Iowa cuts deer tags to maintain population, combat disease

Buck deer with roe-deer in a clearing

Des Moines, Iowa (AP) – Iowa is reducing the number of tags it gives deer hunters as part of an effort to maintain the state’s deer population while combatting animal diseases.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved the move and it was finalized at a legislative rules meeting this month. It should not result in a reduction in the number of antlerless deer hunted in the state. Department officials note roughly 10,000 deer tags were not claimed in 2016.

The change will ultimately decrease available deer tags from a little over 74,500 to just over 72,100. It will be in effect for antlerless deer hunting that begins in September and runs through early next year.

Officials say the setup should help combat reported cases of chronic wasting disease.

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