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Furbearer Season Opens | Environment

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Furbearer Season Opens
Furbearer Season Opens

Dry conditions have left hunters in central Iowa with limited options as the furbearer season opens this weekend.

 “About the only option for water trappers in central and northern Iowa are shallow lakes, deeper lake margins and major rivers,” said Vince Evelsizer, furbearer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  “Wetland conditions are better in southeast Iowa, with many having water and good aquatic vegetation.

Coupled with limited space, hunters will have to deal with increased numbers of trappers. DNR statistics show that the number of trappers has increased by 20 percent over the last 3 years.

Despite causing hunters to be concentrated in limited areas, the weather promises a strong start to the season.

The DNR increased the bobcat quota from 350 to 450, but kept the one bobcat per hunter restriction. They also increased the river otter quota to 850, and licensed hunters are allowed to trap up to three.

“Trapping or hunting furbearers is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and is an extremely valuable tool for keeping populations of certain species, like raccoons, in check,” Evelsizer said.

Last year a record number of raccoons were harvested, and they expect this year to be similar.

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