Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
RulesIllinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::

Scattershooting

Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Print

Commentary: Disease, not cold weather, is reducing deer harvests

January 28, 2014 at 02:24 AM

Peoria Journal Star


This commentary was originally published in the Peoria Journal Star.

I am very curious why the Illinois Department of Natural Resources seems so reluctant to admit to a very obvious and serious factor that has contributed to the overall decline of the number of harvested deer in this state.

In the Jan. 2 Journal Star, a short article on page B3 noted that the overall harvest for the Illinois shotgun deer season was down by more than 25,000. The only excuse listed was the cold weather during the second season.

I feel the truth is that there are significantly fewer deer throughout much of this state. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has taken a huge toll on our deer herd over the past two summers. I have talked to many hunters and have heard numerous, consistent stories about how few deer were seen during the shotgun and bow seasons. Furthermore, there are many stories floating about of landowners finding large numbers of dead deer on their properties this past fall.

I help manage a 240-acre hunting club in Knox County. We keep track of the number of deer harvested, the number of deer seen by our hunters, and then calculate the average number of deer seen each day. That number reached a high of 15.4 in 2005 and this year dropped to a low of 6.8. We also found eight deer carcasses after having walked only about 30 percent of the property. I haven't talked to a single hunter who stayed home the second season because it was too cold, but I have talked to people who closed hunting on their private property because so few deer were seen during the first season.

I suspect that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is aware of this problem, but for whatever reason has chosen not to admit its scope. Perhaps they are still gathering information. My own opinion is based on hearsay and my own observations, but I think that this is a significant problem that may influence deer hunting for years to come.

I hope that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is gathering as much information as possible. Once all the facts are known, these results should certainly be shared with the public. If the problem proves to be as devastating as many hunters believe, then let's hope that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources makes some sound decisions about how to best manage our dwindling deer herd in the years to come.

Steven Clark is a semi-retired physician. He lives in Pekin.

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

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: GoPro crazy: the sledding hill

Previous entry: Preliminary work underway on ND wildlife crossing

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

May 2017
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons