Whitetail Deer: Distribution and Abundance


The highest deer densities are found in the northeastern and southwestern parts of Iowa. However, deer occur in every county across Iowa.  Deer are known to live in timber and areas with large amounts of timber (such as Wishes For Wildlife Foundation's property) have the highest deer density. 

Timber habitat is extremely limited in Iowa and because of that, deer densities are considered somewhat low compared to neighboring states. Good deer habitat in Iowa can support up to three deer per square mile of land while poorer habitat may only support less than one deer per square mile.

With excellent habitat, a steady food source and protection from hunting, deer densities can reach as high as 100 deer per square mile. These high densities are only found in a small area such as a state park or refuge such as Wishes For Wildlife Foundation.