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Iowa DNR takes aim at illegal hunting

October 17, 2010

Iowa DNR takes aim at illegal hunting

AKRON, Iowa (KTIV) -- Every year, the Hawkeye state is a popular hunting destination for sportsmen across the country.

To comply with the law, non Iowa residents have to get an out-of-state permit, but not everyone is playing fair.

Joe Cain, Hole N' the Wall General Manager said, "Texas, Louisiana, that area. They have deer, but it's a smaller size deer. They don't have the record bucks that we do in Iowa."

It's those bucks found here in Iowa's hunting fields that have some out-of-state residents breaking the law for a shot at the prize.

Chad Morrow, Iowa Conservation Officer said, "The non-resident deer tags are so highly sought after, they get a large number of applicants that apply for them."

The state of Iowa is well known throughout the hunting community for its trophy buck, making it a popular destination for hunters across the country. They need to apply for a special out of state permit and the wait list for that can be up to three years. For some hunters, that's a lot longer than they're willing to wait.

Morrow said, "Subsequently, then you have people will attempt to circumvent the system and obtain the resident licenses fraudulently."

Hunters that are caught breaking the law don't get off easily either.

Morrow said, "Most of our violations come with some pretty serious consequences. The loss of your hunting privileges for one or more years depending on the number of violations."

Cain says it's a problem that will continue to happen, but thinks by giving out more non-residents permits, Iowa will see less illegal hunting and more money.

Cain said, "It's almost unfortunate that we don't have more of that for the simple reason that the actual revenue income that our state could see is very substantial."

Out-of-state permits cost $550, while resident permits are only $60. It's that price difference that has hunters searching for ways, often outside the law, to hunt here.

Cain said, "People are going to find a way to try and cheat the system."

Morrow, said, "It comes down to fair chase and equal opportunity for all the hunters, fisherman and sportsmen out there."

Morrow said someone caught with a fraudulently obtained hunting permit or Iowa license, they're likely to face felony charges.

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