FURBEARER SEASON BEGINS NOVEMBER 3
November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources say dry conditions over much of Iowa will concentrate trappers near existing water when the Iowa furbearer hunting and trapping season begins on Saturday, Nov. 3rd. Vince Evelsizer, furbearer biologist for the DNR says “Right now, most of the crops are out and the weather looks decent for the first half of November,” so he’s expecting a good start to the furbearer season.
Surveys of two of the higher profile furbearers in Iowa – bobcat and river otter – have indicated the species could support additional harvest. The DNR increased the bobcat quota from 350 to 450 in the open zone, but kept the one bobcat per furharvester restriction, regardless if it was hunted or trapped. The river otter quota was raised to 850 this year, with licensed trappers allowed up to three otters.
Both species must be reported within 24 hours of harvest and a CITES tag applied within seven days after the harvest is reported to DNR staff. Last year, a record 326,368 raccoons were harvested in Iowa and Evelsizer expects the harvest this year to be similar to slightly higher. He said the fur markets are dependent on the Asian and European economies but appear to be about the same as last year.
Trapper numbers have increased more than 20 percent since 2009, from 14,000 to 17,000 last year.