Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Marc Anthony of Goodfield owns and operates Look Alive Taxidermy and Non Typical Hunter magazine. Anthony grew up in central Illinois and spent eight years as a commercial pilot before giving that up to spend more time with his wife Jan and three children, Victoria, Drake and Elesa. Anthony hunted on and off as a child but started seriously at age 30 and focuses on bowhunting for deer and turkeys. He's arrowed four bucks that meet the Boone and Crockett Club (net) standards and 20 Pope and Young Club qualifiers. Anthony is on the Pro Staff for Muzzy broadheads, Bear Archery, Vital Gear, Natural Predator, Non Typical Hunter and several other companies. He also is a member of the Outdoor writers Association of America, OWAA.

 

Non-typical Hunter

A Web log by Marc Anthony

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois needs versatile wildlife plans

May 03, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Hunting in one region of Illinois doesn’t really give an overall picture of the entire state. Try comparing the eastern side of Illinois to the western side or the southern side to the northern side. There are huge terrain differences between the borders of this state, which is one reason Illinois is in a class not too many other states can claim. In the eastern side, we have a flat, crop based landscape. The western, a timber/crop combination. The northern part, spotty tillable and timber draw patches. Last but not least, southern Illinois which is covered with cliffs, timber and river bottoms. I’ve heard people joke about Illinois before saying “When you see corn, you’re in IL.”. That’s hardly true, Illinois is truly a beautiful state.

In the early 1980’s, I was a flight instructor for Southern Illinois University. Occasionally, I would have the opportunity to take a newspaper reporter up in flight so he could take pictures of Crab Orchard, Lake Kinkaid, Rend Lake, etc. for an upcoming story. On the weekends, I would fly a plane up to Chicago to drop off passengers who were staying there for the weekend. During the week, I flew medical students to S.I.U.E. which was on the western side. Once out of college, I was a corporate pilot for Illinois state representative Judy Koehler, who at the time was running for the U.S.senate. We literally covered the entire state of Illinois in one day while she was campaigning. Seeing Illinois from the air is an experience when you have the opportunity to see it all in one day. When I had everything under control in the cockpit, I would sight-see everything Illinois had to offer. Illinois is truly a beautiful state! In contrast, covering a state like Nebraska can easily put you to sleep.

Illinois, being so diversified, needs a diversified plan of action when it comes to managing its wildlife. Heavily timbered, hilly areas obviously can hold much more wildlife than lets say, flat tillable land. When you add the “people factor”, animal management becomes much more complex. Data like forage support, hunting pressure, what type of hunting pressure, predators, natural shelter, out of state influence, commercial demand, local interest, etc., need all to be considered before EVER a plan is to be made. Civil engineers study traffic patterns for all times of the days including quantity of vehicles, vehicle types and commercial demand before a plan is ever drawn out for stop lights, etc., otherwise it would be a waste of time and money. Medical laboratories test bacteria, viruses, drug interactions, etc. years before a product is released into the public. Our own civilian laws are based on years of careful thoughts and planning. Product manufacturers draw plans up years ahead of their projected release dates. Shouldn’t our own natural resources be given the same respect? 

Many outdoorsmen/women think our game herd has been mismanaged for years. Many believe they are seeing the effects of mismanagement. Many are worried that the trend will continue. Are you one of the many?

Some people find it offensive when people are criticizing how our natural resources are being managed. That shouldn’t be the case! I for one, love Illinois and truly care about it’s future. Our managers should be listening to the cries from the very people who look forward to spending their free time enjoying our natural resources. If we mismanage our recourses, our children will pay the price. In a time when it’s already hard enough to get more kids outside and into the great outdoors, it will be even tougher with less opportunity. It is very disheartening trying to take a child out to hunt deer, when you sit for hours, then days, then weeks trying to get a little bit of action for them and it just doesn’t happen. Nothing will turn off a child more than the lack of visual stimulation, so then, it’s back to their computer! For the argument of some not seeing as many deer as in the prior years and for the argument for the state’s intention to get more of our youth into hunting, it would be beneficial to all to have better management!

With a state so diversified like Illinois, how can anyone even begin to think that a common plan can can be a fix-all solution for all of Illinois? The data is out there. The help is out there. Will the deer still be out there? Lets see what next year’s numbers look like.

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