It's hard to believe today, but there was a time when white-tailed deer in Iowa were a rare sight. Sometime around 1900, Iowa's white-tailed deer population was extirpated.
Elk and bison, both species native to Iowa, disappeared from the state's landscape even earlier due to over-hunting. Elk are now known as western, mountain dwellers, but at one time they were more numerous than bison in the state.
The deer population rebounded in Iowa as hunting laws were enforced. But, it took more than 50 years before the first modern deer hunting season could be held, in 1953.