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Hunter compliance slipping on reported deer harvest requirement

Hunters play a large role in managing Iowa’s world class deer herd by working with landowners and neighbors to reduce doe numbers, providing tissue samples to monitor for chronic wasting disease and by reporting successful hunts to the harvest reporting system.

The reported harvest is an important piece of information used when wildlife experts discuss possible changes to seasons, antlerless quotas, or other potential regulation changes.

But each year, more and more hunters are skipping this step. Presently, one out of five successful hunters is not reporting their harvest.

“Our officers are conducting spot checks and have been writing more failure to report tickets,” said Chris Ensminger, wildlife research supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Harvest numbers are an important piece of information used in our models for deer populations around the state. If harvest is higher than is what has been reported, the proposed management strategies won’t accurately reflect what is on the ground. It’s the local hunters who get short changed in the end.”

Reporting the harvest only takes a few minutes. Hunters must report their harvest to the DNR by midnight of the day after it is killed, or before taking it to a locker or taxidermist, or before processing it for consumption, or before transporting it out-of-state, whichever occurs first.  The hunter whose name is on the transportation tag is responsible for making the report.

If no animal is harvested, no report is necessary.

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