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Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois deer management is working

December 13, 2009 at 04:21 AM

Late-winter hunt ahead

For those who weren’t lucky enough to fill their firearm tags, those permits are still valid during the late-winter season Dec. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 15-17. Unfilled youth, landowner and muzzleloader permits are also valid, provided the county for which they were issued is open to the antlerless-only hunt. Late-winter permits will also be sold over the counter starting Tuesday for $15.50. Click here for information on which counties are open to hunting and which will be selling unlimited late-winter tags.

In the chilly aftermath of firearm deer season, many Illinois hunters face an unusual question. “Where were the deer?”

In spite of a record year for trophy bucks, there’s even some concern about the health of the Illinois deer herd.

Some blame the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for poor deer management.

Not so, I say. While you may not like it, the DNR’s management plan is actually working. See, the DNR wants fewer deer. That’s been the unspoken but obvious management goal since the 1990s.

That’s why more than 360,000 permits were issued this year for firearm hunting. That’s why the late-winter season has grown from three to seven days and now spans two weekends.

We can argue all day if this is the right approach. Most hunters say no. We want to see deer when we hunt, the more the merrier. Talk to someone who drives rural roads, though, and you often hear, “We need to kill more deer.” Stronger still is the voice of the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Balancing those divergent views is a tricky job made tougher by the difficulties of estimating deer populations. Is our herd 700,000? 800,000? Does anyone really know?

What we do know is deer-vehicle collisions peaked in 2004 and have stabilized. And we know all too well that the firearm harvest is on a two-year downturn.

Still, I’m not convinced the population is declining rapidly—not just because I saw a herd of 24 does Thursday (some of which are pictured below) and another herd Friday while muzzleloader hunting.

Illinois hunting and fishing

No question, some timbers have whitetail vacancies. But there are also factors that reduce deer sightings while not necessarily proving there are fewer deer.

In this year of wacky weather and late crop harvest, most Midwestern states report significant harvest declines. Most also had abundant standing corn providing thousands of acres of tall cover for deer. One reason some Illinoisans dispute this is the Chicken Little scenario. Standing corn has been cited as a reason for declining deer harvest so often that the words ring hollow. But this year the sky really did fall. Corn was and is standing in historic amounts.

Beyond that we have more deer hunters, but less access. So more hunters are moved into marginal areas.

We have more bowhunters spending more time in the woods, hunting, scouting and checking trail-cams. Surely this gives deer more time to pattern hunters.

We have more outfitters, many of whom lease huge tracts of land but sit out gun season since bow tags are easier to obtain.

We have no check stations, meaning there’s less reason to report the deer you do kill.

Then again, there are ways to simplify this, as a wise observer recently noted.

If you think your deer numbers are declining, shoot less does. If you have too many does, shoot more does and less bucks. If you want bigger bucks, don’t shoot smaller ones.

Even deer management has room for personal responsibility.

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

can’t wait to see the comments on this one..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 05:30 AM

Granted their is alot of people that are unhappy about the deer they are seeing. Ive seen afew they come and go. now my uncle pulled 6 out last shot gun 4does and 2 bucks. my cousin shot his first pope and yong on their farm in 20 years and hasnt seen any since mabey its alittle of both to blame

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 07:25 AM

Can’t say I’m saddened to see the numbers dwindling.  We have been spoiled for years on the quality and quanity of deer the land has provided for us.  Too many people have gottne “lazy” in our sport.  We have become over run with outfitters and non-residents throughout the state.  If these numbers continue to drop, we will see these people packing their things and heading for dodge.  Resident hunters will once again be able to have a couple different farms to hunt.  Hunters will have to go back to doing the work to harvest these animals instead of just grabbing their gear and heading for the field, just waiting for the shot.  As a third shift worker who drives one of the most dangerous roads in Central Illinois every night, I’m happy that I don’t have to drive with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake because of all the deer crossings.  The last five years, I have seen less and less deer on this stretch of road and couldn’t be happier.  Too many people are complaining about the way things are going and yet I am one of the few who loves this trend.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:31 AM

Jeff is right, the Illinois/Shelton management plan IS working .... they are blindly wiping out deer. The problem is that the “PLAN” is pathetic and inexcusable. The herd #s can be lowered and we can still have a quality herd. The current approach addresses nothing but decreasing the numbers.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:34 AM

i agree the number iv almost has hit has went down but no matter how they can control the population they push them in to suburbs of cities an then they plague the edges of the cities if u ask me illinois dnr should start urban zone huntin with bow to control this chicago an areas of michigan do this just a week ago seen a doe get hit on a city street in macomb the deer laid for ten minutes got up dazed ran at my car then went to the truck across the street as it was rolling she stuck her head in the rear wheel weel an got dragged for ten feet then ran at mycar again this deer had a bone hangin out her rear leg i had my bow an wanted to put her down but no cops to approve so she went behind some house only for kids or a homeowner to find in the mornin i beleive mostlikely dead as she was blowin blood out her mouth we r pushing some of these deer to wooded subdivisions that pop up all over

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:47 AM

Glad you brought this up Jeff, because this is the only known fact of the season. Everything else is speculation. The DNR/JTF is focusing on herd reduction to reduce DVCs. Plain and simple, printed in black and white. Hunters have really been seeing the “fruits” of this effort (or lack thereof) for the past few years. It should be no surprise. The DNR/JTF spelled it out for us…
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I’m okay with this. Illinois can live with a 10%, 15%, maybe even 25% reduction in the state-wide deer herd. My only concern, and one that is shared by many others, is what the DNR/JTF will do once this target DVC is reached. Will some political force inject the idea that a new, lower DVC is necessary - in which case more extreme efforts will be taken on the deer herd? Or will the DNR relax after seeing dwindling hunter interest (i.e., declining permit sales)? It is at that point that the DNR/JTF should start reintroducing deer biology back into deer management…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 09:45 AM

The past 2 years deer sightings have been down in the areas I hunt. I do believe the numbers are down some, but not as much as I had thought back in October. The areas I hunt have finally got the corn harvested and last night I fianlly saw deer in large numbers enetring the cut fields. I saw about 10 deer right at last light come out of the timber to feed for the night. Took a doe with my smokepole.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 10:15 AM

Saw 9 doe this morning in 2 groups. No bucks. Saw 8 doe, and one forkhorn last night. Saw one 8-10 pt. buck yesterday morning. Too dark too really tell. Saw 18 doe, and 2 smaller bucks Friday night. Numbers are still down in my area, but happy to see not as bad as I had originally thought.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 10:30 AM

Whatever management plan the farm or public land is using that “ad” is hunting on, IT’S WORKING! It is hard to believe that you would see that many deer in a single hunt and still say that “the numbers are down in my area.” I apologize for implying that you didn’t spend enough time in the field, obviously, I was wrong.

Jeff is entirely correct in his assessment of the deer situation in Illinois.  It is a matter of personal responsibility. “If you think your deer numbers are declining, shoot less does. If you have too many does, shoot more does and less bucks. If you want bigger bucks, don?t shoot smaller ones.”
Oh, if it were only that simple.  In reality, you do everything in your management plan to grow, healthy deer.  You plant the clovers, soybeans, bio-mass, fertilize the oak trees, plant persimmons, apples, and pears. You comb the woods for sheds after the season.  You hang and set trail cameras in the off season to inventory your deer. You pass on the young bucks and let them grow up. You kill a few coyotes each year to keep their numbers in check.  You harvest enough does each year to keep the herd in balance.  Then reality sets in.  Opening day of shotgun season you drive by your neighbors place and see five 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year old bucks hanging on their meat pole.  Deer management is as much a matter of educating folks as it is about harvesting deer.  I couldn’t agree more with the statement: “Even deer management has room for personal responsibility.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 11:05 AM

We’ve got as many deer and probably more nice bucks than anywhere you want to mention. Counting 25 to 100 animals along a two mile stretch of road in winter is common.

We also have more than our share of coyotes…which in no way has restrained the growth of the local deer herd or for that matter, the rabbit, pheasant and turkey populations.

It’s about habitat and I don’t mean just planting a food plot or a salt block.

It’s about management…which means understanding how hunting pressure interacts on the ecosystem.

And by management, I mean, harvesting mature bucks, large does and not killing the predators who are actually the “deer hunter’s friend” and not just another target.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 12:17 PM

No doubt the DNR is killing more deer.  Tens of thousands more permits issued.  Extended seasons.  But is it the right thing to do in all areas?  Is it working in the areas that need it most?  Could it be doing more harm than good in some areas?  Nobody knows the answers to these questions… but there’s no doubt that the DNR is still doing everything they can to kill more deer in nearly every single county in IL.  Jeff, if things really are trending down… and the “management” is working… why do you suppose the DNR added so many more days to hunt this year, along with thousands more permits including unlimited 10 day doe seasons in some areas???  With all the extra seasons and permits isued this year, do we really need to kills tens of thousand more deer across the entire state?
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And contrary to what the DNR thinks, HUNTERS should have some say-so in the management of the deer herd.  Yes, hunters want to have a good quality herd.  The farmers, insurance companies, and DNR biologists shouldn’t be the only ones who get their way with a greatly reduced deer herd.  As for DVA’s… one study ranks IL pretty far down the list in terms of numbers of DVA’s.  Some day the DNR will learn that the ones footing most of the bill for the deer herd (hunters, through licenses and permits) should get some benefit as well.
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When many of us see lower harvest numbers, we think that maybe the deer herd isn’t as big as it once was.  When the DNR sees reduced harvest numbers, they think that hunters aren’t killing enough deer… so they issue more permits and create new seasons to kill more deer.  They come up with excuses as to why deer weren’t killed (weather, standing corn, etc.).  I don’t think it ever occurs to Shelton that the herd could actually be trending down in some areas.  I think his computer is just telling him that his “population” model is correct.  When hunters miss the DNR’s target, it makes them think they need to kill more deer.
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Take for example that the state of IA thinks that their phone-in harvest system only captures 86% of the actual kill (they actually did checks to prove this number).  Didn’t this downward trend in IL start about the time the check stations disappeared?  If you miss 14% of the actual kill every year, how long does it take until your computer population model is off? More deer are being killed, but the DNR thinks hunters aren’t killing enough.  So while the herd actually shrinks, the DNR issues more permits to kill more deer.  The following year, the harvest shrinks again, and the DNR issues more permits AND expands seasons… which result in even more unreported kills.  So while the computer model sees an “increasing” herd every year, the herd is actually going down.
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I’m not saying that it’s ALL the fault of check stations going away, but it’s one thing that COULD make the computer models wrong.

Posted by KC-IBS on 12/13 at 01:38 PM

Lets see smaller deer herds, less sightings, more seasons equals less recruitment of youth hunters. Seriously there aren’t many kids that will sit there just to see 1 deer in 7 days. when the numbers are where they want them i’m sure they are going to issue the same # of tags. Seems to me they need to get some more accurate herds #‘s by examining smaller regions. they could then limit and issue tags to maintain herds. a simple servey post on DNR’s web page would help. i live a few miles from Indiana and can drive around and scout deer, I may see maybe 6 deer in IL and 25-50 in IN. It’s a good thing i can hunt on the state line.  I save this spot for late season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 01:45 PM

Great article Jeff, basically sums up all of my posts on this situation in one nice neat little story.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 03:25 PM

Did you really have to write an article about opening the season wide open is ” working” on decreasing the herd?  I thought that when you printed a deer tag for every 1.5 deer in the state and gave them 3.5 full months to use most of them that common since would say the herd would be decreasing? 

Their plan is working… killing deer… by bringing the population down to tiny levels on ground where residents are hunting while allowing outfitters/ and state lands to create “red zones”... their plan of just killing deer is working wonderfully.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 03:27 PM

you got to be freaking kidding me!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 03:43 PM

“In spite of a record year for trophy bucks “
??

Jeff….What record or record year are you talking about ?????

“the DNR’s management plan is actually working. See, the DNR wants fewer deer.”
Yes…most of us are well aware that the the IDNR & the FB want less deer. What we really want to know Jeff is WHEN will the herd be reduced enough to satisfy them ??????????
The harvest numbers continue to go down & the IDNR keeps selling more antlerless tags, extending seasons, creating new season, making more tags OTC, unlimited antlerless permits some places, ect…..
What will the IDNR do to please the FB next year ??????
Create a Sept deer season, allow baiting, create more antlerless gun season, put a bounty on all deer ??????
==========================================
When will the herd be reduced enough ????
.....
There is the really story most deerhunters want to read !!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 05:46 PM

IF YOU CANT FILL A TAG IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS THEN YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE A HUNTER!!!!!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 06:25 PM

Lynn, Like you, my comment would be on that one statement- I’m not sure why Jeff thinks this is a record year for trophy bucks- the number of bucks featured here on PSO certainly does not justify that- It’s a number of big bucks that private landowners have grown on their own account. And congrats to them, but you can’t go by these on this site and state that fact- The IL Deer Classic has shown a definite drop on the top in bucks over the years- However- There will always be BnC huge bucks in Illinois despite what the DNR does or doesn’t do, as private land managers take matters into their own hands-

I do agree with the just of Jeff’s article, the DNR wildlife division is succeeding with it’s now almost 20 quest to lower the IL. deer herd.right or wrong-good to some people-bad to others- they’re doing that job well-
That “Wise Observers” comment hit’s the nail on the head- The IDNR isn’t killing them- the hunters are!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 06:30 PM

above should have read- “20 year Quest”- Ooops!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 06:34 PM

Any mature buck in Illinois is IN SPITE OF THE DNR, not because of them.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 07:20 PM

I think the DNR will end up destroying the deer herd in Illinois because they won’t give up the profits from tag sales until it’s to late. Most hunters won’t stop either because they don’t want eat a tag, scary situation for the hunters of Illinois. I agree with the poster above who said if your numbers are down shoot less does, if your numbers are good take a few. Pay attention to your own property and manage it for what you want out of it. No shame in eating a couple tags every year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 07:55 PM

I am a first yr bow hunter and was looking for some opinions on things to see how I could improve…yet half the post are DNR related. I have 10 acres that sit in between 2 corns fields that are up…saw lots of tracks in the snow leading top the corn but no deer all three days. Seems to me like more a matter of bad timing than DNR…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:22 PM

THEY WONT SELL 350K PERMITS NEXT YEAR WITH THE PRICE INCREASE. I DONT THINK HUNTERS WILL BUY AS MANY PERMITS AND TAKE THE CHANCE OF EATING THEM LIKE THEY DO NOW.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:37 PM

Tim, I have no idea what criteria Jeff is using, but I wouldn’t put much credence in the Il. Deer Classic either.  First, with the proliferation of outfitters and out of state hunters, I’d bet many big racks are leaving the state, never to see the Land of Lincoln again.  Second, with outfitting and leasing as prevalent as it is, if I did kill a trophy, I sure wouldn’t enter it in the Deer Classic,  or even have an article in the local paper, for fear of having someone making “my” farmer an offer he can’t refuse.  I know of two cases in this area where that has happened.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:38 PM

Comparing numbers of Booners at the deer classic is as good as any other method of determining trends in the big buck harvest. Its not like the deer leaving the state with non-residents or any other factor is new this year. Those things happen every year. I predict it will be down considerably.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 08:52 PM

Spoonriver, you might want to check-out the new research that the QDMA has on fawn kills by coyotes before making a statement like: “And by management, I mean, harvesting mature bucks, large does and not killing the predators who are actually the ?deer hunter?s friend? and not just another target.”  I don’t consider coyotes and other predators of fawns ‘a deer hunter’s best friend,‘but, I bet the IDNR does!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 10:35 PM

No Don, you are wrong. Looking at the size of racks at one weekend event in febuary is a terrible way of measuring a trend in big buck harvest.  I could mess up your results in about 15 minutes if I got all of mine and my friends big racks and took them down there to get hung on the wall. Showing off big bucks isn’t as important to people nowadays. In fact, its a great way to lose the property you hunt, or for the price of hunting ground to get driven up in your county. Its a bad deal and it is getting worse

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 10:40 PM

If you’re not hardly seeing any deer at all where you hunt, I do feel sorry for you. Something needs to be done in these counties/areas. Fortuneately for me, at this time, the sky is not falling yet. Numbers are down, but still a fun place to hunt. Just wish the hunters around me would leave the smaller bucks alone. As well, eating tags is far from a sin.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 10:48 PM

great article jeff lots of true facts, Non residents always shoot big bucks does anyone go out of state to kill a doe DUH i saw six bucks in nr trucks the week i hunted pike   i personally dont know of many taxidermist who turn around a deer head in time for the show. Talk about the dnrs numbers being bogus if you guys are basing buck numbers on the overcrowded deer show it not because hunters arent shooting them they just dont feel the need to brag or fight the crowds lungbuster is right on the money about guys not wanting pictures or press about their bucks for fear of losing their ground I especially liked the wisdom part about letting small bucks walk another reason were having a good year for bruser bucks.people spending 4700 an acre on ground arent shooting dink bucks which in turn helps all hunters if you hunt near an area where everyone practices good deer management your success will be higher then if u hunt next to someone with the brown its down disease

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 11:47 PM

save the whooping crane!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 04:57 AM

“DNR plan is working”—-is this a joke?? Wait..it is working..b/c anyone who knows anything about our state knows IL cares about one thing—$$$$$!~ The IL cash cow cares about selling tags and lots of them..so yes Jeff..you are right..the plan is working b/c selling tags = more $. There are a lot of educated people here giving a lot of great reasons and ideas, all are to be thanked and hopefully we can get this under control before it is too late..those of you telling us how skilled of hunters you are or attacking others—(ex. lungbuster) please leave your non-constructive critisism elsewhere. IL CASH COWS SAYS “MMMOOOOO”!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 08:58 AM

agree about the deer show and big bucks, i won’t take them any more. its easier to pattern a guy who takes a good buck every year than patterning a good buck. so then the landwowners get flooded with calls and don’t like the hassle…. of being bothered about permission from folks they barely know, so they just kick everyone off…....

it’s not that hard to score a deer anyway, and less chance of a mount getting roughed up

still enjoy the deer classic, just won’t take a head again

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 09:25 AM

still enjoy the deer classic, just won’t take a head again ................me neither…...

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 10:22 AM

all this hub bub over deer and i havent seen one person ask what has dnr done to help sasquatch or the chupacabra

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 10:42 AM

lungbuster your so full of yourself, how many times a year do you fall out of your stand with that big jack-n-the box head of yours.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 11:12 AM

I personally have never taken a head to be entered in the deer classic and I know a lot of big deer get shot and never taken as well but I am still waiting on someone to give us a better way to guage the current status of big bucks in Illinois??????

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 11:17 AM

take all the unemployed and pay them to sit in areas counting deer. lol

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 11:29 AM

Thank you very much….I’m the one who said that we are the ones killing the deer, not the DNR.  I hate to restate what I have already said on another thread here, but killing does kills your herd.  This isn’t rocket science.  Like I said before, let the DNR sell all the tags they want, we do not have to buy them or use them.  Don’t blame the crack dealer for you being a crackhead, blame yourself.  Just say NO.  I know we don’t all own our own property, but you have to manage whatever piece of ground you hunt yourself.  I pay very little attention the DNR and their wants and needs.  The DNR wants me to start hunting on October 1st, I do.  The DNR wants me to stop hunting in mid January and I do.  The DNR does not want me to kill more than two antlered deer per year and I agree.  The DNR wants me to kill every doe that walks past my stand and I disagree so I don’t.  As I said in another thread here, I bought a new piece of property in Know county in 2008 and thought the deer numbers were a bit low.  I fixed that problem in one short year.  In 2008, I did not shoot any does at all.  In 2009, I’ll bet I doubled my minimal deer herd on only 50 acres.  I did shoot two does and one doe fawn this year (as well as two very nice bucks, one on opening morning bow and one in gun season) so I’ll be very curious to see what the herd numbers look like for 2010.  I didn’t just shoot anything I saw this year.  I shot a certain number of deer that I had predetermined for myself.  I think I got the number right, but next year will tell me more.  Along with not shooting every doe I see, I also plant food plots for late Winter feed and I will soon be adding a lot of bedding areas…cedar thickets, etc.  I want to add deer to my property, but I also want habitat that can sustain higher numbers.  The bottom line is this.  Manage your own deer and stop letting the DNR’s sale of tags determine how many deer you’ll shoot.  I’m sure the bar I frequent would sell me a lot more beer than I really need to drink.  I’m a big boy and can control my own actions.  I am in control of my deer herd, not the DNR.  I know the state of Illinois considers the deer on my land to be their property, but it’s up to me how I control them.  No one, including the DNR, will ever tell me what to shoot and how many.  They may control when I shoot them and give me bag limits, but they will never force me to shoot more deer than I think my property can handle.  Yes, I do feel that they are handing out too many permits and that they are trying to damn near eliminate our deer herd, but they won’t be using me as their tool.  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people…and…DNR doesn’t kill deer, hunters do. 

BY the way, I heard a good one the other day.  “If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words?”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 11:44 AM

well at least now we have three posters who see the big picture treehugger couldnt have said it any better myself Of course now get ready someone from the triangle will accuse me of being you LOL

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 12:11 PM

hunter770, you couldn’t be me.  One of me is far too expensive already, just ask my wife.  At least buying my own property I am now finally considered to be rich…in Obama’s eyes anyway.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 12:29 PM

Of all the comments don’t people realize that we the hunters are the ones executing the DNR’S plan to reduce deer numbers.  They merely give us the season and limits, we are the ones that pull the triggers.  All of us should be looking in the mirror or talking to our neighbors and educating them on what WE the hunters are doing to OUR deer herd. Shelton didn’t shoot all the deer, nor did anyone else that has control of the DNR.  We did and as sportsman if we don’t address this issue with ourselves and our aquaintences then we are just pissing in the wind.  Take time to talk with others in your area and we won’t have to worry about decrease in numbers.  The DNR can’t make us pull the trigger!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 12:57 PM

higgins, i can see it now.  We can get lungbuster a seminar at the show titled ” how to throw off the deer classic with monster bucks hunting in blue overalls” I would pay money to listen to this.  And higgins we know there is no better way.  Only variable you have from year to year is…. weather.  Some people take them some dont.  Its called a sample.  And this is the best sample we have.  And treehugger gives the average hunter too much credit.  Most of the hunters shoot every deer and make an excuse for it.  Even if it didnt need shot.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 12:59 PM

nice morganmaster we now have four on board anyone else like to come to the dark side aka THE REAL WORLD Don you are right their is no way of judging whether we are killing big bucks or not the deer show is a place where hunters bring there deer but several i beleive clint would call them variables play into the show.1 location 2. weather .3 date of show 4 hunter phobia of being hounded by people as to where he killed the deer5 and probably the one fact that is also playing into our lower harvest fewer deer at processor and taxidermist THE ECONOMY thats a new one to throw out there any thoughts

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:24 PM

i say we all shoot extra deer and that way dnr can have there numbers and we can all move on and worry about what really matters…the western sand darter,the upland sandpiper, the river cooter and the chupacabra..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:27 PM

I also think there is too many deer being killed. Granted there are areas that need to be controlled more but that is what our DNR is for, they just are not doing there job. The state only cares about the money brought in on permits. I have talked to several people that tell me they have killed 17-33-11 and more deer this year. Makes me sick, some areas may need it but not all. No one needs to kill that many deer, only idiots. If this state dont start getting smarter at deer management there will be a day everyone will sit and say where did all the deer go. It is coming, mark my word. Really sad everyone cant see this.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:33 PM

hunter… All those variables are controlled but weather… location is the same every year… time of year is nearly the same… “hunter fear” hasnt changed since last year…. What the hell is wrong with you people? And the “economy” was worse last year….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:38 PM

i was stationed in arizona back in early 80,s chupacabra were huge with all the locals John there is obvious not enough food to support such a creature here in the land of lincoln unless he eats corn LOL

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:42 PM

treehugger- i hate to break it to you, but you are not in “control” of your deer herd if you only have 50 acres!  everybody that hunts within a mile of you is helping you and what they do can make what you do a useless effort!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:43 PM

I am not giving the average hunter too much credit.  Credit has nothing to do with what I said.  I’m simply spelling out a very simple creed to hunt by.  You can pay attention to it or you can just keep doing whatever it is you do.  Just don’t cry about people shooting too many deer while blaming the DNR who really has no hand in the actual killing.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of the DNR.  That’s why I pay very little attention to them and what they say outside of legalities.  I hunt legally but I hunt my way.  I do not need the DNR, or anyone on here for that fact, telling me how to handle my deer herd.  No one knows my deer better than I do.  Eating tags should not even be an issue.  Big damn deal if you have to eat a tag.  Just buy as many as you need.  If you end up with one or two left in your fanny pack, good.  That just means you shouldn’t have shot as many as you thought you should have anyway.  Relax, put the time in, and just hunt.  The one cool thing about hunting is that once we are up in the tree, there is no one but ourselves to police us.  I like it that way.  Those of us who do it legally and call in every single deer we shoot have shown some integrity when no one was watching.  I like bag limits.  Bag limits on antlers is one of the big reasons we have monster bucks in Illinois.  When I started hunting, we had no bag limits on the number of antlered deer.  As a result of that and my being a rookie at the time, I shot too many small bucks.  With some education and time n the field, I realized the harm I was doing and fixed the problem myself.  Within a couple years I had my first P&Y on the wall.  Since then I have put several more on the wall.  Education is key for the rookies and for our kids.  For those hunters who go out first gun season only and shoot everything that walks, you’ll never change them.  But, if we can change ourselves, even if that is only 30% of all hunters out there, we can still make a considerable improvement on the herd, especially in our own areas.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:47 PM

Clint what planet you live on economy worse last year correct me if i am wrong i thought all hell broke loose at cat John deere in may of 2009 not 2008 25000 plus jobs You must be a democrat to spew $hit like that You come on here spouting off about IQSyou young man are truly the idiot here I have been to the deer show since it started in IOWA you remember that far back How about the year it spent in decatur or the years it spent in Peoria Much better show in Peoria MY opinion Bloomington still to small but i still attend So there is nothing wrong with me I beleive we the hunters control the herd not DNR like douglas just posted 17 33 11 those people are idiots

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/14 at 01:58 PM

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