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Deer management meetings ahead

August 21, 2008 at 09:36 AM

Though dates, times and even places are not yet final, the Illinois Departmen of Natural Resources is moving forward with plans for a series of public meetings in regard to deer management.

Meetings will likely be held in the first half of September at as many as six locations across Illinois. Likely sites for the public meetings include Rushville, LaSalle, Rockford, Sparta, Olney and Decatur.Illinois Outdoors

“The format will be similar to the waterfowl meetings” held a few years back by the DNR, said Paul Shelton, head of forest wildlife. “They will be an open house with information on display that people can talk about. It’s just kind of a time for guys to ask questions and let us know what they think. And I’m guessing there will be comment cards.”

DNR wildlife staff will attend the meetings, which are an offshoot of the state’s task force on deer population control, which met Monday, Aug. 18 for the fourth time this year. At the meeting, the group agreed to hold open houses around the state to discuss several deer-management issues that have arisen during previous meetings. Those topics include the following:

  • 1. Sell late-winter firearm tags over the counter.
  • 2. Extend the existing three-day late-winter firearm, antlerless-only season. Seven days was mentioned as one possibility.
  • 3. Create an antlerless-only firearm deer season in late October.
  • 4. Create an earn-a-buck program in which hunters must shoot a doe before taking a buck.
  • 5. Provide more public access for deer hunters.

A news release listing dates, locations and times should be out sometime next week.

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

I think one way to help decrease the deer herd would be if a group is hunting togeather and someone tags out and there is someone in his group that still had a tag the taged out hunter could still hunt and help fill his friends tag as long as they stayed within hearing range of each other . I know a few states already do this .

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/21 at 12:41 PM

I also think that would be a good idea Denny. It wouldn’t hurt also to let a person shoot 3 deer instead of just 2. Maybe a antlered tag and 2 antlerless tags at a time would help, especially in areas of high deer density. I know I could fill those tags as I like to keep the deer-to-buck ratio 2 to 1. Just think, if we kill 100,000+ deer a year and only 10% of the hunters kill 3 deer on the opening weekend, that’s 10,000 more does killed.

Posted by Marc Anthony on 08/21 at 12:50 PM

Will these meetings be taken seriously, or are they to just humor us common folk, and then the DNR will just go ahead and do whatever Blago needs to do to raise more money for his legal defense funds, and what the outfitters want. Call me jaded, but living in this circus of a state why would I think any different. Gotham was less corrupt than IL.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/21 at 04:03 PM

extending lat gun season is stupid.  Having a late gun season is stupid.  Of the six pals I know of from work that hunted late season, four of them shot bucks that had already shed.  Now I know that is only four people I personally know, but do the math.  If only two hunters out of every six are actually tagging a legit doe, how many bucks are actually being killed?  That does nothing but hurt the herd even more.  Our stupid DNR can’t see that and it won’t get any better.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/21 at 06:36 PM

That is alot of the problem is the outfitters they are the ones that should be doing the earn a buck and I think it should be 2 does before a buck

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/21 at 06:45 PM

I agree that having a late season antlerless hunt is a ridiculous idea.  I would like to see the breakdown on how many button bucks/bucks that have shed are harvested. Is that a true form of herd management?  May be a dead deer but it is not a deer that is bred and produces 1-3 more the next year.  I am for a Sept early season where you can tell a doe is a doe. What ever decisions are made will they be made with our opinions in mind?  I doubt it, the DNR is gonna do what they want to do despite what we would like to see.  Deer hunting in Illinois is like a business where they want to make as much money as they can, we are the shareholders whos opinions are voiced but decisions are made by the CEOs. I still will attend so my voice can be heard but my expectations on this subject aren’t very high, remember our DNR is run by politicians not biologists.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/21 at 07:24 PM

No reason at all why the early season couldn’t be in September. You could start archery on Sept. 15th for doe-only, or do a weekend all-weapons season the last weekend of Sept.  The DNR excuse has been that “it’s too hot” in September.  Amazing that snipers can shoot deer with high powered rifles on nuisance permits in the middle of summer, but hunters aren’t able to take care of their kills in September????

It’s also amazing that the DNR doesn’t want EAB because there’s no check stations, but they have no problem opening up the entire state during the pre-rut for gun hunters to kill only does… also while there’s no check stations????

Late season does nothing.  Who’s going to take off work in the middle of the week in January to hunt does?????

There isn’t a single solution of the 5 that will address overpopulation where it’s needed (according to DNR).  Outfitters aren’t about to let gun hunters take to the woods in late-October.

Posted by KC-IBS on 08/21 at 09:52 PM

I have shot nuisance deer for years in heavily crop damaged areas and have not let the deer go to waste.
Alot of people will take the deer and process it themselves.  Hot, I usually do it in July and August so I don’t want to hear its too hot.  Thats the DNR’s excuse.  Doesn’t make sense to me either.
Why not open up bow season in September if they want more does killed.  Several other states around us do it, why not Illinois?  As far as I am concerned the leadership has already screwed our deer herd by eliminating the check stations.  Stations that were generally run by college biology students that volunteered to do it or were paid minimally.  Were they great at aging deer???? They tried, bettter than nothing at all.  I would gladly wait in line to check my deer in again.  Our management is headed backwards not forwards and these meetings won’t amount to jack squat.  Alot of hot air will be wasted.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/21 at 10:17 PM

You know, FultonCtyHunter, I gotta think that 4 out of 6 bucks is a statistical anomaly, could happen, but I doubt that’s the norm.  However, that’s just me speculating.  The one thing we do have in terms of check stations are for CWD seasons in several northern counties.  Maybe those stations could take data on the number of does/bucks harvested so that we could make an intelligent decision based on a large statistical sample of the kill a that time of year.  (If they already do, would love to see that info)  Such data might back up your 6 friends experience; it might also show that a suficient percentage of the kill is does to justify the hunt in terms of herd management.  Either way, it would be nice to know, and the mechanism for gathering that data already exists in certain counties.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/22 at 07:11 AM

Other questions:
1. Why the split gun season?  Why not 2 solid weeks like several other states have? 

2. Will deer processors want to mess with any more deer earlier in the season?  Not likely.  Many hunters will not process their own deer.  So if you want to really impact the numbers this has to be considered. And for anyone processing their own deer, cooling that meat out rapidly becomes a quality issue.  How many people have access to walk in coolers?  Low, frost forming, night time temperatures are a blessing, even during the gun season. 

3. Should the 30 minutes added to the hunting hours after sunset be reconsidered?  The quantity of light 30 minutes before sunrise as light is increasing is not the same as 30 minutes past sunset as light is fading.  This is especially true for older hunters whose eyes adjust more slowly to darkness than younger hunters.  This becomes critical even 15 minutes past sunset when it becomes very difficult to discern does from button bucks and spike bucks within range of a shotgun. And it reduces the chances of a rapidly lethal,  single shot kill. 

4. Why not have a late, antlerless only season extending over two weekends?  Would this not reduce the chance of extreme weather interfering with hunting opportunities over a 3 day late season?

5. What incentives can be offered to hunters who exclusively hunt for antlerless deer (and by this I mean those who hunt mature does)?  Can some kind of private land access program be offered to hunters who will intentionally, accurately, honestly and ethically help private land owners thin out their overpopulated deer herds by killing only the mature does?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/22 at 07:37 AM

Late season will help with the harvest numbers, but as others have state too many bucks are antlerless by then and being harvested…  Yes it’s easy pickings since the deer are in winter feeding pattern, but for me it’s stressful to make dang sure I’m shooting a doe.  I agree that 4 of 6 is probably not the norm, but unless you are looking through a scope or less than 20 yards from the deer, it is very hard to be sure.

I would much rather have a September antlerless hunt AND earn a buck.  Look at how the herd quality has increased in Indiana where they have earn a buck AND can only harvest 1 buck per year vs. our 2.

I would also support something along the lines of allowing landowners to obtain anterless permits and in turn allow hunters to use those permits as long as the permits are free to both the landowner and the hunter.  I wouldn’t want to see this turn into a money maker, just a way for landowners and hunters to work together.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/22 at 10:38 AM

There are some great ideas out there, but the big question in my mind is why are there no biologists involved? If there is truley an overpopulation problem then the biologists can determine if and how manny deer need to be culled. Obviously the needs would be differant for differant parts of the state. Permits could be issued over the counter as needed. The state already knows the harvest numbers of the outfitters, but getting them to comply with a quota would be another issue all together. The loss of hunting land for the general public is in my opinion the #1 issue that needs to be adressed This whole thing reeks of political BS to me, it makes me wonder if the state is geting a feel for how much they can get away with before the general population has had enough!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/22 at 12:35 PM

Allow me to say ‘amen’ to an October antlerless-only gun season, along with a September opening for archery.  It’s anecdotal, but I have to agree with the skepticism re late season extension.  Good friend of mine (a fine hunter) shot a buck last year that had already dropped antlers—broke his heart, especially since our party are doe hunters all season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/22 at 02:51 PM

why dont we all stop talking about it online and go out and run over a deer or two with our truck? cmon!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/22 at 05:08 PM

Hell, lets just run over to Fulton, Pike and Brown County and just poach a few before the nonresidents can get to um.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/23 at 02:17 PM

I would like to ask the hunters if a doe only season in December would work, after muzzleloader season, maybe last two week-ends in December? Young hunters are on vacation, bucks would still have antlers, and not as cold, which could get mild weather hunters into the woods.  Obviously, it is busy over the holidays but spreading it out over two consectutive week-ends would give hunters a choice.  Any thoughts on this time of year? 

I just hope the task force applies biology over politics.  Obviously, not ever county needs another season.  I just don’t want politicians and auto insurance companies managing our deer herd.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/24 at 08:20 AM

what if during the late antlerless only season they let us use unused archery tags also for archery for a weekend or two?

Posted by Mike on 08/26 at 05:59 PM

The schedule is out.  They could of picked a different time of the day.  The common working man won’t be able to make it at 4:00pm.  At least I won’t be able to.

For Immediate Release
August 27, 2008

Deer Population Task Force Schedules Public Meetings
Panel reviewing options for improvements in deer management, reduction in deer vehicle accidents

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the state’s Joint Deer Population Control Task Force will conduct a series of public meetings to discuss and seek public comment on proposals for changes and improvements in deer management in the state.

The task force was established by the Illinois General Assembly to examine and make recommendations on ways to manage the Illinois deer population, including maintaining and increasing deer hunting opportunities, reducing deer-vehicle accidents and examining how those accidents affect insurance rates, reducing crop and other property damage, and maintaining and increasing the health of the Illinois deer herd.

“The open house public meetings will allow those attending to review information on the Illinois deer management program, deer-vehicle accidents, and proposals the task force is reviewing for changes in hunting seasons and related issues regarding deer in Illinois,” said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood.

Staff from the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources and members of the Joint Deer Population Control Task Force will be available to answer questions, discuss deer management, and hear comments from those attending the meetings. Following the public meetings, the IDNR will also accept public comments through a link on the IDNR web site at

Members of the public are invited to attend any or all of the series of meetings listed below. Each session will be open from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Sept. 2 – Peru Eagles Lodge, 830 Harrison St. (just off U.S. Rt. 6), Peru
Sept. 3 – Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman, Rockford (use Mulberry St. entrance)
Sept. 4 – Scripps Park Community Building, U.S. Rts 67 & 24, Rushville
Sept. 9 – Olney City Park Community Building, Ill. Rt. 130, Olney
Sept. 10 – World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Spart
Sept. 11 – Bethany Fire Station, 530 E. Main, Bethany

For more information on the open house public meetings of the Joint Deer Population Control Task Force, contact the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources at 217/785-2511.
David Musgrave

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 01:25 PM

It is great that the meetings will be held in September. Usually, people end their vacation at the beginning of September. There is no other perfect time for this meetings to be held. I hope things will work as you planned!

Posted by Cigars on 10/24 at 11:22 AM

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