SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)-During the start of the pandemic, conservation officers saw an influx of people getting outdoors. This was a ripple effect for hunting license being purchased.
“Been hunting deer, turkey, pheasant are my primary things that I go after and I really enjoy it,” said Brian Stehr, an avid hunter.
Stehr has been hunting for over 20 years.
“All my brothers were into it and they just got me involved and after I got involved, I really enjoyed it and I hope to pass it along to my children,” said Stehr.
According to the Iowa DNR, over 18,000 Iowa resident hunting licenses were purchased this season. That’s an increase of 5,000 compared to 2019.
“I really like to see the numbers increase, I think it’s great for the overall sport, just conserving the land and using the resources wisely and just keeping people interested is a great thing with the natural resources,” said Stehr.
“We do expect to see some more increase in non-resident hunting license, we’re just now getting into that time where we see those sales increase and we really don’t see a reason, they won’t just because. in conjunction, our pheasant numbers are the highest they have been in over a decade,” said Stacey Bragg, a State Conservation Officer.
With the increase in license sales, the money will go directly into helping support the Fishing and Wildlife Trust Fund.
“That’s great to be able to tell people that the money you spend for the outdoor hunting and fishing licenses that’s with the DNR and stays with the program, and hopefully going to better other opportunities,” said Bragg.
With more people out in fields hunting this season, DNR officers like Stacy Bragg are wanting to remind hunters of proper safety protocols.
“You have to wear at least a vest of blaze orange for deer hunting season and pheasant hunting season, you have to have something above your waist that is at least 50 percent orange. Always have your gun pointed in a safe direction that is number one, you don’t want to rely on the safety but have your safety on gun pointed in a safe direction control, your muzzle, that is huge to help prevent any incidents from happening,” said Bragg.
“Really looking forward to a successful pheasant and deer season and safe season,” said Stehr.