Should the state of Iowa continue giving “celebrity” deer hunters special treatment every year by giving them tags even as thousands of peon un-celebrity hunters are forced to wait years for the shot at an out-of-state deer tag? Some people don’t think so.
From this story in the Des Moines Register:
A program that gives celebrities a chance to immediately hunt deer in Iowa while other out-of-staters wait an average of three years for the privilege is drawing pot shots from within and outside of Iowa. The likes of former pro athlete Bo Jackson, comedian Jeff Foxworthy and rocker Ted Nugent have hunted in Iowa under special licenses the state has set aside for them since the late 1990s. The idea then was to encourage high-profile hunters to help promote the state as a top deer-hunting destination. That, in turn, would lure other hunters of all walks to bring their rifles and wallets to cash-strapped rural Iowa in pursuit of a trophy-sized buck.
But more than a decade later, the program is coming under renewed scrutiny as the last of Iowa’s 2011-12 deer hunting seasons come to a close next weekend. The program’s critics say any hunter worth his camouflage already knows Iowa is a good place to shoot a big buck. Also, the state usually gets several times more deer tag requests each year from out-of-state hunters than can be filled. And even some in-state hunters don’t appreciate the fast track that celebrities such as country singers Toby Keith, Aaron Tippin, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert – as well as professional hunters like Christopher Ashley and Mark Luster – are getting._
What say you, readers? Is it merely good PR for the state, or a case of “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others?”