Pikes Peak plans fall archery deer hunt

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Pikes Peak State Park is planning a managed archery deer hunt this fall, in the hopes of culling its growing herd. 

“We realized we have too many deer in the park and in McGregor,” said Pikes Peak Park Manager Matt Tschirgi, who’s working with the Iowa DNR’s wildlife bureau and wildlife depredation biologist Ross Ellingson to organize the hunt. 

The hunt, which will run from Oct. 1 to Jan. 10, will be the park’s first since 2011. But unlike some previous hunts, Tschirgi said this one will be antlerless only. One hundred tags will be available to Iowa residents only. A small game hunting license and habitat fee is required.  

“We thought that would be plenty,” he said. “I doubt we’ll use all of them, but people can shoot as many as they can up to that amount.” 

Tschirgi will hold a registration meeting for interested hunters at the Pikes Peak Shop/Office, 15316 Great River Road, south of McGregor, on Sunday, Sept. 23, beginning at 1 p.m. Hunters should bring their hunter’s safety card or hunting license to the meeting, which will also go over guidelines and include a proficiency test. 

The test, said Tschirgi, will require hunters to hit a target from 20 yards away with at least three of five arrows. 

If a hunter can’t make it to that meeting, Tschirgi said he can be contacted at (563) 873-2341 or matt.tschirgi@dnr.iowa.gov to schedule a special one-on-one session. 

Tschirgi said the first deer license will cost $28.50, unless the individual has already purchased an antlerless license outside of this hunt. Additional licenses will be $13 apiece. 

Once they attend an orientation class and pass the proficiency test, hunters will receive a registration slip from Tschirgi, which they can take to the selected vendor for the hunt, Fisk Farm and Home, in Monona, to get a license. 

Hunters will be able to bow hunt every day from Oct. 1 to Jan. 10, even during the shotgun seasons, Tschirgi noted. Hunting will be allowed on Pikes Peak State Park properties, as well as city of McGregor properties. 

Signs will be posted, notifying the public that a hunt is occurring. 

Hunters must hunt from an elevated position, 30 yards or more from public use areas like trails and roads, campgrounds, parking lots, homes/buildings and private property lines. Stands must be portable, and they cannot be screwed into trees. 

Hunters are also asked not to park outside designated parking lots. Driving off roadways, or onto trails, to retrieve deer will not be allowed. Deer cannot be field dressed near a trail or road. 

Once a deer is harvested, hunters will be required to contact Tschirgi, Ellingson or McGregor City Administrator Lynette Sander. They must also fill out a form and return it to the park.

“We want to try to make it a safe hunt, but without too many restrictions,” Tschirgi said. “It should be a relatively easy hunt to administer.”

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