Leaves on the ground, arrows in the air

‘Tis the season to hunt some deer.

The annual urban deer bow hunting program for the 2014 season will open Friday.

The program is as an effort between Marshalltown and Iowa Department of Natural Resources to manage the deer population in city limits.

“The program has been going on for about four years and we usually have about a dozen hunters,” said Terry Gray, Marshalltown’s parks and recreation director. “A couple dozen doe are taken each season. We have to think about the exponetional effect of that, because many of these does are pregnant with twins or triplets.”

The program is for antlerless deer only.

Since the effort, some of the deer counts have decreased, Gray said.

“We are thinning deer through the fact the does can’t have babies any more,” she said. “This is a combination of things the state DNR is doing for deer management. Our urban deer hunt is one piece of that puzzle.”

A permit and license is needed in order to participate in the annual urban deer bow hunting program.

After meeting the requirements of being at least age 18, successfully completing a 10-hour bow hunter safety education program and providing proof, successfully completing an annual archery proficiency test and providing proof, a permit can be purchased.

Permits will be sold at the Marshalltown Parks and Recreation Department, 10 W. State St., for $10.

The IDNR special urban licenses can be purchased at The General Store, 116 E. Church St., after obtaining a permit from the city.

Information on the bow hunter safety education program can be found on the IDNR website.

The season will continue until Jan. 10, 2015.

Contact Stephanie Ivankovich at 641-753-6611 or sivankovich@timesrepublican.com