DES MOINES — The fines for trespassing in order to hunt deer will go up significantly July 1. The law — and the fines — have been expanded to include trespassing to hunt any wildlife.

The trespasser can be arrested and officers will be able to confiscate animals from hunters who trespass on private property — and assess more fines based on how many animals the hunter has taken. Senator Tom Shipley, a Republican from Nodaway, said it’s “a big deal” in southwest Iowa.

“I think raising these penalties is very important to those people in areas where they have people coming in from all over the country just deciding it’s their ground to play on,” Shipley said.

Senator Janice Weiner, a Democrat from Iowa City, is skeptical. “I didn’t hear any good arguments in committee or elsewhere that would necessitate us raising the fines for trespass,” Weiner said, “or that there have been really egregious instances.”

Representative Monica Kurth, a Democrat from Davenport, said she doesn’t condone trespassing, but this law seems excessive.

“If a farmer’s trying to rid his property of nuisance raccoons and crosses a property line to get after those varmints and happens to have three of those critters in his possession, he would suddenly be fined $500 for the trespass, plus $200 for each of those raccoons,” Kurth said, “making a grand total of $1100.”

Republican Representative Mike Vondran of Davenport said trespassing is trespassing and the law is needed.

“The simple act of knocking on your neighbor’s door and asking permission to deal with critters and varmints is one thing versus just deciding to go out and take your weapon and cross over a fence line, cross into another property where you have no concept of who is where and what activity they might be undertaking at the time,” Vondran said, “so to some degree this is a large measure of safety as well.”

The governor signed the bill into law Friday. It raises the fine to $500 for a first offense of trespassing in order to hunt. It’s currently $265. The fine for a second violation would be a $1000.