The Iowa Senate has unanimously endorsed a bill that would wind up letting hunters kill more deer in Iowa. Senator Dennis Black, a democrat from Grinnell, says the bill includes several substantial changes which would end up cutting Iowa’s deer herd by one-hundred-35 thousand in each of the next two years. For one, landowners would get to kill at least two more deer (one buck, one doe) on their own land, and could even petition to kill more than that if the deer have become a nuisance. If someone has significant deer damage on their property, they can ask a state biologist to come out, review the situation, and give the property owner even more permits to shoot “antlerless deer” — that means the does (DOHZ), the female deer. The bill does not address urban deer hunts because he believes the state already has the power to identify “hot spots,” and cities have the power to establish special hunting zones to reduce the number of deer. Black says the white-tailed deer has adapted to urban life, and become a nuisance. “Of course being hit and killed by a car is unfortunate, but the cost to the citizens is phenomenal,” Black says. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of deer in Iowa by 25 percent. Black says there are probably about six-hundred thousand deer in Iowa today. “Only the lord knows the number,” Black says. The House and Senate now will try to resolve their differences on the deer hunting issue. The primary rub is whether the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Natural Resources should regulate the operation of “deer farms” that raise deer in a confined area, and hunters pay to enter that zone to shoot the male deer — to get the trophy of the deer’s antlers.
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