the department’s best population survey tools is the bow hunter observation survey where bow hunters record the number of deer and other wildlife species they observe each day from their treestand. The survey is conducted from Oct. 1 through the opening of first shotgun season.

    “The lower harvest corresponds with fewer deer bow hunters reported in their survey, and while the impact from hemorrhagic disease may have contributed to some of that decline, our hunters are also conservationists and if they perceive a drop in the deer population, they will make a decision on whether or not to kill more deer. This year, many of them decided not to,” Harms said.

    The Iowa DNR manages the deer herd to support a harvest of 100,000 to 120,000 deer that was based on the recommendations from the legislatively mandated deer advisory committee.

    “Our deer population has rebounded after hemorrhagic outbreaks in the past and we expect the same will be true after this outbreak,” Harms said. “From our perspective, we manage the population for the long term and impacts from this year – while significant – are likely a short blip on the horizon.

    Media Contact: Tyler Harms, Wildlife Biologist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-777-5378.
     
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  3. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 It is going to be a good fall!

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    Was the harvest down in the worst EHD areas and normal everywhere else, or did most counties see a decline?
     
  4. BJohnson

    BJohnson Well-Known Member

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    IDNR deer harvest data - 2019 vs 2018

    Warren - decrease of 31%
    - 2019 - 1,957
    - 2018 - 2,836
    Lucas - decrease of 29%
    - 2019 - 1,636
    - 2018 - 2,294
    Clarke - decrease of 34%
    - 2019 - 1,305
    - 2018 - 1,966
    Madison - decrease of 12%
    - 2019 - 2,508
    - 2018 - 2,843

    If a person thinks annual harvest represents maybe a max of 50% of total population, I would say estimates of EHD casualties could be 2x the decrease in annual harvests, correct ?? If annual harvest represents less than 50% in most years, then EHD kills are more than 2x the decrease in harvest numbers in some of the above counties.
    Am I missing something in this train of thought??
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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  5. Rjack

    Rjack Well-Known Member

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    That sure seems reasonable. That would put the estimated EHD deaths in Warren at about 1750 and for Lucas about 1300.

    What is odd is the reported EHD kills in Warren are 773 and only 69 in Lucas according to the DNR map. Did 10x the deaths occur in Warren than Lucas or just way more people looking/reporting.

    Just too many variables to know for sure, but it seems likely Warren saw at least 1500 EHD kills - I just can't imagine more than 50% of the deaths actually being reported.
     
  6. BJohnson

    BJohnson Well-Known Member

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    some BIG public tracts in Lucas (multiple Whitebreast units, upper Rathbun, etc) would equate to a lot less EHD kill reporting in Lucas county. Warren is much more geared to private land ownership overall for the county.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020

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