Celebrity Deer Tags in Iowa

What do Bo Jackson, Toby Keith, Ted Nugent, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, and Jeff Foxworthy all have in common?  They have hunted deer in Iowa on special celebrity tags.

Celebrity tags for deer hunts annoy hunters on waiting list from the Des Moines Register, Jan. 21, 2012

The celebrities — mostly entertainers, athletes and outdoors television show hosts — pay the same $551 fee that all nonresidents pay for the any-sex and antlerless tags. Iowa residents pay $89 for the same privileges.

A state committee ranks applications for the so-called governor’s tags on a point system designed to make sure the special licenses go to the applicants most likely to garner the state the best media play. A panel that includes lawmakers then decides who gets the tags.

Meanwhile, nonresident hunters lacking a TV show or other claim to fame must vie for one of the 6,000 any-sex tags made available each year. Typically the state gets three times that number of requests. Another 4,500 antlerless-only tags are offered to nonresidents, and usually don’t sell out, said DNR biologist Tom Litchfield.

The intent of the program when it began in the 1990’s was to attract more hunters to Iowa.  I don’t know what the number of out of state hunters seeking tags was back then, but the current numbers certainly suggest that there is no need for this program in terms of attracting hunters.

So it seems that we have here a special program for the special people who come to our state.  This brings to mind the Onion story on PlatinumPlus Preferred Citizenship.

U.S. Offers PlatinumPlus Preferred Citizenship from the Onion (Satirical Newspaper), Oct. 29, 1997

WASHINGTON, DC—In an 86-14 vote, the Senate approved legislation Monday establishing PlatinumPlus Preferred citizenship, an exciting new program offering special benefits and discounts to select members of the U.S.

“By becoming a PlatinumPlus citizen, you join an exclusive club of elite Americans,” said President Clinton, who signed the bill into law late Monday. “And as part of that club, you’ll be eligible for many special benefits, including tax breaks, excusal from jury duty, and vacations at special PlatinumPlus Caribbean resorts, which are off-limits to ordinary, EconoBudget citizenry. It’s our way of saying thank you to our best customers.”

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