Iowa DNR stresses safety after string of hunting incidents

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — After a string of hunting relating incidents over the weekend, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants to remind Iowans to practice safety while hunting.

Officers with the Iowa DNR responded to four deer hunting incidents over the week, one related to property damage, one minor injury, one serious injury, and one fatality, according to a release from the department. A fifth incident related to pheasant hunting also occurred.

  • A house was struck by an unknown shooter near the Howard County town of Elma.
  • An individual was taken to a hospital for treatment after a slug grazed his right hand and forearm during a deer drive near Lansing, in Allamakee County.
  • An individual was shot in the midsection by a member of his party who was shooting at a running deer in southern Muscatine County. This investigation is ongoing.
  • A hunter was killed after getting struck in the torso while hunting the Red Rock Wildlife Area in Marion County. It’s the first hunting related fatality of 2021. This investigation is ongoing.
  • A pheasant hunter received four pellets to the neck and face area while hunting in Calhoun County.

Jamie Cook, hunter education coordinator for the Iowa DNR, said these incidents underscore the importance of putting together a hunting plan that identifies the role and location of each member of the hunting party and then following the plan when in the field.

“The hunting plan is a step by step playbook for how the hunt will unfold that includes reviewing safe hunting practices, avoid target fixation, and drives home the point of not just identifying the deer, but what is beyond the deer, before taking the shot. It’s the most essential part of every hunt,” Cook said. 

He also stressed the importance of wearing more than the minimum amount of blaze orange than is required for the deer gun seasons. Iowa law requires one of the following pieces of external clothing of solid blaze orange: vest, jacket, coat, sweatshirt, sweater, shirt or coveralls. “You can’t have too much blaze orange on. If the color has started to fade, it’s time to replace it. You want to be seen from all sides,” he said. 

The first of Iowa’s two shotgun deer hunting seasons came to a close Wednesday. The second shotgun deer season will run from December 11 – 19. An estimated 120,000 hunter are expected to participate in one of the two seasons.

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