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Iowa Supreme Court Upholds License Law

JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Armed with shotguns and protected by bright orange gear, some Johnson County hunters are mostly family and friends enjoying public hunting ground.

"If we get one deer, that's fine. If we all get a deer, that's fine too. It's just fun being out here, said Johnson County Hunter Wayne Slezak.

The State Supreme Court is doing what it can to keep it from getting harder for parties like Slezaks to find land. Its ruling just this week upholds a state law that favors Iowa residents when getting a hunting license. They just need to meet the states basic requirements.

"You have certain rights conveyed when you own property whether you're a resident or a non-resident. The court ruled that one of those rights is not the right to hunt, said Iowa Department of Natural Resources Joe Wilkinson.

People who just own land in Iowa arent always able to get permission to hunt on it. Out-of-state applicants are thrown into a lottery when they apply. The DNR says those hunter have about 50/50 shot.

The problem is Iowa is among the states with the least amount of publicly owned land in the country. Without much public land to hunt, and a lot of the private land being bought up by people living out of state, it's become a lot harder for hunters within Iowa to hunt.

"It diminishes the property that we have to hunt. There isn't that much public hunting and so we depend on private hunting quite a bit, said Slezak.

If the land owner isnt around to give permission, or charges a big fee to be on his land, Wayne and his group lose out.

Its a matter of money and thats just not the way it should be, said Slezak.
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