Proposed Waterfowl, Deer Regulations Approved for Public Comment

dnrThe Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved proposed seasons and bag limits for waterfowl and resident deer hunting during its monthly meeting on May 14.

The proposals were developed after a statewide public meeting over the Iowa Communications Network on March 25 where the DNR asked participants what went well last fall, what didn’t, and what changes hunters and trappers would like to see for this fall.

The proposals will be available for formal comment from June 10-30.  Persons who wish to convey their comments orally may contact the Wildlife Bureau at 515-725-8200 or visit the fourth floor of the Wallace State Office Building in Des Moines during regular business hours.

Any interested person may make written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendments on or before June 30, 2015.  Written comments may be directed to the Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Bureau Chief, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034; by e-mail at wildlife@dnr.iowa.gov.

The Iowa DNR will host a public hearing June 30, 2015, at 2 p.m. in the third floor conference rooms of the Wallace State Office Building in Des Moines.

At the public hearing, persons may present their views either orally or in writing. Participants will be asked to give their names and addresses for the record and to confine their remarks to the subject of the amendments.

Any persons who intend to attend the public hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the DNR and request specific accommodations.

Proposed Migratory Game Bird Seasons

The proposals adjust the season dates to comply with what DNR anticipates the 2015-2016 federal regulations will be based upon meetings with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this year at the Mississippi Flyway Council.

The final regulations are not published until July, yet the season begins in September, so the DNR is obligated to begin the rulemaking process before the final parameters have been set. The proposed amendments also ensure the seasons open on weekends.

Ducks, Mergansers and Coots

North Zone – Oct. 3-18, and Oct. 24-Dec. 6;

South Zone – Oct. 3-7, and Oct. 17- Dec. 10;

Missouri River Zone – Oct. 3-7, and Oct. 24-Dec. 17

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

North Zone – Sept. 26-27

South Zone – Oct. 10-11

Missouri River Zone- Oct. 17-18

Canada Geese and Brant

North Zone – Sept. 26 – Jan. 1, 2016

South Zone – Oct. 3 – Jan. 8, 2016

Missouri River Zone – Oct. 10 – Jan. 15, 2016

White-fronted Geese

North Zone – Sept. 26 – Dec. 8

South Zone – Oct. 3 – Dec. 15

Missouri River Zone – Oct. 10 – Dec. 22

Light Geese (white and blue phase snow geese and Ross’s geese)

North Zone – Sept. 26 – Jan. 10, 2016

South Zone – Oct. 3 – Jan. 15, 2016

Missouri River Zone – Oct. 10 – Jan. 15, 2016

Special Canada Goose Zones – designated areas around Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Cedar Falls/Waterloo – Sept. 5-13

Statewide Light Geese Conservation Order (white and blue phase snow geese and Ross’s geese) Jan. 16 – April 15, 2016

Statewide Special September Teal Season – Sept. 5-20

Proposed Changes to Migratory Game Bird Possession Limits

The DNR is also proposing to raise the possession limit for common snipe from 16 to 24 birds, Virginia rail and sora from 24 to 36 birds in aggregate of both species, for woodcock from 6 to 9 birds, and for doves from 30 to 45 birds. The daily bag limits would remain unchanged.

This increase is based upon what the DNR anticipates the 2015-2016 federal regulations on possession limits will be for these species from meetings with the USFWS this year at the Mississippi Flyway Council.

Proposed Changes to Resident Deer Hunting

Proposed antlerless deer quotas for 2015 are the same as 2014. The regulation changes enacted for the 2014 season appear to have stabilized deer numbers at the levels agreed to in 2009 by the Deer Study Advisory Group.

The DNR has proposed to amend the requirement for the type of broadhead for use with crossbows during the late muzzleloader season to be the same as that required for archery equipment during the regular bow season.

The final proposed change clarifies which professionals are considered attending physicians for purposes of signing the affidavit needed to obtain a disabled hunter license.  The rule clarifies that medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners may certify the form.

 

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