Deer hunting begins Saturday with archery season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deer hunting begins Saturday with archery season

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Deer hunters will begin the 2011 season when archery season opens on Saturday, October 1.

"We had over 57,000 bowhunters last year and I expect we will have a similar number this year," Tom Litchfield, state deer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said in a written statement. "Our herd is in good shape statewide, but hunters can expect to see fewer deer in most areas of the state."

Litchfield adds that while antlerless quotas are unchanged for all counties, hunters will need to refrain from shooting as many does as in the past, especially in Eastern Iowa.

The DNR also reminds hunters that checking safety equipment is an important part of their hunting plan.

"Hunters should check all their gear to make sure it's in proper working order, especially tree stands and safety harnesses," Litchfield said. "Hunters should always wear a safety harness and use caution when climbing. Falls associated with tree stand use are the most common hunting accidents during the bow season."

Iowa's bow season runs from October 1 through December 2 and December 19 through January 10, 2012. Hunting hours are a half hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset.

The Mines of Spain in Dubuque has announced that archery hunting will be allowed again this season.

Areas at the Mines of Spain you cannot hunt include the E. B. Lyons Interpretive Area down to Granger Creek, the Julien Dubuque Monument Area bordered by the railroad tracks, park road and Catfish Creek, the area at the south entrance between the two upper parking lots and towards the river, and an area west of HWY 151. Maps are available at the park office or at www.minesofspain.org under maps.

Hunters are reminded that hikers, runners, bird watchers and others will be using the park while hunting is in progress.  Hunters should avoid using hiking trails. Non-hunters are encouraged to wear some type of clothing that makes them visible to hunters during the hunting season.

Hunters must report all deer taken using the harvest reporting system by midnight the day after the deer is recovered.  You can register your deer online at www.iowadnr.gov,  by calling the toll free reporting number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor.

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