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Illinois hunting and fishing

Kody Downes of Bartonville, 14, shot this 11-point Knox County buck Saturday during Illinois’ second firearm deer season.

Firearm deer harvest under 100,000

December 09, 2009 at 09:41 AM

After three full days of sitting and waiting for deer that never materialized, Kody Downes was starting to get antsy.

“I just kind of wanted to see something. I just wanted to see a deer,” said Downes of Bartonville, 14, who was hunting in Knox County with his father, Chuck Downes.

Early last Saturday Kody finally got his wish. Only instead of seeing “something” he saw a big 11-point buck 20 yards away that he downed with one shot.

“I set the standards pretty high,” Kody said of his first deer, which made up for a deer-free first firearm season and a slow first day of the second season. “It was worth waiting out there.”

Not everyone who hunted last Thursday through Sunday agreed, though. Statewide hunters shot 33,293 deer during the second firearm season. That boosts the overall firearm harvest through seven days of hunting to 99,419, the lowest total since Illinois gun hunters bagged 92,196 deer in 1999. Last year hunters shot 33,701 in the second season en route to a firearm total of 105,595 deer statewide.

“Harvest during the second season was nearly identical to last year,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton.  “We did experience a slow start during the first firearm season. However, there are still plenty of hunting opportunities for hunters with Muzzleloader season and an expanded archery and Late-Winter firearm season.”

Preliminary reports show that Pike County once again topped the county deer harvest totals for the firearm season as hunters there took 3,265 deer. Other top county harvest totals were Fulton (2,616), Adams (2,480), Jefferson (2,379), Jo Daviess (2,281), Randolph (2,256), and Jackson (2,153).

Muzzleloader-only season opens Friday through Sunday. After that, hunters are reminded that unfilled 2009 firearm, muzzleloader, youth, and landowner firearm permits will be valid for the late-winter season provided that they were issued for an open county. Out only antlerless deer may be taken. This year’s late-winter hunt is open the expanded seven-day split season Dec. 31, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010 and Jan. 15-17, 2010. The statewide archery deer hunting season continues through Jan. 17, 2010. 

Permits for both the Late-Winter and Special CWD seasons will be available over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning Dec. 15.
Permits for the Late-Winter season will be issued in two categories, based on deer management needs in individual counties. In 11 select counties with a need for significant increases in deer harvest, hunters will be able to purchase Late-Winter permits without limit.  In 59 other counties open for the Late-Winter season, hunters will be limited to purchasing one Late-Winter deer permit. 

Standing corn was a factor in some areas of the state even during the second season. Through Monday 85 percent of the harvest was in the bin, compared to 100 percent last year at this time and 100 percent for the five-year average.

Some hunters like Downes had success, though. And he was not alone.

James Holt shot his first deer on Dec. 4 in Madison County. He is pictured below with his little brother, Henry. Father Henry Holt rattled for a couple of minutes about a half hour before sunset, and the buck “came in on a string” giving James a 50 yard broadside shot with his 20 gauge H&R single shot. 

Illinois hunting and fishing

Chad Hunziker had a wilder story of his second season hunt. Hunting in Macoupin County last Thursday on opening day of the second season, Hunziker soaked eight hang-on scent hooks about 20 inches off the ground around his stand and poured the rest of a gallon jug of deer scent on a stump 10 feet away. “The area smelled of hot doe,” he said.

Yes, Hunziker is the owner and operator of Hunziker’s Deer Scents, so he can use as much of the stuff as he wants.

Anyway, he got a 50-yard shot at a buck that managed to reach the edge of Macoupin Creek. “You’ve never seen a hunter get out of a stand so fast in your life,” Hunziker said after watching his buck go over the creek bank. “When I get to the creek, which is deep and swift current, there was no deer. I looked downstream then upstream and even looked at the other bank second-guessing my shot.

“But there was no fresh struggle in mud or tracks going up the other bank. I happened to look downstream again and noticed a logjam 50 yards down on my side of the creek. I figured let’s take a closer look. Sure enough, I saw 6 inches of one tine hooked on a small log.”

Eventually the buck went under the logjam and Hunziker called for help.

“I had to convince these guys that there was really a deer under there. You’ve heard of hoggin flathead catfish, well we were hoggin for deer that morning,” Hunziker said. Here’s what they retrieved from the brush pile.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Here’s a complete county-by-county rundown on firearm harvest. The table below includes preliminary county harvest totals for the first and second portions of the 2009 firearm deer season, the preliminary total firearm harvest for 2009, and the comparable county harvest totals for 2008.

2009 First     2009 Second   2009   2008  
County Season Season Total   Total
Adams   1614   866   2480   2649  
Alexander     328   232   560   502  
Bond   566   277   843   913  
Boone   102   53     155   157  
Brown   938   540   1478   1475  
Bureau 820   463   1283   1616  
Calhoun 858   524   1382   1342  
Carroll 698   329   1027   1128  
Cass   494   233   727   755  
Champaign     171   115   286   320  
Christian     400   204   604   667  
Clark   908   420   1328   1296  
Clay   942   374   1316   1430  
Clinton 581   227   808   873  
Coles   502   201   703   744  
Crawford     798   362   1160   1192  
Cumberland     617   270   887   920  
DeKalb 126   89     215   246  
DeWitt 250   141   391   469  
Douglas 130   58     188   204  
Edgar   528   243   771   784  
Edwards 366   144   510   514  
Effingham     765   263   1028   1057  
Fayette 1336   571   1907   2109  
Ford   74     39     113   162  
Franklin     779   425   1204   1204  
Fulton 1725   891   2616   2688  
Gallatin     421   219   640   617  
Greene 873   511   1384   1483  
Grundy 274   128   402   408  
Hamilton     872   434   1306   1347  
Hancock 1215   735   1950   2353  
Hardin 747   312   1059   1103  
Henderson     390   207   597   674  
Henry   479   219   698   893  
Iroquois     387   266   653   821  
Jackson 1416   737   2153   2204  
Jasper 837   408   1245   1289  
Jefferson     1606   773   2379   2451  
Jersey 585   353   938   1021  
JoDaviess     1493   788   2281   2371  
Johnson 1304   467   1771   1845  
Kane   38     17     55     63  
Kankakee     121   86     207   240  
Kendall 59     38     97     96  
Knox   866   564   1430   1618  
Lake   9     1     10     21  
LaSalle 756   388   1144   1381  
Lawrence     457   212   669   609  
Lee   436   233   669   696  
Livingston     316   167   483   593  
Logan   235   160   395   458  
Macon   203   113   316   337  
Macoupin     1200   536   1736   1846  
Madison 638   301   939   922  
Marion 1374   624   1998   2035  
Marshall     548   213   761   834  
Mason   443   200   643   680  
Massac 425   232   657   628  
McDonough     707   402   1109   1149  
McHenry 215   162   377   372  
McLean 450   222   672   728  
Menard 310   137   447   430  
Mercer 551   320   871   981  
Monroe 792   295   1087   1102  
Montgomery     841   350   1191   1231  
Morgan 732   361   1093   1007  
Moultrie     206   85     291   337  
Ogle   645   463   1108   1182  
Peoria 1012   501   1513   1648  
Perry   899   446   1345   1385  
Piatt   115   79     194   204  
Pike   2012   1253   3265   3342  
Pope   1275   494   1769   1828  
Pulaski 471   253   724   818  
Putnam 365   193   558   536  
Randolph     1576   680   2256   2489  
Richland     614   264   878   882  
Rock Island   578   336   914   984  
Saline 644   318   962   1025  
Sangamon     541   289   830   886  
Schuyler     1114   571   1685   1779  
Scott   368   191   559   577  
Shelby 996   446   1442   1435  
St. Clair     656   266   922   984  
Stark   186   120   306   361  
Stephenson     547   389   936   1088  
Tazewell     505   230   735   764  
Union   1168   593   1761   1875  
Vermilion     472   351   823   966  
Wabash 211   99     310   311  
Warren 388   222   610   738  
Washington     839   333   1172   1180  
Wayne   1247   641   1888   1987  
White   692   351   1043   1040  
Whiteside     501   270   771   830  
Will   214   148   362   414  
Williamson     1101   524   1625   1789  
Winnebago     269   178   447   479  
Woodford     662   271   933   1099  
Total   66126   33293   99419   105595

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

We warned the DNR this would happen! Nice job IDNR, thanks for listening….
I did have an issue with standing corn but that issue was related to not being able to see the deer in the fields to cut them off while hunting on the ground. Other than that, what’s it going to take to get these guys out of office? I like the Wisconsin approach, fire them all!

Posted by Marc Anthony on 12/09 at 10:22 AM

“The lowest total since 1999”-and that suggests to the DNR wildlife Div. and many politicians in the state that we NEED TO KILL MORE! Add some more seasons-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 10:28 AM

So the DNR is succeeding at reducing numbers just like the farm bureau and insurance industry wanted. And we have the late slaughter anything that moves season coming up. That should do just nicely. I really think that the kill is probably underestimated by at least 10-20% because it would be naive to think that everyone is checking in their deer, take the fine former Franklin county state’s attorney for example. That being said we are definitely heading in the wrong direction for a healthy quality herd management.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 10:35 AM

Yes..add more seasons…sell more tags..Illinois loves money!! Deer?? Who cares about the deer in our cash cow state, right IDNR??  Don H. is right on the money—dont blame the corn, moon, and every other excuse known to man..fix the problem!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 10:38 AM

reddog-Iowa says their ck-in compliance rate is 86%-“Funny how our DNR never says anything like that”-Ours would be the same- so- Add 14% to ALL numbers ever released by the IDNR-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 10:50 AM

lol the sky is falling again…. shesh never fails that on a year where hunting was a bit harder that everyone cries and blames dnr… im sorry but its very easy that the standing corn could easily have made a 6 k deer difference, notice how the second season with more more corn down the numbers are darn near same as last year. you guys seriously need to quit your friggen crying, the deer herd is fine, just go look at any body shop this time of year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 11:10 AM

lol dude i kill more dear yearly then most people so im hardly with peta(3 out of last 7 years i have had a deer removal permit because of the damage they cause here and still have way to many deer) .. its just you tree huggers who dont have the skill to hunt or to lazy to work to get your own land to hunt that look for every excuse in the book to blame dnr if the deer harvest is 1 deer short.. maybe if some of you actually hunted instead of just trolled forums more deer might be killed… the amount of deer harvested does not directly corelate with the size of the deer herd. most of the whiners complain that each year there is more limited access to hunting areas so why would the number go up if there is less areas to hunt?.. get a grip…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 11:43 AM

This is not just not one bad year. DNR is selling more permits than ever and less deer are being harvested.
2002 - 102,236,2003 - 103,961,2004 - 116,675,2005 - 114,209,2006 - 115,192,2007 - 116,708,2008 - 105,595,2009 - 99,419
Compare that to the amount of tags issued;
2002 - 281, 738 36% of tags filled
2006 - 335,000 34% of tags filled
2008 - 350,000 30% of tags filled
2009 - 360,000 27% of tags filled

As long as the DNR can continue sell more tags and open more seasons. They will not admit any problems. This has become a way to generate revenue not manage a deer herd. I think we are headed in the wrong direction. Maybe with the increase in prices next year we can bring back check stations. This way maybe we can actually collect useful data about the herd.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 11:45 AM

John, since 1995, the firearm permit success rate has never dropped below 49.07 percent- it has stayed above 50% since the year 2000- Dnr stated they issued 288000 permits this year- A record I believe- with a success rate of 34.5 %- Do you believe that is because the deer were all in the corn truly? That since 1995, this is the first year the deer learned to hide in standing corn?! Peak firearm harvest coincides with the peak permit success rate- BOTH in the year 2005- The sky isn’t falling, but the trend has been every since-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 11:48 AM

Harvest was down 28% in the county I hunt!!  I hunted all 7 days and saw less than 10 deer.  I really think too many does are getting harvested!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 11:52 AM

IL DNR has never attempted to try and find out what their compliance rate is for call in deer/turkey kills is. When they had the call in check system for geese they did do compliance rate checks. Those checks showed compliance rates by zones as low as 38% and the highest rates by zones seldom exceeded 70%. Of course, with the geese, they were under pressure from the Feds to make sure the harvests did not exceed the Feds quotas on geese. Without that, I doubt they would have made any effort to determine non-compliance there either.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:13 PM

Come on IDNR, you state that you are more concerned with tends in the deer harvest, rather then trying to guesstimate the herd size.
WELL how many years in a row now have the kill numbers proofed that the kill is continuing to decline, even though you are selling more permits, thousands more antlerless tags, extending hunting hours, adding seasons, ect…....
IDNR…lets hear about hunter success rate !!!!
More deer permits & less deer killed = lower success rates AGAIN, this year !!!!
Our IDNR does not care about what will keep IL hunters happy with deerhunting, they are more worried about lowering the herd size, keeping the Farm Bureau happy, making more money off out of state deerhunters & so on….
NOW… our current IDNR & our legislature wants IL deerhunters to pay more money for gun tags AND hunting licenses, to hunt less & less deer ????????
AND we are suppose to be happy about paying more for deerhunting a fastly declining deer herd ??????
We have yet to see the effects of our IDNR’s new expanded herd reduction measurements, for 2010.
REMEMBER, our IDNR more then doubled the number of days for the 2011 late winter antlerless gun hunt, they now offer OTC antlerless tags, UNLIMITED antlerless tags in 11 counties, & extended the bow season 3 days.
All this… to a already declining deerherd ??????
When you are driving a car & you come over the top of a large hill & you can not see the bottom, should you =
A.. let off the gas.
B.. gently start appling your foot to the brake.
C.. stomp on the gas, through your hands in the air & yell wwwweeeeeeee…
Our IDNR’s answer = Sadly it is C

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:14 PM

the numbers are bogus without check stations guys will continue to hunt reusing their tags especially bow tags is their a deer shortage are we on the decline the numbers suggest we are where i hunt we the area farmers manage the herd not the dnr we have seen year to year changes most recently caused by spring flooding dont expect the DNR to manage the deer herd YOU AS HUNTERS have to if you havent seen or shot any deer than why the hell would u participate in a late winter season and shoot 3 deer with one shot wake up people its not outfitters destoying this herd pike county adams looks like they did ok fulton knox ok but wait those four counties have outfitters HMM its all of you who have been shooting 10 or more deer with your bows not to mention the one or two or more that u cant find and now your on here whining do we have less deer yes why because we killed them not paul shelton or the JDTF or farm bureau we bought the permits and we pulled the trigger i am so tired of hearing how non residents kill all the deer how farmers wont let me hunt but they complain about crop damage Does this state manage anything well as landowners or hunters we have to take a part and be responsible not the dnr Sure it would help if they managed the stae grounds better but for the private sector which accounts for a majority the state is useless

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:25 PM

I find those numbers hard to believe.  I think they are actually LOWER.  Most guys I talked to didn’t see anything.  I know of a couple guys that just called in a deer so they could get a pin.  How many other idiots did that?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:31 PM

2008 DNR press release following firearm deer season can be viewed at:

In this discussion keep in mind that the drop this year, follows a drop last year. Go back and look at the DNR’s press release last year when they released the numbers. Some of the press release was definitely reused this year. They should be required to disclose when the show is going to be a re-run just like the rest of the comedy shows on TV.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:36 PM

It’s about time someone mentions shooting too many does.  I bought a new piece of property a few months before the 2008 season began.  I place trail cameras on the property as well field monitoring.  I thought my deer numbers on this property were low.  In the 2008 season I did not shoot any does at all.  They are the baby makers.  They are what I needed more of to increase my deer herd.  After setting up my trail cameras this past Summer (2009), I had many more deer.  I would honestly guess that I doubled my deer herd in just one year of not shooting any does.  I only have 50 acres, but I don’t think I had more than a dozen deer using my property in 2008.  This year I had at least that many bucks using the same property consistenly all Summer long, not to mention the does and fawns.  I think we’ve all been told too many times to shoot does.  I sat in on a seminar at the deer classic several years ago (can’t remember the speaker) and the speaker talked a lot of shooting does…a lot of does.  I asked how one knows when enough does have been shot.  The answer bothered me.  He said that you should shoot enough does until you scare yourself into thinking you’ve shot them all…then you’re getting close.  I’m sure that may be true for some properties, but I think that information gave too many hunters a reason to kill the baby makers.  Stop relying on others to tell you how to handle your deer herd…DNR or otherwise.  Pay attention to your herd and figure it out for yourself.  I will be adding more bedding areas to my property (cedar thickets) this Summer which will hopefully add to the number of deer that use my property.  I will also control my doe herd as I see fit.  Just because the DNR wants to sell me more tags doesn’t mean I have to buy them or use them.  I’m in control of my land and my deer herd, not the DNR.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:39 PM

the 49.07 I stated above was for E/S permits issued only-
I do not know how many E/S tags were sold for this season out of 288000, therefor, the 34.5% is not accurate- However, it is assured the percentage is much lower than in the past-

Mbutter- you stated 360000 permits for 2009-Am I wrong about 288000??-where did you get that? Curious-can you tell me how many of those are E/S firearm tags?

Colonel- I flat out asked John B. what out deer ck-in compliance rate is-“knowing full well what Iowa came out with”- he didn’t know-

Hunter777- it’s a fact, deer hunters can not as a whole, manage themselves- State regulations must do it-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:48 PM

You’re killin me Colonel!!!!!!!!!HeeHee!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:50 PM

Here is a link that states 360,000. I just found different articles that stated the total permits issued. Just do a search on the web for different years and you will get the numbers (ex.2009 deer permits for IL)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 12:59 PM

By the way- everyone should take note that what Mr Lampe printed above is not the actual DNR press release of today- In that document, Mr. shelton DOES NOT MENTION anything about less deer because “Standing corn”!  those two words are not anywhere in there- Mr lampe added that to the above-So, Mr Shelton must not believe standing corn was a factor!There you have it-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:00 PM

thanks Mbutter- you’re correct- MORE THAN 360000- but no breakdown on E/S—So the figures I originaly used may be correct-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:04 PM

sucks too cause now we gotta shoot does with or either sex tags if we see one sucks for my gf its here first year

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:37 PM

Tim i agree but we both know thats not going to happen so what we just keep pounding away you and marc anthony are well known hunters you two should be putting the word out to hunters not to participate in late winter seasons or kill a dozen deer with their bows but pull back the reins until some answers are brought to the table Treehugger thats awesome you were smart enough to see the numbers were low backed off and look at the rewards congrats hope your new bedding area works out throw in about six apple trees and watch what happens

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:39 PM

Surprise, surprise. Buying into the DNR’s logic, let’s say that the deer herd really hasn’t been affected by all this increased hunting pressure…I mean, management (more tags + more seasons). Then, lets assume that this past firearms season was a fluke, a one-in-a hundred years anomaly of hunting seasons. Okay, then one would assume that if that were the case and so many hunters struck out during the firearms season, yet so many deer are still available, then all the later seasons (late-season archery, muzzleloader, LWS, etc) will be much more productive than years past. Smart hunters know the answer, but to remain objective we’ll have to wait until then end of all seasons to find out (mid-end-January). For me, my bow and shotgun have been hung up for the season. I’ve seen enough, which is very little.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:40 PM

Walmsley is right, to turn this situation around will require DNR deer hunting regulation CHANGES. No amount of preaching, asking or peer pressure is going to turn this situation around. Even if we could get 80% of hunters to “self regulate”, the other 20% would under-mine and destroy their efforts. Just look at some of the people posting on this site who refuse to accept that we even have a problem despite the fact that DNRs own statistics tell us otherwise. Personally I have had a decent season and saw plenty of deer but I realize that is because of the properties I am fortunate to hunt and not because I am some great hunter or because the deer herd is fine or because we are in a slight downward trend that will correct itself. THERE IS A PROBLEM THAT WILL GROW WORSE WITHOUT ACTION. Just because you didnt see it does not mean it isnt so.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 01:57 PM

When we all can’t find a deer to shoot and the money stops rolling in and not untill then will we see some changes. That is the bottom line. Springfield is going to milk this cow till the last cow does come home. We are fighting the insurence companies, out fitters and any one else that sends a buck or to the Springfied on there behalf. It’s all about the money. The state used to really do allot for wild life now it’s away to make money. Us hunters are really small in numbers and we can bitch and moan all day long and what is so sad they could give a damm less. But oil that gun and keep them arrows sharp and keep hangin in who knows maybe some day someone in Springfied we give a damm.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 02:00 PM

By the way, I strongly suspect that these numbers for this years harvest are exaggerated. There is no way to prove it but from reports of meat lockers taking in significantly less deer, far fewer shots heard, less harvested deer seen in pick-ups, reports from other hunters, etc etc etc ..... I suspect a lot lower harvest than the #s being reported by DNR. ....... of course we in Illinois have grown to trust and respect our DNR and know that they would never skew surveys or data to support their agenda so who knows

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 02:05 PM

“”“"lol dude i kill more dear yearly then most people so im hardly with peta(3 out of last 7 years i have had a deer removal permit because of the damage they cause here and still have way to many deer) .. its just you tree huggers who dont have the skill to hunt or to lazy to work to get your own land to hunt that look for every excuse in the book to blame dnr…”“”“”

JohnH…It might just be me but I dont see the SKILL in setting up in a lawn chair over a late summer food source and shooting deer with a High Powered Rifle. I wouldn’t brag on that to much, but to each it’s own. Some people don’t have the money to buy land so you shouldn’t chastize them.  You were probally handed a silver spoon and fell into your land. Plus just because your area is fine doesn’t mean that others aren’t.  There are way to many people that aren’t seeing deer as usual.  I am sure that people would rather post pics of deer than complain.  Fact is they aren’t seeing deer..Period!! Personally I think we need a limit on does and bring back the check stations!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 02:43 PM

Its a ~5 % change in harvest, populations fluctuate, harvest is not always self regulatory and often harvest and population size are unrelated.  I hope that you ‘warned Kentucky’ as well (I seem to remember you bragging about how good a job Kentucky does), cause their harvest is down nearly 20,000 deer this year from last (much more than IL) and they look to be on a downward trend since 04 as well with a decline in harvests of ~30K deer in last half decade.  I am unimpressed with your rationale for firing people or why harvest is down, perhaps additional thought is in order.

Deer populations fluctuate for reasons totally unrelated to hunting, harvest rates vary between years, within areas, etc.  IL is not running out of deer, no one is selling you out and the DNR is not out to get you.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 02:44 PM

heres an idea everybody complaining about the numbers being down or to many bucks or does beibg taken dont buy any tags for the next two or three years. i hunt public land and have managed to harvest two does and a really nice buck. you just have to hunt hard and do a lot of scouting.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 03:06 PM

I think things are getting clearer for me now .... the great hunters in Illinois took the time to scout and hunt hard and they brought home the bacon .. er venison ... as always. Everyone else is just stupid and lazy and looking for excuses ..... even though many who are voicing concern DID tag deer .... hmmm

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 03:16 PM

I hunted 9 days straight, 8-12 hours a day on stand (eating in a tree, peeing in 2 bottles in a tree) 6 days of archery, 3 days of gun, hunted public and private land (where I harvested a 155 off public, and 145 off private last year), hunted in rain from dusk to dawn for 4 days straight, and did not get shot opportunity at 1 shooter (130+ for me) buck. Yeah, count me in as lazy.

I’m not saying the sky is falling but if some of you can’t see the forest from the trees and don’t think the trend in IL is going for the worse, then you’re blind, and I don’t care how many cousin Billy shot, how many does you saw in a field, how many 200 inchers were shot, or how a real hunter like yourself knows how to get it done.

It is really hard for IL to mess up how great of a deer herd they have in both quality and quantity, but our current DNR is doing the best to prove that wrong. What is that old saying??

You’re so dumb you could screw up a certain type of dream? Insert whatever DNR official or politician you would like. They are all interchangeable.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 03:40 PM

don dont know where u hunt but it sounded like a war zone where i was and every truck had legs stickin out the back the farm in pike was the same lots of shots heard we border one of hadleys farms they where sure shootin alot accordin to family that hunted there i agree some areas have less deer i am not stupid to many guys complaining not to realize that but because meat locker totals r down only means people r doing it themselves maybe because they r not reporting them or they cant afford them cant wait to see iowas total with the blizzard that rolled through 200thousand permits issued and they probably will kill close to what our dnr says we killed

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 03:41 PM

Cumberland_Landowner, I don’t care if it is 5% change in harvest, it’s a downward trend that’s been happening for years! Come on Mr. PHD, you should know better than that. As far as “warning Kentucky”, why should I? If you’re going to quote my from an article, please do it correctly. I praised Kentucky for their attentiveness to the outdoorsmen/women. Their DNR is staffed and well trained. Great public ground. They even answer the phone, can our DNR do that with the added revenue from 360,000 permits+? Not a chance. kentuck does this with a fraction of the revenue IL. has.
It’s evident you’re a paid promoter for the DNR Bret. Most of us here care enough about the situation, not only here but in other Midwestern states. We’ve mentioned the decreased herd in Wis, IL, and every other state that we were aware of. I actually hunt these states, talk to the hunters and compile data. For a person like yourself who studies under a hidden name, with a hidden agenda, why should we even listen to your argument?
We told the DNR this would happen and people like yourself can deny it but some of us actually care enough for the future generations to continue this fight.
As far as your comment about firing the people in charge…why not? We met with them, we emailed recommendations, we offered free services, data, manpower, etc. only to get an additional season thrown in! Look at the numbers now. That was a blatant disrespect of our natural resources and it’s been going on for years. They don’t want to do their job, fine, get out! Their job is to MANAGE NOT TO RAPE.
FYI, I’m going back to KY. and glad to do so. I’ll take does and bucks there when the opportunity arises. IL. has one of the greatest genetically designed deer herds in the world and the people managing them are selling them into extinction. Laugh now if you will but the numbers are doing the talking…and have been.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 12/09 at 04:04 PM

I was just thinging(some times that’s bad) but wondering if the DNR is going to manage the deer as good as they have the rabbits,quail and pheasants here in central or maybe the whole state!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 04:21 PM

I can count aleast 250 acres in fulton county that sets idle outfitter controlled probably more out there and the deer are there if you drive by you can see them feeding at dusk. The numbers are down in my area bacause no one can get acsess not because of less deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 04:24 PM

Hey “johnh” = “hunter770” - easy to tell you are the same person posting under two aliases. 
I got my own place to hunt - that I lease (“Oh my - Gilly1 is “one of those guys” who leases ground!).  I’ll never divulge what I kill or how many.  I’m not going to get into a “my dad is bigger than your dad” arguement with you.
We did see many more deer the 2nd season than we did the first season.  I had deer in bow-range on each sit.  Just not the right deer at the right time within the right range.  We had plenty of corn come out between the 2 seasons and I believe the cold temps followed by a weekend warm-up also helped with the numbers we saw.  Food plots - that’s where all the deer were (or were heading to). 
Yeah that’s right johnh=hunter770, I was so lazy this year that we only got in 3 food plots (about 7 acres) on our 330+ acre farm.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 04:24 PM

Mr. Anthony, sounds like you, and the “people” that told DNR what to do are/should be the biologists running the show. Why aren’t you? Is there a good reason?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 04:54 PM

Wow… i aint killed 3 deer in a season since the early 90s… Shot 10 or so over 140 since… Got a few trophies from the classic since… but nope not 3 deer in the same season.  Real hard to do…..While wearing blue carharts ya say? Is that the secret?  Im still hoping to track down that indian thats hiding in the corn and get some information from him… If i had some blue carharts and some authentic arrows made my a real indian… I bet i could kill 4 deer in one year!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 04:56 PM

NEWSFLASH - No one has all the correct answers pertaining to species population management.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 05:08 PM

hey gilly lay off the coolaid.. im only one person posting on one name…lay of the conspiracy theories. well gilly i fyou have 330 acres and cant nail a deer you must suck as a hunter then.. maybe if you guys shot some does instead of just going for horn porn you would have something in your refrigerator

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 05:23 PM

sorry gillly one im only hunter 770 if you weren so stupid you could check the ip address ask someone what that is then come back on her spouting off i guess you would be one of the hunters who either recycle your tags or one who cant find your deer which is it i dont recall saying anyone was lazy iam all for deer leases anything to help the farmers moron=gilly1

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 05:27 PM

Tom, if Shelton managed the deer herd the way you manage fish, we likely wouldnt have a problem. I realize you likely are supporting him because he is a fellow IDNR biologist but can you name a single positive step Shelton has taken in the management of the Illinois deer herd? What positive steps have we seen in his 20 years other than the 2 buck limit which was forced on him? With all due respect Tom, imagine managing the fish resource the way Shelton manages the deer herd- would you make annuall reductions in creel limits despite the facts showing a sharply decresaing population of a game fish specie in a lake? Would you refuse size limits across the board? While comparing fish to deer may not a good comparison, neither is a biologist blindly supporting another biologist just because of his title. With all seriousness, I would be interested to hear why you so strongly support Sheltons deer management history/policies. He has done nothing short of destroying the great work of the deer biologist who came before him- Loomis and Calhoun. How would you feel if you spent your career building a nationally recognized fishing destination second to none on earth and upon retirement the DNR hired a worm farmer to manage your lifes work and he did nothing but slowly destroy it? THAT is an analogy that is right on the money and one I hope you can relate to. If you prefer, you can email me privately or call me. You may even be able to shed some light on things that I am not aware of. Thanks

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 05:28 PM

Since wildlife management issues are seldom driven by a single cause, this years numbers make everyone right. Crops a factor, hunter access a factor, hunter participation level (also known as the Butt In Stand factor) sightings of fewer deer equates to less interest to long hours in field, wet fields, setaside and field roads limiting easy access to the back 40, less deer in some areas (again due to multiple causes such as overharvest, EHD, leases which exclude other hunters such as coyote hunters causeing an upsurge in coyote numbers resulting in increased fawn mortality etc. There are a whole host of factors that may be in play and probably are. Each of us also should remember that we each view the issue from the snapshot of what we see hunting our places, and the drives around the same area we travel. Someone in the next county over, or even a few farms away gets a totally different snapshot. Only when enough of the snapshots are combined together does an credibility to the view come out.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 05:31 PM

clint maybe thats the problem we all wear camo didnt chuck adams used to wear flannels and blue jeans

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 05:33 PM

“Mr. Anthony, sounds like you, and the “people” that told DNR what to do are/should be the biologists running the show. Why aren’t you? Is there a good reason?”—ad.

Yes, there is a good reason ad. It’s because I run a construction company, a taxidermy company, am an outdoor product tester, not to mention an outdoor writer, nearly full time hunter, a father, a husband, a pro-staffer and advisor to several hunting companies. It’s hard for me to do my job and to do theirs also! BUT, I would in a heartbeat if they would step aside. They certainly aren’t doing what their paid to do.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 12/09 at 05:49 PM

I just get sick of hearing the negative opinions/issues related to deer mgt. stereotyping ALL of DNR as bums.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 06:06 PM

I understand some concern. My area appears to have shown a decrease in #‘s, as well. Just not sure the population is going to continue in this direction. I hope the deer are out there, or bounce back fairly quickly.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 06:24 PM

You make a good point Tom. All DNR employees are not “bums”. In fact I am sure that most are great people who go to work each day and try to do the best job possible. I am also sure that there are political hurdles that DNR employees face that the general public is not aware of. Still, Illinois deer biologist Paul Shelton is one whose record is clear. He manages by numbers and nothing else. This is not an opinion but comes right from John Buhnerkempe at an IBS meeting in Decatur a few years ago. Our deer herd should be managed by more than mere numbers and politics. Shelton was a waterfowl biologist from Tennessee hired because of his experience using “computer models” with waterfowl populations. His hiring is a 20 year experiment which proved to be a complete failure 10 years or more ago. In my opinion Shelton is one of the worst government paid deer biologist in the entire United States. While his being a DNR employee may not reflect well on the rest of you, I dont think anyone is lumping all DNR employees together although the DNR as an agency of our state government is responsible for his actions. Marc Miller, whom I do like and respect, really needs to look at finding a new position for Shelton ASAP. Ron Wilmore is a DNR biologist whom I greatly respect and he would have my full support if he were put in charge of the Illinois deer herd. I would also give anyone else a fair chance with our deer herd and that includes you Tom. While many of us may be passionate about the Illinois deer herd, most of us are open minded enough to give a new guy a chance. Shelton has had his chance. It lasted 20 years and it was a complete failure.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 06:38 PM

“I just get sick of hearing the negative opinions/issues related to deer mgt. stereotyping ALL of DNR as bums.”-ad.

Yeah, I know. We just get sick of watching the deer herd shrink every year with no one listening.
FYI, I have friends that work for the DNR and they do a darn good job! I’m pointing the blame of the mismanagement of our deer herd to the top.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 12/09 at 06:58 PM

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