Driving Deer: Pushing White-tailed Deer is Legal

Deer Hunting Comment: “I know why there is deer pushing in Iowa, but I look on it as slaughter of whatever moves. And in my eyes deer drives are not the sport of hunting at all. If Iowa legislature seems to think this is necessary then maybe they should allow drives once a year (one weekend). Then, the landowner needs to apply for a permit and every person the land owner has participating needs to be accounted for and checked for a permit.

It is ridiculous deer hunters have to holler and tromp the timber and scare the deer herd out into a clearing to be ambushed by a line of hunters standing in the clearing to shoot whatever comes out. I have nothing against hunting white-tailed deer, but as I said prior this is NOT hunting. I have contacted the DNR and all I got was an explanation of why hunters are allowed to drive and push deer.

Landowners that enjoy the sport of deer hunting in tree stands, and have family and friends that teach their kids to hunt this way, want fair chase. Deer hunting is ruined by these people that back up to the fence lines and commence pushing with their groups, while across the fence where the tree stands are set up.

I am hoping this way of slaughter is either stopped or better managed. Also, some people hike in the winter and even though they shouldn’t be hiking on private land, it does happen, and this puts them in danger.”

Pushing Deer: Deer Drives for Hunting Success

Response: There are many deer hunting strategies that can be used while pursuing whitetail. The driving or pushing of deer is legal in most places, albeit that in many places it is not an effective way to harvest deer. Deer drives work best in areas that have isolated woodland or brushy habitat where deer occupancy is likely, and where hunters can predict deer behavior. Pushing deer in continuous wooded cover means deer can go just about anywhere, so it’s much less effective.

I’ve never used the deer driving method to hunt deer, although I’ve even seen it on television. It does appear to be an exciting way to hunt deer, and equally dangerous if all of the hunters are not fully aware of where the other hunters are. Rather than bad-mouthing those hunters that choose to drive deer, it’s probably a better to realize that the practice is legal and that some hunters choose to do it. While it may not be for you, it is their legal option to do so.

Though no one uses deer drives to hunt deer in areas I hunt, I can imagine how a push on a neighboring property would negatively impact my whitetail hunting, but no more than if they were riding 4-wheelers or building fence or performing some other activity. A better way to approach the situation is to time your hunts so that your deer hunting when the neighbors are not pushing deer. There is nothing you can do about them, but you can change your actions.

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