Lawmakers Consider Expanding Deer Hunting For Out-Of-Staters

Statewide Iowa — A small group of Iowa House members and hunting enthusiasts are debating whether to increase the number of licenses for out-of-state deer hunters. Under current law, six-thousand deer hunting licenses are available for residents of OTHER states.

Representative Dean Fisher, a Republican from Montour, says expanding deer hunting opportunities would be good for Iowa’s economy.

Fisher’s on a House subcommittee that’s embracing the idea of offering 15-hundred more deer hunting licenses to out-of-staters, and setting aside 500 of those licenses for hunters who’ve signed up with an Iowa-based hunting guide. The Iowa Bow Hunters Association opposes the move. Bob Haney is president of the group.

Eric Goranson, a lobbyist for the Iowa Bow Hunters Association, says Iowa hunters should be the priority, and it’s getting harder and harder for Iowans who live in urban areas to find places to hunt.

Jim Obradovich, a lobbyist for the Iowa Conservation Alliance, says other hunting-related proposals under consideration could complicate the system even more.

There’s a deadline this week for all of these kinds of policy discussions. Most bills must be endorsed by a House or Senate committee by this Friday to stay eligible for consideration.