There are many bills being discussed and considered by Iowa lawmakers these days. But if you had 'raccoon bounty program' on your bingo card, congratulations. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that a proposed bill would establish just that. A program within the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that would pay for harvested raccoons.

The Gazette reports that in 2006 the DNR recorded 2,417 raccoons in a spring 'spotlight' survey, which counts wildlife along rural Iowa roads. In 2023 that same type of survey counted 5,526 raccoons, an increase of over 130%. Residents of Iowa and wildlife control specialists label raccoons as pests often harming crops, farm equipment, and homes.


Representative Dean Fisher, who chairs the House's environmental protection committee, introduced the bill in hopes of increasing the harvesting of the animals. Fisher stated,

Population is going up because we're just not harvesting enough. That's the impetus behind this bill.

So how would this raccoon bounty work? The Gazette reports that the Iowa DNR would establish and run the program. Participants would be able to redeem a $5 voucher for each raccoon tail they turned in at a 'turn-in event.' The rewards would come from a new fund in the state treasury. The bill would require traps to be checked every 24 hours and licensed fur dealers would not be able to take part, according to the Gazette.

Turning in a raccoon tail not from Iowa would be a simple misdemeanor and could lead to the suspension of a trapping license or a $250 fine. Animals harvested out of season would also be fined $200. The bill continues to move forward in the Iowa House.

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