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Check Stations


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I'd like to have an Iowa discussion on these. Why don't we have them? Should we? Are there more benefits then drawbacks? Some DNR insight would be helpful as well.
I see good reasons to have or not have check stations in Iowa. I have heard both pro and con from DNR personnel and it seems to be typical responses as most hunters. Benefits vs. value for the cost and operating admin.

For Iowa, I think we get along fine without them. I would rather see our DNR spend time and money doing other things. Personally I do not see anything wrong with our deer management that we need them for. Perhaps if the hunter numbers in Iowa get so large or land management takes a big change and the DNR feels they need them to keep an eye on things then maybe they would be needed. I think hunters and landowners just communicating with the DNR and filling out the surveys honestly can do a lot. The hunting just seems to get better every year without them.
I don't see any disadvantage except cost to having them.

They will produce THEE ONLY reliable information on the condition of the State's deer herd.

I would think the quality and amount if information that could be gathered at a check station would be great stuff at very low cost. Remember that money spent on other methods could be saved. I support them. I think they would help fight illegal killing and transport of deer. At least "the boys" would have to find the guys who's name is on the "free" tag and have him transport it. Instead of just dragging it into the barn.
I was under the impression that under the new tag system you had to report animals taken, so it would seem redundant to have check stations. Reporting back to wherever you get your tags seems a lot simpler and less costly to the DNR. (of course this would only apply if electronic tags become available). As far as check stations reducing poaching/tag violations I figure most of these folks would not stop at the check stations anyway!
There is a big difference between reporting back and a check station. At a check station, you would have to check in your deer. If I bought my tag in northern Iowa and hunted, then went to southern Iowa and shot a buck there, would I have to take the buck to where I bought my tag? That would suck.
Iowa 1
Im not sure but I think you only report back where you bought the tag, you don't have to bring the animal with you. I would guess most people would buy tags close to home, so if you had to report in person it would be pretty painless. As far as check stations go I am not real familiar with the process, but I may not leave my farm until much later than I'd wamt to wake someone up to check my deer.
Alot of check stations are placed at 24hr convenience stores and such. As for fighting poaching, well the smart crooks will never get caught. But, the majority are stupid.
Once the deer hunting is over the reporting will get overlooked buy alot of people unless they are penalized in some way. And still you have alot of lies reported, from which policy is to be made.
I have taken deer in Ill, Ohio, Neb and hunt in MO, and Ind - all of which have check stations. My home state of Mich does not. I find the states with CS have better harvest info. When I check in a deer, it is not a hassle and the form usually asks other wildlife questions like how many turkeys/deer did you see. I believe Mich has terrible harvest data (based on surveys). The DNR in these other states will all tell you that the CS reduce some level of poaching (ie family members, friends providing tags, etc.) It will not stop the hard core poacher. There is an added cost to the state, but the return is well worth the money.
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