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Illinois hunting and fishing

Chris Young/The State Journal-Register Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Marc Miller talks with Noah Petty, 7, about a catfish the boy caught in his grandfather Terry Rush’s pond outside of Pittsfield. Miller joined Gov. Pat Quinn and State Sen. Deanna DeMuzio, D-Carlinville, at a press event promoting nature-based tourism.

Deer hunting means big bucks in Pike County

November 24, 2009 at 10:50 PM

Anyone who doubts Pike County still is at the epicenter of the deer-hunting world should just ask someone — like someone from, say, England.

“Pike County is renowned for its big bucks, but I haven’t got one yet,” said Peter Sample, far-removed from his home in Amble, a North Sea town in Northumberland, England, not far from the border with Scotland.

Sample was just another in a row of blaze-orange caps seated at the bar of Lindsay’s Tavern over the lunch hour Saturday. But the presence of visitors from far-flung locales points out the importance of deer hunting to the economy of the state, and communities like Pittsfield.

Sample has been visiting Pike County for a dozen years, hunting with his son-in-law Bill Cox of Springfield. The first segment of the traditional firearm season ends tonight.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report says hunting, fishing and wildlife watching activities
account for about $32 billion in economic activity in Illinois.

Sample was planning to hunt Saturday afternoon and this morning before returning to Springfield this afternoon.

“Then I’ll be spending my hard-earned income in Springfield at your wonderful shopping malls,” he said.

Bar owner Walt Lindsay would like hunters to come to Pittsfield and stay a bit longer. The first segment of the firearm season is three days and the second, Dec. 3-6, is four days long. He would like to see the first season switched to four days, because most hunters get a deer during the first season and second season business normally is less.

“First season is better with less days than the second season with more days,” he said. “Millions of dollars are just gone. They (visitors) just take it home with them.”

How to keep those millions circulating is of great importance to public officials, from the local chamber of commerce all the way up to Gov. Pat Quinn. He visited a Pike County farm that supplements its income by offering bow hunting Saturday afternoon, bringing his message of the importance of nature-based tourism and the healthful aspects of outdoors recreation.
“It’s the Land of Lincoln,” Quinn said. “It’s also the land of the best deer hunting in the United States.”

More than 360,000 permits have been issued statewide for this year’s firearm season. In 2008, firearm hunters killed 106,018 deer during the seven-day season.

“Conservation and nature-based tourism is part of our economic recovery,” Quinn said.

Terry Rush, owner of Blue River Outdoors site of the governor’s visit, said his outfitting business supplements income from the farming operation.

“You just throw it in the kitty and it all adds up,” he said of the hunting venture. “We had an economic opportunity with a renewable resource. It’s interesting, rewarding and challenging.”

Rush said hunters come back to his business year after year, with repeat visitors making up 95 percent.

“One guy has hunted with us 16 years, so we must be doing something right.”

Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation police officer Steve Drone said that so far, most everyone has been following the rules.

He’s written five warnings and only two tickets this firearm season as of Saturday afternoon, compared to 20 to 30 tickets in years past. He noted, though, that hunting activity seemed to be light, especially since he didn’t hear a single shot fired in the distance during the event at Blue River Outdoors.

Hunters determined to shoot their Pike County monster buck often are criticized for focusing on bucks and not taking management of the doe population seriously.

On Saturday, four guys from Chicago said they were doing their part.

Skip Saviano, Mike McAuliffe, Ryan McAuliffe and Don O’Sullivan each had a doe to show for their efforts.

“We’re good for Pike County, since we killed all does,” Mike McAuliffe said with a laugh. “At least that’s what the clerks at Wal-Mart tell us, ‘Shoot the does.’”

The four hunters were stopped for lunch in downtown Pittsfield.

Saviano, a state representative from River Grove, said the group still had unfilled deer tags and would be trying again.

“We’ll go back out to see if we can get the big guy, maybe.”

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

funny visiting pike county they tryin to keep outta staters money to help there economy what will they do when the deer are gone move to a different county so dnr an pat quinn can watch there money roll in an spend it on horse trails an raisin locals fees love it is pat any better than blago?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 08:52 AM

Its nice to think that season dates could be determined not according to whats best for the deer herd or the hunter but whats best to line someones pockets$$$$$ Don’t you just love our world today!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 09:54 AM

Subsides their farm operation does that mean there won’t be anymore subside checks ,from our tax dollars to these poor farmers.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 10:37 AM

Why would they hold the press conference at an outfitters? It makes no sense to me. They would have scored so many more points by going to a state park and having the press conference singing the praises of more public land and outdoors opportunities for the common man. Not the ones who can pay $5000 for a weeks hunt. Pathetic.

Posted by illin on 11/25 at 11:36 AM

CPO Drone didn’t hear a single shot fired around Rush’s outfitted area-Not doing a very good job with the Monster buck management evidently-

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 11:53 AM

32 Billion Dollars raised by Hunting, Fishing, WILDLIFE WATCHING ACTIVITIES? What fees do they pay? Oh a little gas money to drive to the parks, or a new set of binoculars every 10 years, yippee. Hey,they better give the bicycle riders credit to!! So what they are saying is that revenue raised by hunting & fishing that 1/3 of that could wipe out the state debt. And then there are people that say they have no problem with them raising License & Tag fees. We are not only not getting kissed, but the reach around is getting are wallets. Happy Thanksgiving to all & God Bless Illinois

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 01:21 PM

Now that makes a LOT of sense, lets switch the deer season days around so the out of town hunters can get an extra night drinking in his bar. At least he is open and honest about his motives.

Saviano, McAuliffe, O‚ÄôSullivan hmmmm…...... where have I heard those names before…......... oh yeah, State Representatives/reps relatives/senators. Mr. Rush is not only owner of the outfitting operation Blue River Outdoors, he is also President of the Pike County Farm Bureau. Scorecards here, scorecards…....... you can’t tell the players without your scorecard- get your scorecard here.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 02:49 PM

What a joke this all is. Why not take these millions of dollars made and help provide some quality hunting opportunities for all of us in the real world who have a mortgage, college debt, savings for our kids to go to college, and other bills. No, they wont. They whore our state out like a prostitute to the highest bidder.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 04:58 PM

Just the sales tax alone , @6.25%, would come out to 200 million dollars. Thats not counting how much of that total is license and fee money which all goes directly to the state. Imagine the possibilities they could provide if that money was spent reasonably.

Posted by illin on 11/25 at 05:02 PM

yea a outfitter this guy is blagos brother an our extra money next yr will go to pike county an im sure glad i got a lifetime huntin license so they cant jack me on one thing at least outfitters r the worst 140 minimum then everything 150 dies for a grand or two what a joke who wants to help hunt the outfitters instead of deer nexxt year

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/25 at 11:34 PM

What a joke.  It’s about one thing and one thing only.  Money.  Most of the money qpent goes to only a few people or businesses which is a case of the rich getting richer in my opinion.  As for utilizing a renewable resource, the quality of that resourse has been damaged in this county and will continue to decline if all of this continues.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/26 at 02:51 PM

I use to love reading the post here. Now all I see is a bunch of frickin cry babies on here… Nobody wants to read all the bitching about every thing. To much corn, no deer, outfitters, The state. Get a life people. Lampe goes to alot of work putting this site together, and all anybody wants to do is piss and moan about everything. Maybe if some of you would get away from your computer and get in a tree you would have better luck killing a deer!!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/26 at 03:16 PM

Miller, Quinn, Outfitters, Coach =  Puke.  More of Quinn/Miller’s poltical wrangling for some votes. Lets hit Pike county and show them what we will do for them.  As Miller is pushing for access onto our private ground he goes down and kisses butt in the worse managed area in the state almost totally controlled by outfitters and whored out to the highest bidder.  Thinking that should be our new state motto.  What the hell does Quinn know about deer hunting other than its great revenue for this state.  Meantime,  Rush is probably collecting insurance checks for crop damage because his focus is on money and bucks for his clients and not true herd management. Im wondering what relation he is to Senator John Sullivan?  Typical IDNR BS, same business, just different names on the door. Quinn said it all “Conservation and Nature based tourism is part of our economic recovery”.  Otherwise know as sell it, rape it, and pocket it. Miller and Quinn you make me sick and I’ll be right there on election day putting that nail into your coffin along with all my other friend that are tired of being screwed over by trash talking wolves in sheeps clothing.  BTW coach, Jeff didn’t write this article he just posted it and I am sure he isn’t real thrilled with the DNR’s latest moves either otherwise it probaly wouldn’t of been posted.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/26 at 10:36 PM

Wow its been a year since i commented but after reading this BS i have to I went down to pike to hunt a farm a family member purchased we stayed at icehouse inn Barry IL great place we were only illinois hunters in the motel for several days i talked with hunters from new york utah florida new jersey the funny part is most were blue collar guys welders construction workers average joes who love to hunt who pay 1500 bucks to hunt for a week so my advice to all you whiney freeloaders is spend less at the bar put 30 bucks a week away and you to can have a nice place to hunt as far as increased lic fees long past due

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/26 at 11:11 PM

Looks like the access problem has been figured out by our current political powers.
‘Pay to Play’
Yes that is right, this is IL & that is how the business & politics is worked out.
IF you want to hunt, you will now pay more for permits, more for your hunting licenses & pay more to lease or buy land from the political powers new friends.
It is becoming a rich mans game & it is being managed by the rich, who will continue to find more & more ways to make money off us any way they can dream up.
All our state parks that offer free hunting & free access for everyone & Pike county is where our current IDNR heads decide to go to promote our IL deerhunting seasons ??????
Kind of speaks for its self doesn’t it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/27 at 06:22 AM

what coach said!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/27 at 09:37 AM

while at presleys i heard some guys talking about this blog and they think its ridiculous to pay to hunt but the same two guys had no problem paying 1200 bucks to go to the cardinals playoff games wow and i will end it at that

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/27 at 09:49 AM

I am bit suspicious that if you polled most small communities in Central and Southern IL, you would find that firearm season and the influx it brings are indeed closely related to increased incomes be it for outfitters, guides, local businesses etc. Even the local community based clubs get in on it, hosting pancake breakfasts, spaghetti suppers etc specifically scheduled to coincide with firearm season. Hunting, fishing, outdoor related tourism is an industry in IL and growing one at that. to fail to acknowledge that is ignoring the elephant in the room. The key is for everyone who is concerned about the direction it may be taking is to stay in contact with your legislators and DNR officials and ensure that they understand how you feel. Attend a public comment session when a law is in process of being changed, submit written comments, schedule an appointment with your legislator when he or she is in the home office. Better yet, invite your legislator to go hunting, fishing or wildlife watching with you on state managed properties. You have a voice, use it in an area where it can possibly make a difference.

Posted by G on 11/28 at 04:57 AM

Just a couple observations…It is interesting that neither Quinn nor Miller thought to invite any of the leaders of any of the local sportsman’s/hunting groups. Sometimes I think the resident hunters are the fogotten part of the “cash cow”. Resident hunters are spending money local 365 days a year, not just the 3 days of firearm season. But it seems they are never mentioned or considered. The bar owner in this story is the perfect example…........ which makes him more money the local drunk who’s butt is in the stool every Friday and Sat nite throughout the year or 25 tourists in on Saturday nite of deer season. If I am the bar owner I am going with “NORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/28 at 06:38 AM

Lung you cant touch a spot in my area for 2 grand.Let us know how it feels when your price you pay goes up to 5 grand per person.And it will just give a little time.Coach seems like you have no problem coming on hear and bitching.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/28 at 02:58 PM

claydawg, dont waste your energy on lung, he posts under several names and just likes to stir the pot (like I said before, Waste of cytoplasm).  I own my land so I don’t worry about a hunting spot and we worked hard to purchase it and we cherish it. I will tell you this though, if you could find a lease for $2000 a year around me then let me know.  Thats about a forty acre chunk price. Divide that by four and that equals one burnt out spot. The people that complain about the bitchin on here are the same people that are gonna stand in-line for Obama Care cuz they love having the government run their lives.  I don’t and I’m not afraid to speak my opinion.  For you that don’t think Miller doesn’t read these posts, your fools because he does.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/28 at 08:09 PM

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Lease Chicago to Wisconsin, Indiana, or Michigan. They’ll have a whole new state to F up and We’ll be raking in the dough.

Posted by JMcCullum on 11/29 at 01:47 PM

Im from out of state I own 2 small tracts in Brown and Pike county. I am a blue collar worker.  In My state land sales from 75k to 125K a acre. My state allows you to kill 2 bucks and 10 does with each weapon, (36) deer and you complain about your state.
Outfitters they have there place. I hear everyone complain ,name me one person who wouldnt love to do what they do , maybe you would do some things different that is there choice. Most of the out of state hunters are guys that save there hard earned money all year to hunt one week for a Illinois Monster Whitetail. There just like me and you. If hunting is important to you make the sacrifices to get what you want, you people act like it should be handed to you there is 51 other states out there if Illinois is so bad come to Maryland and find a place to hunt, New Hampshire no land is posted hunt where you want been there several times the farmers will drive you across the fields to hunt and they have never seen you before great people. The bar owner in the story never met him but from a business stand point he is trying to make a living for his family.  I lived in your state I would have so many places to hunt outfitters will let you hunt for free with some work in return. How hard is it..

Posted by Jbohn on 11/30 at 02:47 PM

The big outfitters will not let you hunt if you do a little work with them. I’ve been ignored, then talked down to, and stolen from by outfitters in my area. This one group in particular are the scum of the earth. Piss on the outfitter who’s driven solely by his wallet.  I do know of an operation run by a group of stand-up guys, but they aren’t doing as well as they could because they aren’t the cut-throat a$$holes that 90% of the other outfitting operations are. I’ve spent the last two years standing behind the sporting goods counter and I know there are two kinds of out of state hunter. A bunch of ‘em are the blue collar boys I love to deal with. Some guys from Mississippi, and group of rig workers from Alabama in particular… All great guys. It’s generally the small percentage of folks that come from an urban or suburban area that heard from their buddies that killing a big deer is the thing to do. They buy up all the stupidest gimmicky crap they can spot and look straight down their noses at you as though you’re country bumpkin-a$$ had never seen a deer. I’d just as soon shoot those guys as look at them, but they’re not worth the powder I’d use to blow them away with. The point here is you have to do some leg work and get to know the folks who have land. They’re good folks, and stopping by every couple weeks in the summer and doing a few hours work with them will get you a long way in the fall. Throw your back into it and quit cryin. Things change. Hunting is no exception.

Posted by JMcCullum on 12/01 at 06:05 PM

i dont know what to say to all u people….geez.  First off i have met terry rush(his wife was my high school english teacher) and i believe he is a really good farmer and good person and if u spoke to people in the area they would only have good things to say about him.  i believe he was the formal national beef producer president and might have been picked to hose this event because of his experience from that. i also have met the owner of lindseys and he is probably one of the friendliest bar owners u will ever meet. he is an avid hunter and is only looking out for what is best for his community and family. i mean how many of u people have ever even been to pittsfield or any other west central illinois town.  its not exactly like business is booming.  i hunt my familys 600 acre farm in pike county and deal with outfitters hunters on almost a weekly basis. i agree that most of the these guys are blue collar guys(prison guards, police officers, construction workers, etc.) and trust me the majority bring more good than bad.  the problem is with the actual outfitters, who mostly come from out of the area, they are the reason for the whore stores and resentment. i think illinois is finally gettin recognized for something other than chicago and i like it.  there will never b a shortage of deer in pike county for u dumb asses that think that there is such a thing as over hunting in our area. our state already has more restrictions on deer hunting than most and i feel like if anything we should be more relaxed on our laws.  i luv hunting more than anything and i hope our great state doesnt -- -- -- that up too.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/02 at 11:35 PM

I hear you, justgreenwood. I do like that the lower portion of the state has separated itself from the city. My family has a 140 acres in Pike, and it’s surrounded on three sides by ground leased to outfitters. They hold the lease for archery season only. They posted no trespassing signs on the inside of our fence posts.  First gun season two years ago I was sitting in my stand on the edge of our property that bordered a cut cornfield, when one of these guys drove around the edge of the field in his big brand new chromed out dodge in a low gear with his tow-haul on. I could see deer running clear across our property to get away from it. He had the balls to stop in front of me and asked what I thought I was doing. Had I not been in a climber 25 feet up I might not be free to type this post. We had words and exchanged gestures. Once I informed him that I had heard the restrictions on his lease and that I’d be getting ahold of the landowner he took off hastily and quietly. Spineless coward.

Posted by JMcCullum on 12/03 at 11:13 AM

I am one of the dreaded nr. Love the site and love Illinois deer hunting. I have hunted Massac, Johnson, Fulton and Pike. I have hunted with Terry Rush and he is a life long local, tremendous man and steward of the land. He owns and leases and is bow only, maybe the reason he didn’t hear any shots. Last time I talked to Terry they took 65 does and about 10 bucks. Don’t talk about something you haven’t a clue. He is a great person to deal with and not an outfitter you should be dogging. His business is one everyone should imitate. He does it right. I have hunted your awesome state and own land in the state of VA and deal with trespassers every year it is a percentage of the human population that can be found anywhere. The losers.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/04 at 11:09 AM

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