Stop the Deer Damage
Restoring the environment –Protecting our property—Saving lives

Iowa Deer Depredation Program

I have many friends in the Iowa DNR, unfortunately in the past a few in the wildlife division, law enforcement, deer depredation, and County Attorneys have no respect for the Iowa constitution or to uphold our private property rights.  All deer are owned by the state of Iowa--Code of Iowa 481A.1

Iowa has a Deer depredation program administrated by 4 depredation biologist in Iowa that are paid up to $70,000 per year.  They are going to force you to have $1000. of damage or likely hood that it will happen, before you "qualify" for anything.  They are not there to "stop the deer damage" on your property, but only to make more money from the destruction of your property, as many landowners have been on this program for over 10 years with no solution to there deer damage problems.  If you ever have less than $1000. of deer damage per year under their program you are considered "cured" of any deer damage under the depredation rules and no longer qualify.  By forcing you to have any damage over $28. to qualify for the depredation program they are violating your right to protect your property.

Above picture is what deer do to Fruit trees. They get up on their hind legs and use there front legs to pull down and break off the branches, to get at the fruit.

Above picture is what deer do to Fruit trees. They get up on their hind legs and use there front legs to pull down and break off the branches, to get at the fruit.

Please read the depredation program below and see how it will never protect your property, stop the deer damage, nor is it intended or stated to.  The depredation officers never show this information to persons wanting to enroll in the program for if they did they would see that it will never work to protect their property under the Iowa constitution.

The State of Iowa will not remove any of their destructive deer from your property.  They will not pay you for any damage that is caused by their deer.  They will not install or maintain fence to keep their deer off your property. You cannot deduct the deer damage from your state taxes.  They think that their destructive deer is not their problem, but they will try to make you pay more money to the state for the "hunting privilege" of removing deer that have caused substantial damage to your property.

During one of the most destructive deer time (Sep-Dec) you will be required under the depredation program to use a bow and arrow, sit up in a tree or stand, for days or weeks and can only remove does.  It does not work to protect your property as it is too slow, inaccurate, 1/2 of the deer are exempt (males), and the deer know you are in the area.  A study done has shown that even with unlimited bow hunting and tags the number of live deer never got below 45 deer per square mile.

Shotguns also do not work to stop the deer damage during the hunting season, it is too short (15 days) and you have to get so close (100 yards) to the animal. You might get a few, but then they simply move out of the area, and then come back at night or after hunting season.

Rifles, used year around, 24 hours a day, do work with Long range, (up to 1000 yards) superior accuracy and the deer never see you or know you are there. Rifles can cause instant death and is the most humane method of killing deer.

Rifle and Scope.JPG

The state of Iowa/DNR has allowed in the past, the city of Iowa City, which does not permit hunting on their property, to use out of state people, with spotlights, at night, using rifles, outside of hunting season, with no hunting license, permits or fees, to kill thousands of deer to protect their property. 

DNR personnel have concurred that the use of rifles is more effective at reducing deer than bows and arrows, (wow).  If you would like a copy of how Iowa City controls their deer, contact the city office and ask for the report of the Iowa City deer task force, it is public information.

Under the Iowa Constitution section 6, I use the Iowa City program, to protect my property, with great results.  On the deer (state property) that I remove I have offered them to the DNR or anyone that they will let me give them to.  They have refused to do anything so I have to leave the deer in the field and other state animals consume the deer for nourishment, and are consumed within 5 days.  You cannot use the deer for any private use under the right to protect property, so do not bring them home, you can only use the deer for personal use under the DNR hunting program. 

The deer depredation program is a "voluntary" hunting program and you do not have to enroll in it according to the Iowa DNR.  No where does it say that this program will protect your property from deer damage. It states below:  "Depredation permits will not be used as a long-term solution to deer damage problems." Only our stopthedeerdamage program is effective for long term deer damage control.

The letter that comes with the Depredation program states that you will have increased damages from male deer, if you enroll in the program. The Iowa DNR describes deer as:

"Nuisance wildlife" means wild, native animals or birds under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources that are causing damage to private property, creating a nuisance, or presenting a health hazard.

You are under no obligation nor is there any law that requires you to build any fence or spend any of your time or money to keep deer off of your property.  The Thirteenth Amendment to the US constitution makes involuntary servitude (forced to spend your time and money on a fence) unlawful whether the compulsion is by a government or by a private person.   Deer will go over, under, and threw electric fences and they require about 1 hour of maintenance per day.

When you have ANY deer damage the first thing to do is to notify your state representative, senator and governor, as they set the rules for the DNR and can change them, and stop the deer damage on your property.  Ask them to legislate deer to a fur bearing animal as this would allow their removal at any time, to protect our property.


Effective July 2019 we have a new DNR director Kayla Lyon. Click here to see my letter to her, the Governor, and Count Attorney in 2019.   Feel free to use my letter to contact Ms. Lyon or your county attorney yourself or use her E-mail address to contact her:  We currently do not know her views of protecting property by all of Iowa's landowners from deer. We will find out shortly, so stay tuned.

Depredation officer report

If you have recently (last 12 months) had contact with the DNR depredation personnel please report to me what they said and did, so we can keep our readers up to date.

Deer depredation officers if they come to your property will NOT give you a copy of the deer depredation law (shown below).  They will NOT give you anything written on how they figure your damages from deer.  The will NOT take any pictures of your deer damage.  They will NOT make out any report to give to you showing any damage from deer, or that they were even at your place.  They want no record of any damages to your property from deer for their or your record.  Over 90% of landowners in Iowa do not qualify for the deer depredation program.  What the DNR always do is say you need to put up a fence which you do not have to do and there is no law saying you have to.  As the Iowa Supreme court says you can shoot deer to protect your property, The fence they want you to put up is only for protecting their deer, they think we are stupid--don't be.

     Click below for the deer depredation officers in Iowa and their E-mail: › idnr › uploads › Hunting › depredation_contact

If you want to contact an Iowa DNR Depredation officer, DO NOT call them on the phone, and if they want to talk to you on the phone do not do it, if they call you, do not talk to them, simply ask them to E-mail or text you everything or send you a letter. You want all conversations with them documented.   If they come out to look at your deer damage, video and audio record them from start to finish.  If for some reason you cannot contact your DNR official by E-mail or they refuse to respond, then telephone them and ask for their E-mail, text or mailing address.  It is public information and they must give it to you.

Anything the DNR says to you that is not on an E-mail, letter or recorded will change if you ever have to go to court. I know, I have been there.

This next Part is very important read it several times  and understand what it says:

If any DNR Law enforcement official ever confronts you or anyone in your family, on your property or anywhere else, shows up at your door uninvited, for any or no reason, do not let them in your house, car or other buildings (without a warrant).  Do not show them any firearm or get in their car, do take pictures (audio, video or cell phone if possible) of them (yes it is legal).  DO NOT answer any questions, except for your name, be sure to get theirs and write it down.  Just keep asking them:  "Deer are destroying my property, are you here to stop the deer damage and protect my property"  they will know you have seen this web site, and they may stop talking. 

If they ever show up they use two or more people so they can tag team you and  make all kinds of accusations.  DO NOT answer or comment on ANY of their questions, REMAIN SILENT, no matter what they may say or try to accuse you of.  We know people who have been interrogated for over 4 hours once people start to talk.  Never lie to any law enforcement officer, if they ask you any questions, you have been "turned in" by someone else.  It is legal for any DNR officer or police officer to lie to you and accuse you of anything, but remember they are just fishing to see if you will admit to anything, remain silent.

DNR officials checking out a deer that I had to shoot that was eating my trees. I called them to come out, they never charged me for this one.

DNR officials checking out a deer that I had to shoot that was eating my trees. I called them to come out, they never charged me for this one.

Politely tell them to write you a letter with any questions they may have.  They may not answer you,  just say it 3 times and then walk away or close the door.  Anything you say to a DNR officer is being taped at all times so know what to say.  DNR officers have been known to confront people or show up at peoples homes dressed in cutoff shorts and T shirts, they will not identify themselves but will start asking general questions, again- you DO NOT have to answer ANY questions, so DO NOT unless your lawyer is present and can advise you.

I love this video and watch it at least once a year—Informative YOU Tube video, applies to DNR, click on this:  Do not talk to police

The state of Iowa allows me to shoot deer any time of the year to protect my property.  As they permit me to do it they will probably not charge anyone else for doing it, and have not for over 12 years. 

Does the above information work?  I have been "turned in" dozens of times, but DNR Law enforcement has not been to my place since my case in 2006 as they know I have broken no laws, and know what to say, so you decide. If you do not believe in the Iowa Constitution-right to protect property, and want to turn me in, here is the number: 1-800-532-2020 or E-mail the head of the Iowa DNR:  Or better yet contact the above and ask them if you can remove deer year around to protect your property.  If they say NO, right away you know you are being lied to, then ask them why K. Kelly get to?  All Iowa DNR people know me.

I am sorry that we do have to use the above tactics on our DNR/State officials, but until they acknowledge to all Iowans (as they now do for me) that Private Property Owners, or city governments can remove destructive state deer or any destructive animal, at any time to protect our person or property, it will be necessary to follow the above procedures.


Below is the complicated, ineffective deer depredation program.  My comments are below each section.

Code Of Iowa



Deer depredation management.

The deer depredation management program provides assistance to producers through technical advice and additional deer licenses and permits where the localized reduction of female deer is needed to reduce damage. Upon signing a depredation management agreement with the department, producers of agricultural or high-value horticultural crops may be issued deer depredation permits to shoot deer causing excessive crop damage. If immediate action is necessary to forestall serious damage, depredation permits may be issued before an agreement is signed. Further permits will not be authorized until an agreement is signed. (Kelly Comment-Female deer only during regular hunting season--what about the male deer eating and rubbing your property-nothing you can do about them if you sign up for the depredation program.)


Method of take and other regulations.

Legal weapons and restrictions will be governed by 571—106.7(481A). For deer shooting permits only, there are no shooting hour restrictions; however, taking deer with an artificial light is prohibited by Iowa Code section 481A.93. The producer or designee must meet the deer hunters’ orange apparel requirement in Iowa Code section 481A.122.
(Kelly Comment-Artificial light has been legal for use on killing deer in Iowa city, but of course not for you, I do use spotlights to protect my property, by removing deer.



Producers growing typical agricultural crops (such as corn, soybeans, hay and oats and tree farms and other forestland under a timber management program) and producers of high-value horticultural crops (such as Christmas trees, fruit or vegetable crops, nursery stock, and commercially grown nuts) shall be eligible to enter into depredation management agreements if these crops sustain excessive damage. (Kelly Comment-As shown above most people who have deer damage do not qualify for the program unless you are a business.)

  1. The producer may be the landowner or a tenant, whoever has cropping rights to the land.

  2. Excessive damage is defined as crop losses exceeding $1,000 in a single growing season, or the likelihood that damage will exceed $1,000 if preventive action is not taken, or a documented history of at least $1,000 of damage annually in previous years. (Kelly Comment-If you have over $28 in damages you qualify for the right to protect your property under the constitution, but not the deer depredation program.)

  3. Producers who lease their deer hunting rights are not eligible for the deer depredation management program.

(Kelly Comment - As shown above if you lease your hunting "privileges" to anyone for $1 or even one deer sausage, you cannot be in the program - good idea as why would you want to be in it anyway?


Depredation management plans.

Upon request from a producer, field employees of the wildlife bureau will inspect and identify the type and amount of crop damage sustained from deer. If damage is not excessive, technical advice will be given to the producer on methods to reduce or prevent future damage. If damage is excessive and the producer agrees to participate, a written depredation management plan will be developed by depredation biologists in consultation with the producer.

a. The goal of the management plan will be to reduce damage to below excessive levels within a specified time period through a combination of producer-initiated preventive measures and the issuance of deer depredation permits.(Kelly Comment-What the above means is YOU will be required to spend 3 years in their program, and will be required to spend YOUR money and time on "producer-initiated preventive measures" and deer depredation permits to try to get your damage below $1000.  Why would anybody want to do this?   Most people can get their deer damage problem under control in a week or less, at any time of the year, with no fees under your right to protect property like I do.

(1) Depredation plans written for producers of typical agricultural crops may require preventive measures such as harassment of deer with pyrotechnics and cannons, guard dogs, and temporary fencing, as well as allowing more hunters, increasing the take of antlerless deer, and other measures that may prove effective. (Kelly Comment-Remember if you quality and sign up for the Deer depredation program you may be required to do all the things above and below without pay, that you never have to do under your constitutional right to protect your property.)

(2) Depredation plans written for producers of high-value horticultural crops may include all of the measures in (1) above, plus permanent fencing where necessary. Fencing will not be required if the cost of a fence exceeds $1,000. (Kelly Comment-A fence that deer cannot get over, under or threw costs about $50 per foot for a 20 year life or about 25 ft. length of fence, or 36 square feet of area, to equal $1000.)

(3) Depredation permits to shoot deer may be issued to Iowa residents to reduce deer numbers until long-term preventive measures become effective. Depredation permits will not be used as a long-term solution to deer damage problems. (Kelly Comment-This is very confusing, be sure to ask your depredation person what does the above statement means?  If you ever get an answer let me know, as they would never answer this for me.)

b. Depredation management plans will normally be written for a three-year period with progress reviewed annually by the department and the producer.

(1) The plan will become effective when signed by the depredation biologist and the producer.

(2) Plans may be modified or extended if mutually agreed upon by the department and the producer.

(3) Depredation permits will not be issued after the initial term of the management plan if the producer fails to implement preventive measures outlined in the plan.


Depredation permits

Two types of permits may be issued under a depredation management plan.

a. Deer depredation licenses. Deer depredation licenses may be sold to resident hunters only for the regular deer license fee for use during one or more legal hunting seasons. Depredation licenses will be available to producers of agricultural and horticultural crops.

  1. Depredation licenses will be issued up to the number specified in the management plan.

  2. The landowner or an eligible family member, which shall include the landowner's spouse or domestic partner and juvenile children, may obtain one depredation license for each season established by the commission. No other individual may initially obtain more than three depredation licenses per management plan. When a deer is reported harvested on one of these licenses, then another license may be obtained. 

  3. Depredation licenses will be valid only for hunting antlerless deer, regardless of restrictions that may be imposed on regular deer hunting licenses in that county.

  4. Hunters may keep any deer legally tagged with a depredation license.

  5. All other regulations for the hunting season specified on the license will apply.

  6. Depredation licenses will be valid only on the land where damage is occurring and the immediately adjacent property unless the land is within a designated block hunt area as described in subparagraph (7). Other parcels of land in the farm unit not adjacent to the parcels receiving damage will not qualify.

  7. Block hunt areas are areas designated and delineated by wildlife biologists of the wildlife bureau to facilitate herd reduction in a given area where all producers may not qualify for the depredation program or in areas of persistent deer depredation. Depredation licenses issued to producers within the block hunt area are valid on all properties within the delineated boundaries. Individual landowner permission is required for hunters utilizing depredation licenses within the block hunt area boundaries. Creation of a given block hunt area does not authorize trespass.

b. Deer shooting permits. Permits for shooting deer outside an established hunting season may be issued to producers of high-value horticultural crops when damage cannot be controlled in a timely manner during the hunting seasons (such as late summer buck rubs in an orchard and winter browsing in a Christmas tree plantation) and to other agricultural producers who have an approved DNR deer depredation plan, and on areas such as airports where public safety may be an issue.

  1. Deer shooting permits will be issued at no cost to the applicant.

  2. The applicant or one or more designees approved by the department may take all the deer specified on the permit.

  3. Permits available to producers of high-value horticultural crops or agricultural crops may be valid for taking deer outside of a hunting season depending on the nature of the damage. The number and type of deer to be killed will be determined by a department depredation biologist and will be part of the deer depredation management plan.

  4. Permits issued due to public safety concerns may be used for taking any deer, as necessary, to address unpredictable intrusion which could jeopardize public safety. Permits may be issued for an entire year (January 1 through December 31) if the facility involved signs an agreement with the department.

  5. All deer killed must be recovered and processed for human consumption. This is a pain to do this if you are in their program,  I never do anything with the deer, but let other state animals eat  them, as I have offered them to the DNR but they do not want them.

  6. The times, dates, place and other restrictions on the shooting of deer will be specified on the permit.

  7. Antlers from all deer recovered must be turned over to the conservation officer within 48 hours. Antlers will be disposed of according to department rules.

  8. For out-of-season shooting permits, there are no shooting hour restrictions; however, taking deer with an artificial light is prohibited by Iowa Code section 481A.93.  (Kelly Comment-They fail to mention that Iowa City has gets to use artificial light to kill thousand of deer.)

c. Depredation licenses and shooting permits will be issued in addition to any other licenses for which the hunters may be eligible.

d. Depredation licenses and shooting permits will not be issued if the producer restricts the legal take of deer from the property sustaining damage by limiting hunter numbers below levels required to control the deer herd. This restriction does not apply in situations where shooting permits are issued for public safety concerns.

e. A person who receives a depredation permit pursuant to this paragraph shall pay a $1 fee for each license that shall be used and is appropriated for the purpose of deer herd population management, including assisting with the cost of processing deer donated to the help us stop hunger (HUSH) program administered by the commission and a $1 writing fee for each license to the license agent.



Rescinded IAB 7/16/08, effective 8/20/08.

[ARC 7921B, IAB 7/1/09, effective 8/5/09]



Deer depredation management program - licenses and permits

  1. Deer depredation licenses shall be available for issuance as follows:

    1. Deer depredation licenses shall be available for issuance to resident hunters.

    2. Depredation licenses issued pursuant to this subsection shall be valid to harvest antlerless deer only.  Depredation licenses that are issued to a landowner and family members as defined in section 483A.24 shall be in addition to the number of free licenses that are available for issuance to such persons under section 483A.24.  A landowner or a family member may obtain one free depredation license for each deer hunting season that is established by the commission.  Deer may be harvested with a rifle pursuant to a depredation license in any area and in any season where the commission authorizes the use of rifles.

    3. Licenses issued pursuant to this subsection may be issued at any time to a resident hunter who has permission to hunt on the land for which the license is valid pursuant to this subsection.

    4. A producer who enters into a depredation agreement with the department of natural resources shall be issued a set of authorization numbers.  Each authorization number authorizes a resident hunter to obtain a depredation license that is valid only for taking antlerless deer on the land designated in the producer's depredation plan.  A producer may transfer an authorization number issued to that producer to a resident hunter who has permission to hunt on the land for which the authorization number is valid.  An authorization number shall be valid to obtain a depredation license in any season.  The provisions of this paragraph shall be implemented by August 15, 2008.  A transferee who receives an authorization number pursuant to this paragraph "d" shall be otherwise qualified to hunt deer in this state, have a hunting license, pay the wildlife habitat fee, and pay the one dollar fee for the purpose of the deer herd population management program.

  2. Deer shooting permits shall be available for issuance as follows:

    1. Deer shooting permits shall be available for issuance to landowners who incur crop, horticultural product, tree, or nursery damage as provided in section 481C.2 see below) and shall be available for issuance for use on areas where public safety may be an issue.

    2. Deer shooting permits issued pursuant to this subsection shall be valid and may be used outside of established deer hunting seasons.

  3. Notwithstanding section 481C.2, subsection 3, a producer shall not be required to erect or maintain fencing as a requisite for receiving a deer depredation permit or for participation in a deer depredation plan pursuant to this section.

  4. A person who harvests a deer with a deer depredation license or a deer shooting permit issued pursuant to this section shall utilize the deer harvest reporting system set forth in section 483A.8A and shall not be subject to different disposal or reporting requirements than are applicable to the harvest of deer pursuant to other deer hunting licenses except that any antlers on a deer taken pursuant to a shooting permit shall be delivered to the local conservation officer for disposal.

  5. The department shall administer and enforce the administrative rules concerning deer depredation, including issuance of deer depredation licenses and deer shooting permits, that are established by the commission.

  6. The department shall make educational materials that explain the deer depredation management program available to the general public, and available specifically to farmers and farm and commodity organizations, in both electronic and brochure formats by June 30, 2008.

  7. The department shall conduct outreach programs for farmers and farm and commodity organizations that explain the deer depredation management program.  The department shall develop, by rule, a master hunter program and maintain a list of master hunters who are available to assist producers in the deer depredation management program by increasing the harvest of antlerless deer on the producer's property.

2008 Acts, ch 1037, §36



  1. The director of the department of natural resources shall enter into a memorandum of agreement with the United States department of agriculture, animal damage control division.  The wild animal depredation unit shall serve and act as the liaison to the department for the producers in the state who suffer crop, horticultural product, tree, or nursery damage due to wild animals.

  2. The department shall issue depredation permits to any landowner who incurs crop, horticultural product, tree, or nursery damage of one thousand dollars or more due to wild animals.

  3. The criteria for issuing depredation licenses and permits shall be established in administrative rules in consultation with the farmer advisory committee created in section 481A.10A.  The administrative rules adopted pursuant to this section shall not require a producer to erect or maintain fencing at a cost exceeding one thousand dollars as a requisite for receiving a depredation license or permit or for participation in a depredation plan.

97 Acts, ch 180, §3; 98 Acts, ch 1203, §4; 2008 Acts, ch 1037, §26


Mr. Jeff Vonk former head of the Iowa DNR stated:  "If you shoot a deer it is our deer, if you hit it with your car it is your deer".  Iowa wants it both ways with no obligations.

K. Kelly  E-mail:

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