The cost of and out-of-state hunting license for deer went up in May by 30-dollars and the number of out-of state hunters seeking a deer license has dropped by about 2,000 for the 2009 hunting season.
A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the number of non-residents seeking to get a deer license in the hottest hunting areas will still be more than the licenses available.
Mick Klemesrud says some out-of-state hunters have likely changed their strategy for acquiring the licenses by purchasing what’s called a "preference point" that gives them an extra shot at a deer license in future drawings.
Klemesrud says there are quotas in the 10 zones where they offer non-resident licenses, and in some of the more popular zones, there are two to three times the number of hunters seeking a license than the quota number.
He says hunters can improve their odds in the drawing by purchasing the preference points. Klemesrud says the increase in the cost of the licenses has made non-resident hunters more patient in waiting for a license. He says a lot of non-residents are taking a chance and buying the preference points, and foregoing the drawing until they have a couple of preference points that will give them a better channce.
Klemesrud says if a hunter uses their preference points in a drawing and they do not get selected for an out-of-state license, then they keep the preference points for the next drawing. He says there have been cases where someone had two preference points, but still didn’t get drawn for a license in one of the hottest hunting zones.
Buying a preference point also got more expensive in May, bumping from $10 to $50.50. The applications for non-resident deer licenses ended June 7th and Klemesrud says they’ll select the license winners next month. Klemesrud says they will hold a drawing in mid-July and any deer tags that are left over will be sold on a first-come first serve basis.
Klemesrud says 10,176 out-of-state hunters have requested licenses, and 10,276 have purchased preference points.
The cost of a non-resident deer license is now $110.50 cents. The D.N.R. had tried to get an increase in deer licenses for Iowa hunters too, but state lawmakers declined to do so. For more information on deer hunting in the state, visit the D.N.R.’s website.