A combination of lots of big whitetail deer and limited nonresident tags is fueling a growing trend toward falsifying residency in order to obtain Iowa deer hunting licenses and tags, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
The Hawkeye State’s reputation as a choice place to hunt trophy whitetail has made it increasingly tempting for some nefarious nonresidents to go to great lengths to hunt there–albeit illegally. The state currently limits nonresident deer licenses to only 6,000 a year, fewer than any state but Kansas.
In addition, Iowa ranks third for the number of whitetail entries in the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young record books, trailing only Illinois and Wisconsin.
Further, the cost for nonresidents to hunt in Iowa leapt last year from $80.50 to $110.50, and a deer hunting preference point from $10 to $50.50. Preference points are awarded to nonresidents who fail to draw a tag when applying–knowing it may take three or more years to be successful.
As a result of these combined factors, DNR Conservation Officer Joe Fourdyce said Iowa’s conservation officers are seeing an increase in nonresidents purchasing land–sometimes even a house–and trying to claim their residency is in Iowa, including getting an Iowa drivers license.
“Whenever a person falsely claims residency here and obtains an Iowa drivers license it is a felony. You are required by the DOT to swear and affirm everything on your driver’s license application is true and accurate under penalty of perjury and when folks do that, they commit felony perjury. It is a very serious deal,” said Fourdyce.
Multiple charges were recently filed against Jamie Vance Rogers, 37, of Angie, La., who allegedly purchased land and rented a house in Lee County in order to claim Iowa residency. Since October 2008, Rogers allegedly killed three turkeys and four deer, including at least one deer that would qualify as a trophy-sized buck.
The DNR reports Rogers faces felony charges for perjury and theft by deception, and if convicted could see fines and damages totaling more than $66,000. Two other Louisiana men also face multiple charges.