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Illinois hunting and fishing

A bear on the prairie

January 11, 2009 at 04:46 AM

Hibernate, or not?

Shouldn’t a black bear be hibernating instead of wandering farm fields in Bureau County?

Yes, but not always says Dr. Lynn Rogers, director of the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn.

“That varies a lot with the part of the country they are in. When you get into the eastern deciduous forest which is more like Illinois, with hickory nuts and acorns, there’s a chance for food in the winter,” Rogers said. “When you get a really good crop of nuts, some bears will stay up all winter pawing through the snow.

“And when you get a warm spell in the winter, a lot of bears will respond to it” by waking up and feeding.

Here are other black bear facts courtesy of Rogers’ http://www.bear.org Web site.

  • Black bears are 4-7 feet from nose to tail. Males typically weigh 125-500 pounds, females 90-300 pounds.
  • A black bear’s hearing is more than twice the sensitivity of human hearing and exceeds human frequency ranges.
  • Black bears are capable of running up to 35 mph.
  • Preferred foods are nuts, acorns, fruits, insects, grains and succulent greens.
  • Black bears can live 21-34 years.

In two summers of family fishing trips to northern Wisconsin, the Balensiefen family has yet to see a black bear.

Turns out all they had to do was hang around their farm southwest of Buda. That’s where on Dec. 30 Cheryl Balensiefen snapped pictures of the first black bear documented roaming the wilds of Illinois in at least 42 years.

The Balensiefens join a growing number of Bureau County residents who have encountered the bear since it was first spotted near Sheffield last June. In recent weeks, Tim Bennett and Chris Wilson of Wyanet also photographed the bear.

“We were working to put up a grain house and the girl I work with (Chelsey Molln) said ‘I heard the stories before, but you always wondered how long the people that told them had been sitting in the bar,’” Wilson said. “Then she said, ‘Finally I’ve seen it with my own eyes and can say it’s true.’”

And unlike the last black bear wandering Illinois — the one that eventually guzzled a can of Mountain Dew while a group of onlookers stood nearby — this bruin shows no sign of wanting to hang around humans.

“We came up on him pretty fast in our truck in the corner of a field and he turned and looked at us like, ‘Don’t mess with me,’” said Kent Balensiefen, who drove while his wife took pictures.

Then the bear climbed a fence and ran through a small patch of woods and across farm fields. The most recent bear sighting since came last Saturday 7 miles north of Wyanet.

No doubt there will be more in the days to come.

Less certain is whether this bear is wild or a captive release. Wild or not, the bear raises another more important question: Are Illinoisans ready to cohabitate with a predator that can top 500 pounds?

So far most residents of Bureau County seem content with that concept. The county Sheriff’s Office, for instance, is taking reports (815-875-3344) but asks that nobody approach or harm the bear.

“I think people around here just want him to be left alone,” Cheryl Balensiefen said. “Or they want the conservation department to tranquilize him and put him in a safer place.”

The latter is very unlikely.

What’s more probable is that a hunter will take matters into their hands, since there is no legal protection for bears in Illinois. “They can be taken at any time as long as you have permission from the landowner where they are found,” said Bob Bluett, state furbearer biologist.

Bears are not protected because they were thought to have been wiped out of Illinois in the mid-1850s. The lone documented report since then is of a black bear killed in the Big Muddy River Bottoms of southern Illinois in 1966 according to Donald Hoffmeister’s “Mammals of Illinois.”

The times are changing for predators, though. A mountain lion was shot in suburban Chicago last summer. Wolves pass through the Prairie State with regularity. Now we finally have a documented bear.

With that in mind, the Department of Natural Resources is seeking to protect all three top-level predators. The proposal is not to list them as endangered species, but rather to prevent random killings.

“I don’t think people want to see them completely unprotected and they don’t want them afforded complete protection,” Bluett said. “(Bears) are cool animals and we’d like to see them around, but we recognize they can cause problems.

“(Bears) tend to interact with people in negative ways more so than wolves or cougars. Because they’ll eat corn and get into people’s garbage.”

That said, there’s no cause for sudden panic. The National Center for Health Statistics says that for every person killed by a black bear, 60 are killed by dogs, 180 by bees and 350 by lightning. 

So black bears don’t worry me much. Actually, I’m envious of anyone who has seen this bear. And I agree with Cheryl Balensiefen’s take on things.

“We were excited to see him in our own yard,” she said. “Now we just are hoping nobody shoots him.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Finally, here’s a picture taken by Chris Wilson that same day south of Buda. He said the bear ran right in front of his truck.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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

WHAT a beautiful animal, look how plush his fur is, those eyes seem to see right through you,its been eating good, look how big his paws are,the HUNTER says as he is standing over the carcass,NO he was a beautiful animal now he is just a dead bear!!!!!! I AM a hunter and i love to hunt more than almost anything,but i would do anything to help this animal live to breed and bring more of these creatures back to illinois,lets do what we can to prevent the killing of this guy,so our kids might someday have a chance to have a bear hunting season,right here in our state instead of traveling 100s of miles to even see one in the wild !!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 09:17 AM

I say kill it if you get the chance…I would. As for having a Bear season in IL., good luck. The bunny huggers wouldnt allow it. Just look at NJ and the problems theyre having with getting a Bear hunt…and theyre over run with Bears….... No thanks.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 10:03 AM

Sensorship is a alive and well on this site Ronbo, so I will put it like this.  If you really think that killing this bear would be some great feat then you must not be a real ethical hunter.  Ya sound a little green, considering some of your blogging.  As a die hard hunter I don’t think I could pull the trigger on this bear.  Its obvious that it is out of its element here in Illinois and hopefully it will be tranqualized and removed to where it came from.  I’m not a bleeding heart I just think there are people out there enjoying it being around.  If you want to shoot a bear take your bow and your crimson talons up to Canada where you can sit over a bait pile and shoot one. In the mean time I am going to go whack a big fat doe with my broadheads that shoot straight. By the way Ronbo, if your broadheads are shooting 4-6 inches low, its time to re-tune your bow, not go and buy more broadheads.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 02:21 PM

Pull the trigger? You must be one of those techie bowhunter wannabes. Maybe instead of telling Ronbo about his broadheads, you should learn what a real bow is. You criticize hunting over bait in Canada, but shoot a techie thing and call yourself a bowhunter? Cheating is cheating. Be a man and get rid of those training wheels.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 04:06 PM

Let’s be clear here.  Bears are dangerous animals.  They kill pets, livestock and humans.  I will feel no remorse if it is killed by a hunter, a farmer, or a concerned Bureau County resident.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 05:55 PM

scrane, let me see you are one of those elitest stick bow shooters whom thinks that is the only way to hunt.  For your information I do own a recurve and shoot it often, it a great bow and by the way I was out tonight with it. I was just talking to my buddy today about buying a black widow bow and seeing if they are worth the money.  Maybe you can help me on that subject too since you are so knowledable on recurves.  My recurve is awesome love to turkey hunt and deer hunt with it come late season and yes I do own a compound training wheel, techie bow too.  By trigger I was referring to anything you pull a trigger on.  Maybe one day you can get off your elitest high horse and realize there are alot more training wheel shooters out there than your stick bow, so get over it.  Also if you haven’t figured it out by now, guns have triggers too.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 06:00 PM

I think that it would be perfectly fine for a law abodong hunter to harvest this awesome animal.  The prospect of a bear season in Illinois is very far, as is the thought that maybe our DNR will tranq this bear and relocate it.  You seem to forget this is the same DNR that is closing parks and slashing budgets all over.  As far the argument of techie it is petty arguments like that, as long the weapon you are using is a legal choice and it is a fair chase hunt, who cares what you use.  We hunters have to stick together to standup to the so called “bunny huggers”.  If you get a chance to harvest this awesome all be it misplaced animal I say the pull the trigger and hunt on.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 07:30 PM

Wow all forgive the bad spelling and grammer in my prior statement, must of been a computer glich LOL.  Im smarter then that statement makes me sound.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 07:32 PM

No wonder the hunting laws in Illinois are the way they.  Apparently, there are a lot of unethical hunters in Illinois.  Only an unethical hunter would shoot that bear.  Every person that has seen that bear wants no harm to come to it.  Leave the bear alone.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 08:43 PM

If we want to stick together as hunters how the hell can you say shoot this Bear???? Come on now thats what the tree huggers want us to do. Lets do this bear a favor and find him or her a mate!! This Bear is roaming just 6 miles from where I live and I would love to see it in the wild. Oh yes I would love to kill a Bear, but not this one where there is not a season for it. Let the Bear run wild, it hasn’t hurt anyon and is scared to death of humans. There hasn’t been any report of the guy getting into anyones garbage or anything. LET HIM LIVE!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 08:43 PM

I am surprised you guys haven’t bitched about the possibility of an out of stater killing that bear off leased land by an unscrupulous outfitter, who pushed you out of your family spot. The bear has not harmed anyone yet, and until it does, get a grip fellows, or better yet a life. Just because it is not protected, does not mean you have to go out and kill it. You tough guys need to grow up and not be so afraid of a black bear.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 09:13 PM

I did not mean for my statement to be viewed as lets run out and kill this helpless animal.  I was just trying to point out that this animal would be classified as a nonnative nuisance’s animal and much like any other nuisance animal you would not encourage people to let it breed.  It is only a matter of time before this animal begins to prey on livestock and pets, and I can guarantee that people will not be singing its praises when it has dined on fluffy.  Also what happens when it roams onto someone’s backyard and attacks a child or someone who is simply trying to take a picture of it?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 09:33 PM

illbowhunter…..You misunderstood me. I didnt say that killing that bear would be a great feat. I meant that if the bear was by my treestand I would shoot it. I would never go track that bear down just to kill it….thats not how I roll. That bear is nowhere near where I hunt. Maybe someday I will go to Canada and hunt a bear over a bait pile, without the crimson talons of course…and by the way…it’s not the bow, it’s the broadheads. The field points are dead on. The broadheads are dif. from the previous talons I have used. They changed them and the new ones shoot low. I didnt notice the dif. in them until after shooting them…they are not the same as the older ones. Take some time and add some comments about your broadheads on the forum, I’d like to know what you use and have used.
P.S. I’d love to just see that bear running wild through the field…just hope it isnt chasing someone any time soon.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 09:49 PM

Ronbo, glad we got that cleared up, its just cool that the bear is running around and making some people happy.  Its about 50 miles down the road from me and I would love to see it.  I have seen a few bears out hunting elk and would love to spot and stalk one, so I am not an anti-bear killer.  As for broadheads, I have been through a bunch in my days from fixed to mechanicals.  I have alot of friends that shoot Rage two bladed and they love them, I shoot a broadhead called Wac Em, they are easy to tune and sharp as hell.  I have killed elk, whitetails and turkeys with them, check em out.  Not a easy one to find but Cabelas carrys them.  Good luck in your bowhunting, stick with it. Its a great sport no matter what kind of bw you shoot.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/11 at 10:23 PM

hmmm. i say let it live ..as far as the bear attacking someone, we have all seen footage or read stories of deer attacking,deer jumping through windows and hurting people,people hurt in deer vehicle crashes.Anyone worried about this bear attacking someone i wonder if you are out on a regular basis to kill yotes.part of nature and we will probably never have a season for them,but hey hunting is great seeing many different animals my wife had a blast just seeing pheasants walk by.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 07:55 AM

WTF!?!?  Let it live!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 08:26 AM

Shouldn’t we decide whether the bear should be shot or not based on the number of “bear-auto” collisions in the state of IL?  That would be the way to do it based on the joint-task force recommendations for whitetails in IL.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 12:14 PM

Hey Dave. Your idiotic “tough net” guys comments proves my point. And a child has a far better chance of being attacked by a dog or a bumblebee than a bear. If it attacks livestock or a family pet then deal with it, but there is no reason for pre-emptive killing of a species that does not even belong in IL. Really guys, get a grip, people live with bears in many other states that have a legitimate population and season, and they have no kill it on sight fear.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 12:22 PM

WOW! whats up with this blog? This is usually a very VERY calm and friendly site. A lot of the above post are embarassing!

Bottom line folks, whether the bear is tranq’d and relocated or harvested by a hunter, it needs to go. This Bear does not belong here. Its the only of its kind here. It should be in its natural habitat and that is NOT IL.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 12:47 PM

Wow, a bear wanders in to the area and some people want to kill it.  It might kill kids, or pets, or livestock.  Get a grip.  I used to live in an area full of bears.  They would wander thru the yard, never ate one of my labs, all my neighbors had livestock, and no childern disappeared.  They would get into the trash, eat the dogs food, and tear down the bird feeder.  We walked in the woods, fished along the river, and scouted crops back off the roads.  Never knew anyone who got attacked.  By the pictures it is not a real big bear.  I think it is great to have one wander thru.  Your fears are unfounded, let it be.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 04:00 PM

Additionally, if the fact about black bears are read, it states the, “Preferred foods are nuts, acorns, fruits, insects, grains and succulent greens.”  I couldn’t find where black bears eat, little children and dogs.  Good point from Jeff2020, bears are extinct in Illinois.  Maybe they will make a comeback. Again, leave it be.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 06:38 PM

I’m an Illinois resident hunter, this is not our game.

Whitetail, Whitetail, Whitetail, Whitetail.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 06:58 PM

Not an expert on bear biology, but isn’t this guy supposed to be hibernating this time of year?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 07:35 PM

Illinois is within the Black Bear’s formerly extensive range.
They have been extirpated from the state by human encroachment.

Let this guy alone and let nature take it’s course.
Either it establishes a home range, which it may have already done, or it moves on.

If it puts down roots in Bureau County, it will likely be alone for all of it’s life, but perhaps not.
 
Unless it becomes a niusance, it would be a shame for someone to shoot or otherwise kill this adventurous “pioneer”.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 07:44 PM

The DNR is broke but PETA has millions in its war chest why dont they come in and tranq the bear and move it discovery channel can air ir along side with the stupid show whale wars The bear is very young and dumb most adult bears move at night much like mature bucks make no mistake though if it gets hungry enough it will kill fido but it will not hunt humans but like all wild animals it will attack if provoked to the hunters who want to kill that bear if you do dont call it a trophy its far from trophy status, that would be impressive killing an animal thats lost wondering aimlessly during daylight hours so go out and kill a couple dozen does that will make you a man and a hero on this site

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 08:08 PM

PETA doesnt help animals.
http://www.petakillsanimals.com/
Peta and HSUS are collecting millions of dollars to get hunting banned. At the moment they are just sitting back having a laugh at hunters fighting with each other doing thier work for them.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 08:37 PM

Wow finally someone else who sees the big picture I wish more hunters shared your insight Ronbo United we Stand divided we fall The antis are waiting and laughing and hoping someone shoots that bear then they will act. They are allegedly leasing ground in some southern states in an effort to stop hunting thats a new tactic I hope it doesnt find its way here

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 09:45 PM

Peta has also gone as far as applying for big game tags in Arizona so they no longer have a online service out there where you can apply for tags.  Everything is paper and cash up front.  Peta figured that as long as they could use credit cards they would flood the system with non-hunter applications so real hunters had less of a chance in drawing a tag.
They are always looking for ways to shut us out.  I am all for getting this bear back to where it belongs so we can put this to rest.  The longer it stays, the more chances it has at being killed and thats what us hunters don’t need.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/12 at 10:28 PM

I agree, there are a few black bears in Central/Southern Wisconsin.  They are generally not aggressive and he is not that far south of where it is a common to see one occassionally. They are not scavengers like fox, coyotes and vultures unless they are reallly hungry.  They are not carnivors either.  For the most part they eat fruits, nuts, berrys, corn and will occassionally knock over a trash container.  Unless someone caught it as a cub and set it free in this area, I would say it should stay here.  If it moves on, so be it.  If the habitat is suitable, you’ll see more of them eventually, if there isn’t more than one already.  They have sniffers on them good as any hunting dog, and sooner or later, it will be looking for some companionship!  I know they can be a nuisance, but people all over this country live around them and you very seldom hear of a black bear harming a person.  When it does happen, normally it is because they were threatened or cornered.  Therefore, we should leave him be.  Educate yourselves and your children.  Lets see if the population will grow a little.  As I see it, black bears did roam the Illinois Prairie at one time.  They likely moved North and further West because people moved in and cleared so much of the natural prairie.  It’s just a dumb animal.  I would think most respectable hunters would just stand there in awe at the site of this thing right here in good ol Bureau County.

Posted by Tom on 01/12 at 11:56 PM

This Bear is doing just fine here in Bureau Co. He looks healthy in the photo’s and I have heard from a few farmers in that area that he has been eating cluton out of there bunker. He has been here for 8 months so I would say the habitat is just fine. Lets leave him be and see what happens. Anyone that says the would go out and kill this Bear is not a good ethical hunter and should stay out of the woods. LET HIM LIVE!! If he start harming livestock or pets then we might want to think about relocating him, until then let him be! Its not the first bear in the USA.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/13 at 07:53 AM

I would say;Impeach the bear from Illinois and put it in a cell with the Gov

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 07:56 AM

I aggree with you Andy. Well said

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:57 AM

Andy, way to speak up. I am in total aggreement with you too.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 11:06 AM

Oh gosh, if we all don’t hunt Andy’s way, then we’re idiots.  No - I don’t hunt over bait, nor do I bear hunt - but I am a killer in that I do kill deer.  You kill as well, so just because you kill “less” than someone else or kill what you believe is the right age/sex of deer, you think you’re to be looked up to or something.

And Andy probably hunts the same 300 acres he has for the last 20 years and since he saw fewer deer this year, he’s made the leap in judgement to say there’s no more deer left in all of IL.  I’m not defending the DNR as they need to do a better job on herd estimation.  But I think it’s hypocritical to say the DNR has no clue on the deer population, but “Handy Andy” knows better based on just the 300 acres he’s always hunted and what he saw this year.

I do agree though - leave the bear alone unless you are personally attacked by it and need to defend yourself.  Since there’s not many people in that area (yeah - I’ve hunted up by Hennepen this year and year’s past and know the area), should be a remote chance this happens.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 11:22 AM

huntindude   Your statement where you’re pretty much defending the DNR and it’s “task force” has left you with no credibility.  And for your information I’ve huntd public ground in Moultrie, Shelby, and Dewitt county for atleast the last 15 years with ZERO private ground access except for some ground in Southern Illinois 4 hours away.
Based on your reaction, you would fall into the killmonger group huh?  Imagine that!  Most of them do get a little defensive when called out.  Let me guess, you have a whole box of basket racks in your garage and you shoot 12 to 15 deer a year.  BINGO!
You are right, I won’t shoot a little buck and I won’t shoot everything that walks by.  The whack em and stack em days are almost over because when the going gets tough you guys will find another hobby.
When Shelton and Sullivan read this they’re taking you to dinner.  #1 supporter of the DTF!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 11:49 AM

Story time! With regard to what to do with this bear, I want to tell you a true story.

Back in the 1970’s, a farmer was working in his fields somewhere in Iowa, when he spotted this huge chunk of blue ice. FYI, this was in the middle of the summer. The news soon traveled and within an hour or so and he had half of the community in his field looking at this chunk of blue ice. Arguments started on what to do with it as some saw it as a miracle of nature coming up from the ground, and others saw it as a rare object worth a ton of money, and others just wanted to have it saved just so they could see what it actually is made of. Before any rational decision was made, some guy rushed in, grabbed the blue ice and ate a piece, so he could say he was the first one to taste this incredible object. Well, it turned out to be toilet waste from a Boeing 727’s restroom that was dumped at 30,000+ ft. (Can someone hand me a puke bucket please)!

As far as the bear is concerned, yes, we all know it’s a bear but can’t we wait a bit before someone shoots it just to let nature take its course? Who really knows what will happen with him. I would love to hunt a bear in IL. as they were once native to our state, but I don’t have to be the first one to kill it. If another bear drifts in and they re-inhabit our state, great! If not, OK, but we won’t know how nature will handle this situation and I think it would be interesting to find out! Just for the record, I’m not criticizing anyone who would shoot this bear, just trying to paint a possibility to ponder.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 01:35 PM

Oh Andy - you must not be able to read, as I clearly stated that I was NOT defending the DNR.  and stay on topic - I challenged your very, very, very limited area of expertise in deer estimation and you go on a rant about killmongering.  I also think the task force are idiots and nothing more than a lobby group for the Insurance companies.  Until the DNR approves the DTF recommnedations, don’t tie the two though (although I’m sure they will approve them). 

And yep - I kill my share of deer.  Yep - I do have small racks (each one mounted on a nice plaque and hung on a wall, not in a pile in the garage) that I shot in earlier years of hunting (all with a bow).  They are right by the 3 full mounts (130”, 135”, & 150”) that I have hanging that i shot over the past 5 yrs. 

The past 5 yrs or so, I’ve changed to where I just shoot does and only bucks over 130”.  A natural progression as a hunter.  And I was a happy hunter then as I am now.  To each there own, I’m just not the type to knock how another person hunts as long as they do it legally. 

By the way, I’ve killed 3 deer already this year and hope to kill one more doe this weekend . . .

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 05:02 PM

Lampe writes some real nice articles on this wonderful site, and we find a way to fight about every little thing we can. Damn can’t wait till spring, looks like theres a lot of cabin fever already. Lets all get along as hunters!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:30 PM

Hey GA79:  Could you please explain what you meant when you wrote: “I have heard from a few farmers in that area that he has been eating cluton out of there bunker.”?  What is ‘cluton out of there bunker?’  It’s great to have black bears, mountain lions, and wolves around again in Illinois and the rest of the midwest.  That means that in spite of what the environmentalists say…...the natural world is expanding its territory and the Illinois countryside is a desireable habitat.  But don’t kid yourself into thinking that everything is just great with large predators roaming the Illinois woods.  There were good reasons that they were eliminated from the Illinois country in the first place.  Black bears are responsible for far more fatal attacks in Canada and the United States every year than are Grizzly bears.  California has hikers, bicyclists, and campers killed every year by cougar attacks.  And, I’ve known people who had coyotes carry off their small dogs and other pets in Arizona.  That said, I personally don’t have any problem with letting the bear run wild, just as long as everyone knows that it may not be without circumstances. It might be better for everyone if it was darted and restocked to a more suitable habitat for a black bear.  Like the guy said in Jurassic Park, just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean that you should do it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 12:55 AM

This is like Bowsite, they pull your posts if they don’t like what you’re saying.  I followed all the pool rules 1-5??

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 08:55 AM

BigD I mispelled Gluton. It a by product of Ethanol or Distillers grain. Gluton is fed to cattle and comes in kind of a liquid form. Farmers store it in open bunkers like silage. The bear was seen eating out of the bunker on several different occasions. I aggree with you Big D on the part of relocating if he or she starts causing trouble. You talk about coyotes eating small dogs in Arizona, hell the do that here also.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 09:02 AM

Thank you for that ga79.  It makes perfect sense now.  Oh yeah….does that mean that we have a “drunk” bear running around in Bureau County now?  Does ‘gluton’ ferment like silage does?  No wonder that bear is so ‘laid back.’ 8>)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 09:39 AM

PLEASE DONT SHOOT THE BEARS!!!

wisconsin has bears, and i dont remember hearing about alot of attacks coming fom up there. as far as overpopulating like NJ - we dont have the habitat to support bears.

the bottom line is that they arent hurting anybody so leave them alone. and anybody who WOULD shoot them is not a sportsman, hes a killer, and theres a big difference.

Posted by Traci_H on 01/15 at 03:15 PM

i am wondering if anyone including the department are conducting any surveys, tests or investigations on where this bear came from. in my opinion the department needs to be conducting an investigation as to the reason why this bear is here natural or otherwise my opinion is that this bear was “relocated” and if i was to guess its the departments doing thats why we dont here of an investigation. so to everyone who says lets just let him be let me ask you this how far do you let your kids wander from home now? my kids love to wander the fields and go down to the creek if i knew of a bear or bears in the area i doubt id let them go. bears are not going to make it in central illinois at least not among the corn fields and creeks and broken brushland we have what are they going to eat come on people the bear needs to go and we need to find out where and why it is here and i believe that we need to as citizens of illinois need to keep a tab on our government and ask what they are doing as far as animals they are releasing in to the wild personally i have heard that they have been releasing rattlesnakes, bobcats cougars and wolves wouldnt surprise me in the least to hear they are releasing bears,

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 07:47 PM

if the state wasnt releasing these animals than why are they going out of there way to protect bears wolves and cougars

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 08:07 PM

RJ because like the buffalo that once roamed the praire we hunters would hunt them into extinction we need laws and regulations because its obvious by reading some of these post without them we would have nothing left

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 10:05 PM

Come on RJ, the state releasing these above mentioned animals, highly unlikely.  What you hear is speculation.  As urban sprawl spreads accross civilization these animals have to relocate.  The young males are driven out first, they roam until they can set up their own territory.  Thats why we are seeing more cases of wolves and cougars wandering into Illinois.  Its not like the DNR goes to the 7-11 and purchases a couple of mountain lions to release so they can propagate.  It is more than likely that this bear relocated from Wisconsin based on its sightings.  As for Black bears attacking children, if that were the case there wouldn’t be a bear alive in Montana, New Mexico, Alaska, etc, etc, etc.  Illinois supporting a black bear population, I doubt that would or could ever happen except for maybe around the Shawnee National forest. If you believe that the DNR is releasing wolves, rattlesnakes and cougars, then you just best keep on believing because I just heard they released Big foot.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 11:29 PM

State wildlife agencies do attempt to repopulate certain species from time to time.  Turkey here famously.  Wisconsin has made a concerted effort to repopulate the gray wolf since the mid-1980s.  They also have attempted to repopulate the fisher, which many consider a nasty animal.  I seem to remember an attempt to repopulate a rattlesnake in the early 1990s, but I can’t substantiate it and it may have been just talk.  My point is that these moves have been highly publicized and acknowledged by the agency.  They have also been accepted by a large segment of the public.  The notion that they would be running predator stocking programs covertly runs contrary to the way these things have happened in the past.  If the IDNR decided to introduce a pack of wolves in the state, it would be done with much fanfare and be a very public event.  They would be proud of it.  Given the opposition to killing the bear on this site and the number of people who view this a good thing, I doubt the DNR would have to keep a bear stocking program from the public.  And besides, why stock just one bear?
By the way, there were black bear in the area I grew up in, and our parents lets us roam freely.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 07:20 AM

Jeff2020, I beleive there is a small population of a rare rattlesnake somewhere near Champain.  Something I didn’t know.  I have a family member whom is a biologist with the DNR and he filled me in on this info, so they are already here.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 09:38 AM

Timber Rattlesnakes are indiginous and rare in Illinois.
Even rarer are Massasauga Rattlers.

http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/animals_plants/herps/species/cr_horridu.html

http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/animals_plants/herps/species/si_catenat.html

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 01:43 PM

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