Saturday, December 02, 2006

DNR idiocracy

I go deer hunting every year during 1st season shotgun. I also get tags for the special antlerless high power season in January. Though I don't always get a deer each year (last one was about4 years ago), I still enjoy the time to get out and hunt with friends and family.

Because I'm both a landowner and a tennant, I am qualified for a special permit that pertains to these groups. I can get a tag for 1st & 2nd season shotgun for $2, and another $2 for the January high power antlerless season. That's $4. A resident non-landowner pays $27 for the 1st season shotgun deer tag, another $27 for 2nd season shotgun, $27 for January antlerless high power, $8.50 for a habitat fee, and $17.50 for the regular hunting fee, for a total of $107. So, its a pretty good deal.

However, because of either real or perceived abuses of the system, this year the DNR required those who in the past received landowner/tennant permits to fill out paperwork certifying that, under penalty of purgery, they were indeed landowners or tennants. To make sure you really knew your land, they required that you write down the tax parcel number of a piece of land you either owned or rented. This could be obtained from the Iowa County Treasurers Association's website. That means just about anyone could look up a parcel of land and claim they rent or own it and thus save $103 in license fees.

When I filled out the paperwork and sent it back to Des Moines in September, I expected that I could go into any place that sold licenses and be able to get my deer tags with no problem. However, upon attempting to do so earlier this week, I found that I was not in the system for which I spent time filing the paperwork. So, I came home from the courthouse, went online to the DNR's website, and registered, including my tax parcel ID number (Dad's farm). I then went back to the courthouse, reported my finding, and gave them a copy of my registration just in case. The worker at the recorder's office said this kind of incident had been happening for the last several days as landowners/tennants streamed in to get their tags, thinking the paperwork they had filled out would be processed, only to find they had to deal with registering on-line (something not all Wayne Co landowners/tennants are savvy with).

My guess is there is a stack of papers somewhere in Des Moines collecting dust until some minimum wage temp gets done entering them in the system at 40 words per minute. Meanwhile, dear season is upon us.

Another new stipulation of the DNR is that when a deer is killed, it must now be registered with the DNR within 24 hours of the kill. On each tag there is a code that one must call in via a toll free number. The system will then provide a confirmation number that must be written on the tag (now on the leg of a dead deer, by the way) so the DNR, if they desire, can check to make sure the deer's death was properly reported. Like it will go in some mass obituary or something...

My cousin Chris, a member of our hunting party, scored a kill on a 2 pt buck today, and thus attempted to navigate the DNR's phone system to register his deer. While he was able to get into the system, it replied to him that his entries were not valid, and then hung up on him, even though he was doing everything the friendly voice on the other end told him to. Brilliant.

So, there you have it - government bureaucracy invades the timbers and fields of The South of Iowa and brings with it a unique form of control and inefficiency. Now all we need is a DNR officer driving 1/2 mile back into our property to see if we have our tags in order...something a private citizen would call trespassing but they call "doing their job".

The scariest thing you can say to a DNR officer is "Does anyone know you're out here?"


Blogger Jordan said...

Why exactly do you need a license to hunt on your property again?

Seems weird to me that I have to ask the government if I can shoot an animal on my property...

7:44 AM, December 04, 2006  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

I got a doe on Saturday down by Macksburg, and found the DNR phone system hard to follow. On most automated systems, when the voice says "press one for...", you can immediately press one & get on to the next question; however, when I tried to do that Saturday, the system failed to record my entries. I found that the only way to have your entries registered was to wait until the question finished and THEN enter your number.

I also noticed a small plane circling around on Sunday morning that kept cutting it's engines and gliding for a short time. The last time I saw that sort of thing was about 5 years ago. I'm not sure exactly what they're looking for, but maybe they spot LARGE groups and send in an officer to do spot checks.

9:10 AM, December 04, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Technically, you don't need a license to shoot a deer on your premise, at least that's my understanding. If you process the deer at your place, that's OK. It becomes a problem when you take it to a locker - the tag around the leg is kind of like a passport, and without it, you're in trouble.

I agree, if the deer eat my corn, hay, and soybeans, and reside pretty much on my property, I should be able to shoot as many as I want. But no, they are King Tom's deer.

12:26 PM, December 04, 2006  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

Don't forget transportation. If you get caught on the road with an untagged deer, the DNR gets extremely upset and wants to confiscate your gun & vehicle as well as assess you a $1500 fine for each untagged deer you've got on you.

12:31 PM, December 04, 2006  
Blogger IrishWalsh said...

So idiotic when we all know damn well that the worst thing we could do the DNR is stop hunting deer due to their chaotic registering system. In one year the population would explode without hunters. Of course, as land owners that doesn't bode well for your crops.

10:35 PM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger IrishWalsh said...

...or for my venison loving belly.

10:36 PM, December 06, 2006  

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