Welcome, Deer Friends

Support ICDF: donate to our GoFundMe campaign!

The Iowa City Deer Friends (ICDF) are raising money to help with legal fees and advocacy to STOP the urban bow hunt planned for our neighborhoods this fall and winter:

On September 24th, 2020, ICDF, represented by Jamie Hunter, of the Des Moines law firm Dickey, Campbell & Sahag, filed a petition in Johnson County to stop Iowa City’s first urban bow hunt. The hunt is scheduled to take place from October 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021 on undisclosed private property locations throughout Iowa City.

UPDATE: We have received matching fund commitments from several generous donors! All donations up to $2000 will now be matched, dollar for dollar.

ICDF in the News

An article about our recent petition against the city’s urban bow hunt was published in the Daily Iowan on September 26, 2020.

The Iowa City Deer Friends are taking legal action against the City of Iowa City, filing a petition on Thursday asking for a stay of the upcoming fall bowhunt meant to cull deer as a part of Iowa City’s deer management plan, which would begin on Oct. 1 and end on Jan. 10.

The petition argues that the City of Iowa City has acknowledged deer population is likely already below the target number making a bow hunt this fall unnecessary, and that the bowhunt in its current form is not regulated well enough to prioritize public safety.

Brian Grace, News Reporter for the Daily Iowan

Read the full article here.

UPDATE: August 19, 2020

The City of Iowa City resolved to move forward with a plan to allow urban bow hunting in Iowa City beginning October 1, 2020. If you are opposed to this practice the ICDF urges you to reach out to City Council prior to their meeting on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 and share your dissent:


photo courtesy of the ICDF

ICDF’s Mission

Iowa City Deer Friends seeks to support and promote a peaceful and sustainable coexistence between humans, deer, and other native wildlife through education and empowerment.

We are opposed to killing and ask that nonviolent methods be used to address human/deer issues in Iowa City.

To learn more about the Iowa City Deer Management Project, please click here.

ICDF stands in solidarity with the Iowa Freedom Riders

August 2020 Statement:

A true synergy exists between animal advocates and human rights activists, with a history stretching back to the civil rights movement. Many prominent civil rights leaders supported the humane treatment of animals alongside social justice issues.

The Iowa City Deer Friends are proud supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement here in Iowa City and nationwide. We stand behind the Iowa Freedom Riders (IFR) and wholeheartedly agree with their demands to create a more fair and equitable society.

We call on city leaders to recognize the parallels between defunding and demilitarizing the police, and prohibiting the discharge of weapons used for recreational hunting within Iowa City limits. We ask that the City Council withdraw the intention to conduct an urban bow hunt in Iowa City. There are many compelling reasons to do so, and these can be clearly communicated to the DNR, who unfairly pressured Iowa City government to hold the hunt in the first place. The first responsibility of the City Council is to ensure the safety of its citizens!

We urge the Iowa City City Council to cancel the plans to hold a public hunt and keep our city safe and moving forward.

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Tips to Avoid Deer-Vehicle Collisions this Fall

  • Slow down. Watch for deer especially around dawn and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., when they’re most active.
  • Be aware. Look out for deer-crossing signs and wooded areas where animals are likely to travel. If you travel the same route to and from work every day, you may find deer consistently grazing in the same fields. Make a mental note of when and where you regularly see the animals.
  • Be alert. If you see an animal on the side of the road, slow down. At night when traffic permits, put on your high beams for improved visibility.
  • Brake, don’t swerve. Swerving to avoid an animal can put you at risk for hitting another vehicle or losing control of your car. It can also confuse the animal as to which way to go. Instead, just slow down as quickly and safely as you can. Your odds for surviving an accident are better when hitting an animal than hitting another car.
  • Assume they have friends. The “where there’s one, there’s usually more” often holds true. Deer travel in groups, so if you see one run across the road, expect others to follow.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles. These are aftermarket devices that some drivers put on their front bumpers to scare off animals. But animal behavior remains unpredictable, even if you use one of these.
  • Buckle up. A seat belt is your best defense for minimizing your risk in a crash. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that 60 percent of the people killed in animal-vehicle collisions weren’t wearing their seat belts.

Learn More