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Illinois hunting and fishing

Jim Mordacq of Springfield sent in this picture of bucks in a field from last week. Mordacq said he’s once again seeing some big bucks after not being able to photograph much bone in the week prior to last.

A quiver full of archery tidbits

October 04, 2009 at 04:36 AM

Rambling through the outdoors with a quiver full of deer details accumulated through four days of archery season.

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There are 158,001 bowhunters in Illinois. The state says there are 158,000, but they don’t know even I picked up a bow this fall. For years I avoided archery hunting because there was too much else on my plate. That was a mistake. Shooting the bow is fun and I can’t wait to spend more time in the timber during relatively warm weather. ... My problem so far with bowhunting is the expense. That occurred to me the other day while searching on hands and knees for an errant arrow launched into a cornfield. No way my budget can afford losing many $12 arrows and $13 broadheads. ... How much is bowhunting on my mind? We just inherited a “free” cat that we named Bull’s-eye, thanks in part to its unique markings. Ironically, several feral cats that crossed my path over the years also appeared to be wearing Bull’s-eyes.

              X X X

Olympic silver medalist and Mason City native Vic Wunderle is one of the world’s most accurate target archers with a recurve bow. So what does he shoot when he comes home to hunt in Mason County? A Mathews Monster or Drenalin compound bow. “For me, every time I pick one up it’s like eating a piece of candy,” said Wunderle, 33. “The compound industry has advanced so far from where it was when I was a kid. They are just so much more efficient than recurve bows.” ... Peoria’s All About Game company is out of business and founder Mark Nelan is selling tree stands, ground blinds and other hunting gear for bargain prices. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (309) 453-1180. ... One day into bow season there were already rumors that a buck with a typical rack of more than 200 inches had been killed in Illinois. While anything is possible, it’s worth noting only two Prairie State typicals ever topped 200 inches: Mel Johnson’s 204 4/8-inch Peoria County bowkill in 1965 and Brian Damery’s 200 2/8-inch Macon County gun kill in 1993.

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The combination of a Thursday opener and rainy weather limited participation last week. Overall harvest on opening day of bow season was under 1,200 deer, more than 300 behind last year. ... Weather also had an impact at Jubilee College State Park, where 74 archers signed up to hunt opening morning. They shot four does. ... It will be interesting to see if participation remains down all season. So far the sale of non-resident archery tags lags behind last year. Through Thursday 17,635 of the $401 combo tags had been sold, meaning another 7,365 are available. That’s what happens when permit prices keep inching up and the stock market keeps inching down. Biologist Paul Shelton said sales of resident bow tags are also lagging. Another surprise, Shelton said, is that there were Pike County either-sex firearm tags left heading into random daily drawings. ... According to State Farm, odds of hitting a deer in Illinois are 1 in 228, which ranks 30th in the U.S. Since 2002, collision rates in Illinois are up 3 percent. And in 2008, American Family Insurance had 1,710 deer-vehicle collision claims in Illinois worth $4.4 million.

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Justin Taylor of Farmington spent Friday in a tree stand and never saw a deer. No problem. Taylor’s already got a freezer full of venison. Last week he found a basket-rack 8-pointer that had nearly strangled after tangling with a hay bale near Bartonville. “You know those big bales of hay with nylon netting around them? Well he got into that and dragged about 150 foot of that and tangled it around his head, his antlers and his neck. He was just about strangling himself,” Taylor said. “We tried to get him loose but he had it wrapped around his antlers 60 to 70 times.” A conservation police officer was called to dispatch the young buck. ... Revisionist history: Last week we ran a chart with Illinois archery harvest totals. Well, many totals were recently revised to account for duplicate entries that were “most likely the result of hunters trying to obtain a deer pin,” said biologist Tom Micetich. So last year’s harvest of 64,920 actually ranks second all-time behind 66,094 in 2005-06. 

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Got a favorite trail camera picture? Any trail-cam horror stories? Send them my way for an upcoming article. ... Speaking of trail-cams, whitetail writer Les Davenport recently penned an article for prairiestateoutdors.com that listed ReConyx and BuckEye as the best models on the market. On the bargain side, Davenport had kind words for the Moultrie I-45 and I-65. ... A few weeks ago, Mike Rave of Bloomington donated a gift certificate for a free youth doe hunt Saturday and next Sunday in Fulton County with Timberland Outfitters. We planned to give that to a youngster who wrote the best essay about hunting. Since nobody submitted an entry, the hunt now goes to the first caller at (309) 686-3212. ... Archers beware: Bowhunters must wear blaze orange next weekend during the youth hunt. ... Parting shot: Here’s betting the day will come when the number of archery deer hunters in Illinois surpasses the number of gun hunters (203,000 last year).

 

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Go get em snot sleeves!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 07:56 PM

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