Welcome, Deer Friends

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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 Population Management Project, please click here.

UPDATE  | December 2018

Iowa’s Natural Resources Commission has denied Iowa City’s request to hire sharpshooters to control IC’s deer population & focus has turned to whether the IC City Council should allow bow hunting instead.

Can you imagine amateur hunters from out of town patrolling backyards and Hickory Hill park with crossbows? – letter to the Editor, Little Village Magazine

Bow hunters are not vetted in the same way as hunters that use firearms which could mean inexperienced, amateur hunters roaming our parks, natural areas, and neighborhoods with weapons during daylight hours.

It could mean that enjoying Hickory Hill Park might soon involve wondering if an armed bow hunter lurking nearby. It could mean wounded deer left to die slow, agonizing deaths roaming our neighborhoods. It could mean unnecessary death and suffering that could be prevented in favor of a more progressive and compassionate solution.

Anthony DeNicola, founder and president of White Buffalo, Inc., recently shared the following information:


…after we sharpshoot, bowhunting cannot even maintain the reduced densities.”

In other words, sharpshooting and bow hunting are not sustainable, long-term solutions to this problem!

We encourage anyone opposed to bow hunting as a means to manage Iowa City’s urban deer population to write to the IC City Council and urge them to NOT allow bow hunting in Iowa City: council@iowa-city.org.

The deer issue in Iowa City is back in the press! 

IC Press-Citizen | December 13, 2018: Commission says no to sharp shooting deer, proposes bow hunt

IC Press-Citizen | December 14, 2018: Deer hunt deferred: Natural resource or local control?

Little Village | December 17, 2018: Letter to the editor: Keep bow hunting out of Iowa City

Check out this article on wildlife crossings in Washington state mentioned in a recent IPR interview.

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

As of Monday, August 27, 2018, our petition to support non-lethal wildlife management has been finalized and sent to the IC Deer Committee. It is still possible to sign the petition, however, and you can do so by clicking the link below.


Contact the Iowa City City Council to voice your support for non-lethal deer management in Iowa City: council@iowa-city.org

Contact ICPD Sgt. Derek Frank, a police officer on the deer committee, to voice your support for non-lethal deer management in Iowa City: Derek-Frank@iowa-city.org (kindly request that Sgt. Frank distribute your email to the other deer committee members)