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Iowa City Deer Bow Hunt begins September 18, 2021

Iowa City's Deer Bow Hunt will begin Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. The bow hunt season will continue through Jan. 10, 2022.

The bow hunt is part of the City’s Long-Term Deer Management Plan, which includes one year of professional sharpshooting in 2019 and an urban bow hunt in 2020 – 2024. The hunts are held only on private property and conducted by the property owner or those with permission from the owner. Before hunting is allowed, Permission to Hunt on Private Property and Waiver of Separation forms must be submitted to the police department and approved.

No bows can be fired within 150 feet of any trail, road, park, school, sidewalk, or right-of-way. Additionally, no bows can be fired within 150 of a home or property line without an owner’s permission. Hunt rules are available on the City website at or at the Iowa City Police Department, 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, Iowa.

How to apply:

Interested hunters must submit an application and have it approved before hunting. Applications are available here. Applications are available as a fillable PDF or can be downloaded and handwritten. A copy of the hunter's Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hunting License must be included with the application.

Completed applications must be emailed to or delivered to the Iowa City Police Department, 410 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52240, by no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 20. Applications will be processed by the Iowa City Police Department. 

Don't veer for deer

The Iowa City Police Department would like to remind motorists to be extra vigilant to avoid deer collisions this time of year. Deer activity will increase in the coming weeks as the peak of breeding season approaches, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Deer will be more active during the dawn and dusk periods, when more motorists will be driving due to shorter days.

Motorists can help avoid deer collisions by slowing down and remaining alert while driving, particularly near potential deer crossings, such as creeks, fence lines or breaks in the tree line. If deer enter the roadway, drivers are reminded to not "veer for deer" and risk entering the ditch or hitting oncoming vehicles. 

A map of all car crashes in Iowa City involving animals - the majority of which involve deer - dating back to 2016 can be found here. The map also includes the estimated damage caused by each collision.

To learn more about Iowa City’s Deer Population Management Program, visit


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