Weather could impact success of deer hunting

DES MOINES — The state’s first gun deer season wraps up Wednesday and the succes of hunters could depend on the type of weather they saw.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Deer Biologist, Jace Elliott, says they recently built a model that shows how specific weather conditions impact hunters. “Snow falling on opening day tends to increase harvest. But accumulated snow depth throughout the season has a negative relationship with harvest, meaning, the more snow that’s on the ground throughout the season, means less deer harvested, generally speaking,” Elliott says.

Other weather conditions can also impact hunting success. “Rainfall also has a negative impact on deer harvest. But cooler temperatures tend to increase harvest,” he says.

Elliot says adverse weather conditions may make hunters focus more on getting a deer so they can get back out of the woods. “You know, it’s hard, it’s hard to say. And it could be a social phenomenon, meaning it influences hunter behavior that leads to more deer harvested,” Elliott says, “or it could be biological, meaning that deer have a higher likelihood of being harvested.”

His personal experience is the snow can help you when you are hunting deer. “You know, I certainly think it’s a lot easier to spot deer on the landscape when there’s you know, snow covering the ground, but it’s also perhaps easier to drive deer when you can see fresh tracks,” Elliott says.

The second gun season opens Saturday, December 9th. The second deer gun season will run through the 17th.