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Iowa City Deer Friends seeks to halt Iowa City’s first bow hunt

Deer hunters ready to stock up the freezer with some venison will get to take to the woods...
Deer hunters ready to stock up the freezer with some venison will get to take to the woods beginning Saturday, Sept. 12, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.(KAIT)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:20 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa City Deer Friends (ICDF), represented by Jamie Hunter, of the Des Moines law firm Dickey, Campbell & Sahag, filed a petition in Johnson County today to stop Iowa City’s first urban bow hunt.

The hunt is scheduled to take place from October 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021 on undisclosed private property locations throughout Iowa City.

ICDF stands in opposition to the City’s plan, for several reasons. They claim The City has already achieved the reported goal of deer density numbers as a result of last winter’s sharpshooting activities and say the extremely lax regulations and licensing requirements pose a public safety risk to the citizens of Iowa City. They also say the constitutional rights of citizens will be violated by the nature of the hunt rules. They first want The City to carry out other, less invasive action items they committed to pursue, as listed in the Deer Management Plan passed by City Council last year.

“The hunt rules allow for hunters to shoot very close to adjacent properties, and then follow wounded deer through neighboring yards in order to kill the deer, effectively guaranteeing there will be strangers with weapons entering private properties without permission,” said Laurie Crawford, a member of ICDF. "There are safer methods of changing deer behavior and affecting the population numbers, so there’s just no reasonable cause to hold this hunt.”

The position of ICDF is that even a shorter hunt is illegal, and they plan to follow up with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to advocate for an effective long-term plan of sterilization, consistent with many communities across the country who have been successful at implementing this humane method that, unlike sharpshooting or hunting, maintains stable population levels.

Crawford says, “The DNR is concerned with selling more hunting licenses to bring in revenue. But this activity is just not aligned with the realities of urban life in Iowa City.”

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