Two years ago our family was horrified when a deer slug slammed into
our living room wall three feet from my son's head. He was seven at the
time. The slug was fired by a local man who shot into the timber at a
deer. When he was later arrested he claimed he was unaware that a house
sat on the other side of the timber -- even though we have lived here
for 15 years.
Tonight, on the eve of yet another Iowa deer season, I am unable to
sleep, dreading the hunter's magic moment of a half hour before sunrise.
In the 15 years we have lived in rural Iowa we have had so many problems
with hunters that it's difficult to recount them all. Many of these
instances involved people hunting too close to our house. (I once
confronted a guy hunting deer 75 feet from my front door. When I told
him he was too close to the house to be hunting, he told me I built my
house too close to the f____ing timber.) My dog carried pellets to the
day he died -- shot by a hunter.
In all my moaning about hunters in Iowa, I have always been reassured
by the locals that at least Iowa doesn't have a rifle season. That's not
true any more. For one week beginning January 23, rifles may be used to
hunt deer in the southern tier of Iowa (which includes 21 counties in
southern Iowa). Mills County, where I live, is included in this group.
This decision by the Iowa DNR is a bad one. I have had several
appropriate exchanges with the DNR spokesperson via email about this new
policy. Of course he assures me that the decision poses no special
danger to the local residents.
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