---- — OTTUMWA — Over the last three years, deer harvest numbers in Ottumwa have declined slightly, though participation has remained relatively the same.
Ottumwa’s eighth deer season for bow hunters ran from Sept. 14, 2013, through Jan. 19, 2014. During the season, 37 hunters registered with the police department to participate in the program. During the four-month season, 41 does, one button buck and one buck were harvested, bringing the total harvest number to 43. Two hunters qualified for buck tags for the first half of next year’s season.
Deer harvest numbers for the city's season have declined approximately 6.5 percent; however, participation in the hunt has stayed fairly consistent. Looking at Iowa as a whole, deer harvest numbers are down significantly statewide, which can be attributed to a number of factors including 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 2014-15 deer season for bow hunters will be announced over the summer.