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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > December 2004

ONE HUNTER WAS KILLED AND FOUR OTHERS INJURED

"one hunter was killed and four others injured in pheasant and deer hunting accidents around the state last weekend, "

BUSY, BUT SAFE START TO HUNTING SEASON

Although one hunter was killed and four others injured in pheasant and deer hunting accidents around the state last weekend, the start of the first shotgun season for deer went smoothly in Guthrie County, according to game warden George Hemmen of Guthrie Center.

"No accidents and no super major problems," said Hemmen who noted there were some isolated incidents of trespassing which stemmed mostly from misunderstandings among hunting parties.

"It was pretty busy. There are an awful lot of deer out there and lots of deer were harvested," said Hemmen of the first season which opened Saturday and continues through Thursday. The second season begins this Saturday.

Even though many deer were taken, he said nice weather made it hard to get the deer moving and activity slowed after the first few hours.

Hemmen said Guthrie County is considered one of the best deer hunting counties in the state because of its habitat. The state sold all of its non-resident licenses which go for $300 and more out-of-state hunters than usual came here to hunt.

"They read about where the deer populations are greatest and where some of the bigger bucks are being taken," Hemmen pointed out. Also, because of the dense deer population and crop damage inflicted by herds, landowners are more apt to let them hunt, Hemmen speculated.

"There are so many great big deer out there, but very few of them are killed," Hemmen observed.

Statistics from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources show 1,942 youth, bow, muzzle loader and shotgun licenses for deer were sold in Guthrie County this year.

Deer are thick in many regions. Hemmen said he heard one report of a hunting party of 20 in southern Iowa who had 40 deer tags and filled them all last weekend.

Just over 7,000 deer-vehicle collisions were reported in Iowa last year with 10 people killed and 600 injured. Nationally, there were 13,713 injuries and $1.1 billion in vehicle damage.

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