Hunting by the book - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hunting by the book

LINN CO. (KWWL)-- The weather is turning colder and deer are on the move in Iowa.  So many hunters are out looking to make a trophy kill.  But there are many laws that regulate the outdoor sport. 

Hunting is a big boon for the Iowa economy.

"Hunting is a great outdoor recreation industry for Iowa.  Pheasant hunting numbers have dropped a lot in the last 10 years or so. On the other hand, deer hunting numbers have picked up quite a bit," said Joe Wilkinson with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

But with the outdoor sport comes a lot of rules and regulations.  The ones that can create the most confusion, center around the times and dates when different animals can be hunted.  And those hunting seasons are established for a reason.

"Hunting is set up to take advantage of the surplus in wildlife.  The seasons are set up to make sure not too many animals or too many of one species are taken, but to take enough that there will be wildlife along and there will be some there next year too," Wilkinson said.

And while some people may think they won't get caught for breaking the law by hunting out of season or poaching, state officials are always on the lookout for violators.

"Our officers, conservation officers, kind of have their finger on the pulse.  They have people who talk to them, people who are concerned about lights late at night.  They spend a lot of time in the nights before the hunting seasons star patrolling back roads, too, and that's no secret either.  But they're aware of the illegal activity, and they're aware that even their presence out there will hopefully knock down, knock back any illegal activity," said Wilkinson.

And if you do get busted, you can face stiff fines and can even be banned from hunting.  So the DNR encourages you to play by the rules and just enjoy the sport.

All of Iowa's hunting regulations can be found in the DNR's annual guide and on the department's website.  If you suspect illegal hunting activity, you're encourage to call the state's tip line at (800) 532-2020 or click here to make a confidential report online.  Cash rewards may be available for information you provide.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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