"Being a lover of Iowa’s natural resources and wildlife and realizing the importance of habitat to wildlife, I consider it an honor to have designed the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Iowa Habitat Stamps.
At one time the area, which was later to become the state of Iowa, was the home to a variety of big game including whitetail deer, elk, bison, mountain lion, gray wolf, black bear and grizzly bear. The 1997 Iowa Habitat Stamp design features Iowa’s only remaining, big game mammal, the whitetail deer.
Some estimate that pre-colonial Iowa probably had a deer population that ranged between 500,000 and a million animals. Through unregulated meat and market hunting and habitat destruction, the whitetail deer were almost entirely eliminated from the state at the turn of the century. In 1935 the state deer population was estimated at 500 animals. The first modern deer season in Iowa was held in 1953 with a harvest of just over 4,000 deer. In 1995 the after-season deer population was estimated at 200,000.
With much of Iowa under intensive cultivation, prime habitat is a limiting factor in much of the northern 2/3 of the state. Hunters and landowners interested in improving the quality of their land for deer can provide corn, soybean, clover and alfalfa food plots. Timber management for deer can include removing grazing pressure from timber ground, doing timber stand improvement to encourage acorn production and understory growth, and creating openings in large blocks of timber. Planting red cedar, shrubs and switchgrass in open areas can provide cover for deer and a wide range of other wildlife.
In 1979, the habitat stamp program was started in Iowa to raise funds for upland and wetland habitat acquisition, with half of the money going to the state and half to county conservation boards. Programs include establishing native grasses, food plots for wildlife, and farmstead shelterbelts. Since its inception, over 22,000 acres have been purchased and developed as wildlife habitat with state funds. All sportsmen and sportswomen who wish to hunt in Iowa are required to purchase an Iowa Habitat Stamp.
Iowa has the potential to grow some of the biggest bucks in the world if we just give them the habitat they need and time to grow. "
- Larry Zach
SN Edition: 1500 prints @ $95 AP Edition: 150 prints @ $125 Image size: 6.5 x 11