Iowa panel to take aim at hunting rules for otters, bobcats, turkeys, deer

By: - March 16, 2020 12:53 pm

River otters have made a comeback in Iowa and trappers have been allowed to take more of them. (Photo courtesy of Iowa Department of Natural Resources)

The Iowa Natural Resource Commission on Tuesday will consider new rules that would allow people to kill more otters, bobcats, turkeys and deer in parts the state.

The commission will meet by phone beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The meeting is open to the public. To call in to the teleconference, dial 1-866-685-1580 a few minutes prior to the meeting. When prompted, enter conference code 5152817122 followed by the # key.

The changes in quotas in parts of the state are based on population studies and hunter observations, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported.

Based on state research showing stronger numbers, the state wants to allow hunters and trappers to take three otters instead of two.

The rule allowing each person to take one bobcat would be extended to two new counties, Boone and Webster. The limit for the season is three bobcats per person.

DNR reported that general deer licenses would be offered again in Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Hancock, Winnebago and Worth counties for all seasons and for northwest Iowa for the early muzzleloader season. That’s because deer numbers have been increasing there.

On the other hand, the January antlerless-deer-only season would be eliminated statewide because of deer losses to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, wrote Todd Bishop, wildlife bureau chief.

In addition, 23 counties will have different anterless deer license quotas. The quotas will rise in Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Guthrie, Jackson, Jones, Lee, Mitchell, Tama, Washington, and Winneshiek counties “to reduce deer densities for disease control or to alleviate negative human-deer interactions,” DNR reported. They will be decreases in Adams, Bremer, Fremont, Jefferson, Montgomery, Page, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Taylor, Union, Wapello, and Woodbury counties. Statewide, the net change is 125 more licenses.

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