(Undated) -- Iowa's hunting and trapping seasons for raccoons would be extended under a proposal currently under review. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is currently taking public comment about changing the rules. The proposal would expand the regular fur-harvest season by one month and allow for year-round hunting and limited trapping.
DNR Furbearer and Wetland Biologist Vince Evelsizer says raccoon nuisance complaints have risen dramatically over the past two decades, in both urban and rural areas. He says the value of raccoon pelts has fallen from around $40 toll less than $3.00, and that has discouraged hunters. He says as a consequence raccoon populations have tripled in the past couple of decades, and both rural and urban residents are complaining. He says the rule change is not meant to wipe out the population, but to encourage better wildlife management.
The Iowa Farm Bureau supports a year-round raccoon season.
"They pull down one stalk to take one bite of an ear of corn, and they move onto the next. They totally destroy the crop as they move through the fields," says Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson. The Iowa Farm Bureau lists the issue among the organization's 2023 Iowa Legislative priorities.
Johsua Jones, of www.callthetrapper.com in central Iowa says business has been steady in cities. He says raccoons are skilled at finding weak spots in homes, to take shelter from the cold. He says he's found them in walls, ceilings, and attics. He recommends homeowners check their house at least once a year and fix any wind or hail damage. Another tip, place bird feeders at least 30-feet from your home.