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Illinois - I’m fed up!!!!!
Posted: 16 December 2013 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I've been meaning to write on the topic of the Illinois deer herd for awhile now and figured now might be the time to do it. In no way am I an expert on the topic. I've actually learned a lot in the past few weeks (I didn't even know what EHD was before then and what a problem it is in Illinois). Something has struck a nerve though and I really feel the need to express a few ideas.

I am really concerned about the future of hunting in our state not only for myself but for my children. I wonder if my five year old son will have an opportunity to enjoy the deer hunting experience I have as I grew up. Now I know that a lot of what is being written is probably just "conspiracy theory" and not true. But I suspect there is at least a grain of truth in some of these theories. We all know for a fact what a corrupt state Illinois has become (just look at our past governors sitting in jail cells). And I am sure that the IDNR has been run improperly (at least to some extent). What I don't know is what exactly was done/is being done wrong and what should can be done to improve. Anyway, I have been giving all this a lot of thought and have come up with the following ideas:

1. I need to get more involved. This doesn't just relate to the deer issue, but the politics of this state in general. I, like everyone else, complain about Illlinois a lot. But I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as I should be. As someone said earlier, knowledge is power. All of us need to pay more attention to what is going on around us.

2. I need to take a stand. I am a registered voter but I need to go to the polls with more knowledge on who I am voting for. I need to contact my state and federal elected officials often and not sit on my hands in silence. If we all start to stand together and make our voice heard, maybe we can make a difference.

3. Are there any associations in Illinois dedicated to hunting and conservation and fighting for hunters rights? If there is, I would be very interested in joining.

These are just a few ideas. I still don't know exactly what I'm going to do beyond what I already listed to help but I know I'm sick and tired of seeing this state go down the train. And I'm not going to stand by and see deer hunting be destroyed like so much else has been in this state!
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Posted: 17 December 2013 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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For anyway who does not know who the top dogs at the Illinois DNR are and how to get hold of them (I couldn't find email addresses):

https://dnr.state.il.us/director/
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Posted: 17 December 2013 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I really think it is important for all of us to contact our elected officials and tell them exactly how we feel (assuming everyone is registered and votes). I know I spend hundreds of hours a year hunting, shooting, scouting, planning, fishing etc. The least I can do is spend a half hour now and then to send a letter, email or make a call to let the people that REPRESENT US know how I feel!

http://www.elections.il.gov/district...byaddress.aspx
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Posted: 18 December 2013 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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For those of you who haven't checked out Hearland Outdoors website, you really should. It incorporates a lot of the ideas I have proposed in this thread. Lots of good reading!

http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com/
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Posted: 18 December 2013 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Here are a couple of resources that may be of help:

The Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources. This is an Illinois sportsmen's advocacy group. They pay attention to bills moving through the Illinois General Assembly and monitor other things on the political front. Here is their website: http://www.if-or.org

The Quality Deer Management Association. The QDMA Website is a great resource for information on deer, their management and other issues: http://www.qdma.com

Here is their article on EHD: http://www.qdma.com/articles/know-the-signs-of-hd-hemorrhagic-disease
And here is another, more recent article: http://www.qdma.com/articles/can-we-prevent-ehd

Here is an interesting article on finding out how many deer are on your property: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/439403-quality-deer-management-do-you-know-how-many-deer-are-on-your-property

Also, you can search Prairie State Outdoors for articles on these and other topics. If you search "epizootic," for example, you will get more than 50 articles on EHD occurrences in Illinois and other states.

Here is some history on the restoration of the Illinois deer herd: http://www.prairiestateoutdoors.com/pso/article/illinois_deer_and_turkey_populations_are_legacy_of_jack_calhoun

Anyway, that is enough homework for now! I am grateful that you are interested in becoming involved, and especially learning more about our great natural resources.

Best,

Chris Young
Prairie State Outdoors editor
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Posted: 18 December 2013 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I just sent the DNR a question asking them why the deer population in the state is being lowered? I also told them that my hunting partners and I havent filled our gun tags in several years and next year we are going to save our money and only buy 1 gun tag each. I also said that we are considering going to other states to hunt deer. Here is the response I got from Tom Micetich Deer Project Manager




Your email was forwarded to me for reply. You asked why deer numbers were being lowered in Illinois.



The General Assembly, responding to citizen complaints of "too many" deer and negative deer-human interactions -- deer-vehicle accidents, human deaths, crop and other property damage -- established the Legislative Deer Population Control Task Force in 2007. That body gave us goals for deer-vehicle accident (DVA) rates for each county and statewide in their 2008 report to our agency. Their recommendation was to lower statewide DVA rates by 14% from the 2003 level, or about 11% from that of 2007. Herd reduction was necessary where DVA rates needed to be lowered. That is what we have done. As counties reach their goal rates, they are removed from the late antlerless seasons. There have been about a dozen, or so, that have been removed in the past two years. Pending 2013 data analysis, there are a number of others which will come out next year.

There are counties which remain well above their goal accident rates which do not have adequate doe harvest. In those counties, increased doe harvest is necessary if we are to curb herd growth, and/or reduce deer numbers. Keep in mind that even in counties with relatively high deer numbers there are places with "not enough" deer; and, conversely, counties with relatively low numbers that have "hot spots" of too many deer.

If deer numbers where you are hunting have declined to less than desirable levels, then you should back off your doe harvest. Just because a season is offered (ie., late-winter antlerless only) does not mean you must hunt it. You may want to talk with those hunting surrounding property to share your concerns. Problems exist when neighbors have differing ideas for managing the same deer. While you may want more, a neighbor who has lost acres of crops to deer may have other ideas, for example.

I hope this answers your question. If you should have any other deer-related questions, comments or concerns, feel free to drop me an email at any time.

Tom


Tom Micetich

Deer Project Manager

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

700 S. 10th Street

Havana, IL 62644

ofc - 309/543-3316 ext 231

fax - 309/543-6914


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I have also heard that State Farm insurance co. is responsible for releasing mountain lions in the state to help reduce the deer numbers but I dont have any facts to back that up.
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Posted: 18 December 2013 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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This year has been the least productive for our hunting party that we have had for 10 years. I knew it was going to be slim in September/October when the usual trails looked hardly used. As the October bow season came and went I tallied the amount of Doe's spotted and the number was....0. I saw several bucks of various maturity and several fawns but no does. 1st gun season started and I was lucky to see a couple of does and harvested one. In hind sight, I wish that I had not done that. Out of the 5 hunters we harvested 3 deer which is below our average. The second gun season came with only two deer harvested. Muzzleloader season was a real bust with the 3 hunters in the woods only spotting 3 deer. I made the decision not to allow late gun deer season and will likely tell next year's group to only take bucks in the hope we can get the numbers up again.

Now the interesting part is I live in a county that has several hundred acres that is off limits to hunting and my property is adjoining to this so it bring up the question. Just what caused this sudden decrease in Does? I was in the wood walking creek to creek in August and spent several hours in the woods in September. I only found one skeleton and we smelled another carcass but never found it. So was EHD to blame or is there some other disease that has caused the decrease in numbers? Something caused a decrease but what?
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Posted: 18 December 2013 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I can say with fair certainty that the Illinois DNR is NOT releasing cougars (also known as mountain lions) in Illinois to control deer. That is an old rumor that just won't die. There have only been a handful of confirmed cougar sightings in modern times. Those usually are young males that roam great distances in search of females. Last fall, there were four caught on trail cameras, but it is quite possible that the same cat was pictured multiple times. With the proliferation of trail cameras, I think we would know about any cougars that wander into Illinois. Here is my story on the subject from last fall: http://www.prairiestateoutdoors.com/pso/article/two_more_cougar_sightings_confirmed_in_central_illinois
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Posted: 18 December 2013 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Thanks guys for the responses. Chockablock....I was wondering if it would be okay if I copied the letter and contact info for Mr. Micetich onto a couple of other forum pages I've been posting on. I am thinking that each of us might want to contact him individually and express our concerns. I know it probably won't accomplish much but at least it's a start.
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Posted: 20 December 2013 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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For those of you wondering, here is a list of the people who made up the Deer Population Control Task Force Mr Micetich is referring to:

JOINT DEER POPULATION CONTROL TASK FORCE
Joint Task Force Members (15 members)

•Director Sam Flood, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
•Representative Dan Reitz, Chairman of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee
•Representative Jim Sacia, Minority Spokesman, House Agriculture and Conservation Committee
•Senator John Sullivan, Chairman, Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee
•Senator Gary Dahl, Minority Spokesman, Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee
•Senator Gary Forby, Appointed by the President of the Senate
•Mr. Jim Riemer, Jr., Appointed by the Senate Minority Leader
•Representative Robert Flider, Appointed by Speaker of the House
•Representative David Reis, Appointed by Minority Leader of the House
•Officer Jason Sherman, Conservation Police Officer Appointed by IDNR Director
•Director Larry Trent, Director of State Police
•Mr. Jerry Beverlin, United Bowhunters of Illinois
•Mr. Jim McFarlane, Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources
•Mr. Kevin Martin, Illinois Insurance Association
•Mr. Henry Kallal, Illinois Farm Bureau

Joint Task Force Technical Support Group
-Mike Conlin, Director of the Office of Resource Conservation
-John Buhnerkempe, Chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources
-Paul Shelton, Forest Wildlife Program Manager
-Tom Micetich, Deer Project Manager
-Marty Jones, Urban Deer Project Manager
-Chris Hill, Systems and Licensing Manager
-Brian Clark, OLE License and Permit Program Manager
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