Hunters planning to be in the timber for Saturday’s opening day of the first shotgun deer season should consider buying their license soon to avoid waiting in line at the license sales counter.
Fewer than half of the expected 70,000 hunters have purchased their deer license as of Wednesday morning.
A weekend weather forecast with temperatures favorable for hunting could lead to additional hunters choosing to go during the first shotgun season rather than second.
“Good weather usually means more people will be hunting and staying in the field longer which can lead to higher success rates,” said Willie Suchy, wildlife research supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

To report
Successful hunters are reminded to report their deer harvest by midnight the day after the deer is recovered.
For hunters with Internet access, the online harvest reporting is the easiest way to register the deer. Hunters can report their deer online at, by calling the toll free reporting number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor.
Accurately reporting the harvest is an important part of Iowa’s deer management program and plays a vital role in managing deer populations and future hunting opportunities. Reporting the harvest is required by law. Hunters will be checked for compliance.

Stay safe
To hunters, waiting patiently in the woods for the opportunity to hunt an animal may not seem like a dangerous activity, yet the same injuries routinely occur each hunting season. The most common medical emergencies include heart attacks, injured backs and broken bones. Larry Barthel, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System emergency medicine physician at Winneshiek Medical Center offers several tips for a safe hunting season.
Dr. Barthel says, “Hunting can be a fun sport for all to enjoy. But hunters, including myself, need to pay attention to our safety habits to make sure that fun isn’t spoiled by some unfortunate accident.”
Hunters should be properly educated about their surroundings. They also should be diligent with safety precautions, which include wearing clothing that is suitable for hunting and the weather.
Other tips from Dr. Barthel:
• Watch for heart attack warning signs. One study of middle-aged male deer hunters found that common hunting activities (walking over rough terrain, shooting an animal and dragging its carcass) increased their heart rate significantly.
• Learn some basic first aid before heading to the woods, should a hunting partner have a heart attack.
• Consider creating an exercise routine to improve your physical fitness while hunting.
• Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.
• Always check equipment and tree stands before you use them.
• Avoid alcohol.
• Let family members know where you’ll be hunting and take cell phones or loud whistles along in case help is needed.
See more on this hunting season on the front page.