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Iowa City OKs Deer Hunt to Protect Urban Parks

Andy Berg

Officials in Iowa City are asking residents to steer clear of some urban parks as the city’s parks and rec department implements a plan to cull the local deer population in those areas.

Iowa City has contracted White Buffalo Inc. to reduce the deer population in the parks. The hunt will start Dec. 1 and last until Dec. 22, from 3 p.m. until dawn, according to a release.  

The plan was controversial when the city council voted on it back in August, but the Natural Resources Comission approved it the following week.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported that the deer population is as high as 80 animals-per-square mile. With management, the city hopes to bring that number down to 25. 

If the city wants to protect vegetation, DNR staff said deer density needs to be around 10 deer-per-square mile. 

Following the sharpshooting this year, for each of the four years following, there will be a 30-day bow hunt open to the public. The bow hunt was a recommendation by the Iowa Natural Resources Commission. 

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