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IA: Nonresident hunters claiming to be residents

October 13, 2010

Nonresident hunters claiming to be residents

Iowa is known for its fantastic deer hunting, and that's causing some problems for our neighbors to the south. Seems it's attracting nonresidents who claim to be residents so they can get hunting licenses and deer tags. Unlike Minnesota, Iowa restricts the number of nonresident deer licenses it issues.

Each year, Minnesota DNR officials catch nonresidents claiming they are residents, said Rod Smith, DNR enforcement operations manager. "You can only be a resident of one state,'' he said. Money is a factor: A nonresident Minnesota deer license is $140 compared to $26 for a resident. Nonresidents with land or cabins here will sometimes try to apply for licenses as residents, he said.

That's what happened in Iowa recently. Here's the Iowa DNR news release:

DES MOINES - Recent charges filed against three Louisiana men in southeast Iowa underscore a growing problem during deer season - falsification of records in order to obtain illegal resident hunting licenses and deer tags.

"Iowa only offers 6,000 nonresident deer licenses and the waiting period can be up to three years to get one," said DNR Conservation Officer Joe Fourdyce.

But as Iowa's reputation for being one of the best places to hunt trophy-sized whitetail deer grows, so does the temptation for nonresidents to hunt in the state illegally rather than wait.

Fourdyce said Iowa's conservation officers are seeing a growing and disturbing trend of nonresidents purchasing land, sometimes even a house and trying to claim their residency is in Iowa, including getting an Iowa drivers license.

"Whenever a person falsely claims residency here and obtains an Iowa drivers license it is a felony. You are required by the DOT to swear and affirm everything on your driver's license application is true and accurate under penalty of perjury and when folks do that, they commit felony perjury. It is a very serious deal," said Fourdyce.

"And it is all to kill an animal with some antlers," Fourdyce added. "I believe hunters need to put it into perspective. All of the officers here in Iowa are seeing more and more of this."

Fourdyce filed multiple charges in late August against Jamie Vance Rogers, 37, of Angie, La., who allegedly purchased land and rented a house in Lee County in order to claim Iowa residency even though he allegedly has not stayed there. Since October of 2008, Rogers has allegedly harvested three turkeys and four deer, including at least one deer that would qualify as a trophy-sized buck.

Rogers faces two felonies for perjury and theft by deception, and a pile of misdemeanors and could see fines and damages totaling more than $66,000.

Two other Louisiana men also face multiple charges.

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