Urban bowhunting called success in Polk County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Urban bowhunting called success in Polk County

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Polk County's urban bowhunting program has become the most successful in the state.

The estimated deer population has dropped dramatically since its beginning in 1996. The Des Moines Register reports that the latest estimate, from 2014, showed 12 deer per square mile in Des Moines' Water Works Park, compared with 53 in 1998.

Experts say the overpopulation of deer can lead to destruction of forest vegetation, and the animals also can damage residential landscaping and crops.

Deer present traffic hazards as well. State Farm Insurance calculates that the chances of an Iowa motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 68. But Polk County averaged 138 deer-auto accidents from 2007 to 2011.

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