I"m guessing that most of you do not know that Iowa has a program where it allows celebrities to bypass the general application for a non-resident deer permit. This program gives celebrities a chance to obtain one of 75 permits set aside just for them. They still pay the same going rate as any other non-resident hunter, currently I believe it's $551, but they don't have to wait and wait for their chances at a permit so they can go deer hunting in Iowa.
The Iowa fish and game folks say they need this program to bring the spotlight to the great deer hunting in Iowa. Some claim it's unfair because it give the rich and famous an unfair advantage. Others say that those few tags help bring in tourist dollars to Iowa coffers. Who's right?
But it doesn't stop there. As I understand the program, there's a panel that decides which celebrity will get a permit. The decision is based on who the panel thinks can bring the biggest bang for the buck (no pun intended ) For example, someone like Ted Knugent (or the hoard of celebrity hunters) who has his own hunting show and is always on a TV somewhere stands an excellent chance of getting an Iowa deer tag over the little kid from Family Ties. In fact, I don't know if that kid could be considered a celebrity or not!
It should also be noted that Iowa shares some permits with Conservation and Charity Organizations to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. They then split the proceeds.
This program has been around for a while. Okay, I get it. Back in the day something like this may have been needed to bring the Outdoor world spotlight to Iowa deer hunting to show the world what great deer hunting they have. But nowadays? Really? Who among us has not heard about how great the Iowa deer hunting is, especially in the 20 years or so?
Try as I might, I just can't see why such a program is needed these days in a state like Iowa! The more media PR they get, the more people want to come there and hunt. But geez Iowa, you already have a lottery where there are so many more people applying for a permit than you have deer permits available, so what's the point? I could understand it if they couldn't sell all 6000 or so non-resident permits, but they have no problem doing that, so why have this tax payer funded program anyway?
When it's all said and done, I just don't see a need for a program like this in a state like Iowa. It would be like Illinois, Ohio, Kansas or Saskatchewan having a similar program. Earth to Iowa DNR, Iowa deer hunting is well known outside of Iowa!! Normally whenever I see a program like this that has outlived its usefulness but those in power still insist of keeping it alive, it's usually because someone other than the Celebrities have something to gain. Not saying this is what's happening in Iowa right now, just sayin' that's been my experience in life.
If the Iowa powers that be really wanted to do some good with a program like this, maybe they should start similar programs for Iowa College football and basketball!! LOL