Iowa DNR Will Not Press Charges in Deer Shooting

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No charges will be filed in the shooting of a white deer this week in northeast Iowa.

Investigation by Department of Natural Resources biologists and a Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) veterinarian showed that the animal, shot Jan. 9 by a muzzleloader hunter in Jakway Park Wildlife Area in Buchanan County, is a fallow deer, not a wild Iowa white-tailed deer.

Fallow deer are a non-native species and are not protected by state law. Wild white-tailed deer that are predominantly white in color are protected. That law was passed by the Iowa Legislature in the 1980s, following the legal shooting of a white deer in the St. Ansgar area. Albino or mostly white wild white-tailed deer are rare in Iowa although several are sighted each year.

The Jakway Park deer also showed scarred tissue in an ear, indicating it had been tagged at some point. That suggests it may have come from a game farm. There are dozens of licensed facilities across Iowa, including 17 in Buchanan County. Animals in such game farm settings are classed as domestic livestock under Iowa law.

Assisting DNR wildlife biologists with the verification was assistant state veterinarian Dr. Randy Wheeler, with IDALS.


deerhunter30's picture

Man, I'm glad I came across

Man, I'm glad I came across this, never thought about what I would do if I seen an Albino whitetail deer. I thought they were just considered whitetail deer and you could hunt them. I guess now I know. One of those would be a real nice trophy.

hunter25's picture

Well it's good they got this

Well it's good they got this cleared up for the guy that shot it as it could have caused him a lot of problems. The question is what did he think it was at the time he killed the deer?

Most of the western states do not protect any color phase deer and even a full albino would be legal to shoot. Much easier to figure out and lets you take that extreme trophy if you ever happen to see one. I think it's just the eastern and some of the mid west states that protect them.

jaybe's picture

Yeah - my first thought was

Yeah - my first thought was that it probably came from a game ranch. I have a friend whose family has a ranch, and no matter how hard they try, an animal sometimes escapes from the confines of the fenced-in ranch.

That's most likely how all the piggies got out there. Talk about tough to contain! Pigs like to root and dig, and it takes a special fencing project to keep them inside for long.

It's interesting that it took a while to figure out what kind of deer this was, though.