The first of two shotgun deer hunting seasons begins Saturday. John Mertz, Iowa State Conservation officer in Marion County, says he expects area hunters to be successful in filling their tags.

“In Marion County, we’re always about in the top ten of number of deer taken for the deer season, so everybody should have a good hunt, be able to see deer, and have an opportunity to harvest one,” says Mertz.

Mertz reminds hunters to make sure their blaze orange apparel is in good condition and says careful planning can help prevent most hunting accidents.

“Plan your hunt and hunt your plan. The other thing that happens sometimes is target fixation,” says Mertz. “Just make sure of what’s beyond your target. Not everybody gets what you’re trying to shoot at, and you want to make sure that beyond your target is also a safe area. You don’t want to be shooting toward any houses, people, livestock or anything like that.”

Mertz adds that hunters need to make sure to ask permission before hunting on private land and to make sure and report any harvested deer to the DNR. An estimated 90,000 hunters are expected to take part in the first shotgun deer season, which runs from Saturday through Wednesday, December 9th.

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