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Illinois deer task force offers recommendations

October 07, 2008 at 01:36 PM

The public response

Highlights of comments submitted by the public at open meetings held across the state include the following:

1)  Hunters support an access program, but landowners oppose it.

2) Bowhunters are the ones against the October gun season. Had the survey not been taken by so many bowhunters, it could have come out different. Gun hunters and landowners were about 50/50 on it.

3) Most were split on whether or not DVA’s were a good indicator of population trends … except for the gun hunters who agreed by over 60%. 

Here is a summary of public comments during the deer task force meetings.


A longer gun season and over-the-counter late-winter firearm permits are two recommendations expected out of the Joint Task Force on Deer Population Control.

The Illinois task force met Monday in Springfield to go over comments submitted by the public at open meetings held across the state (Summary_of_public_survey.pdf) and to offer suggestions for legislators.

Apparently the committee has settled on three recommendations:

  • 1) Selling late-winter firearm antlerless-only permits over the counter. The committee also advises making the late-winter season a nine-day affair during which bowhunters can hunt with bows, but cannot shoot bucks. Permits could be unlimited in some counties depending on input from the Department of Natural Resources.
  • 2) Add one day to the first gun season, which would last until the Monday after opening weekend. That would make gun season eight days in total.
  • 3) Sell leftover gun tags throughout the season.

Reports are the committee also discussed the possibility of moving the late-winter season into December instead of its existing January dates. But that idea was tabled since it was “a new idea.”

The task force was formed to provide information to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2009.

Members of the task force will include the following: Sam Flood, Acting Director, Department of Natural Resources; Rep. Dan Reitz (D-Sparta); Rep. Jim Sacia (R-Freeport); Rep. Robert Flider (D-Decatur); Rep. David Reis (R-Olney); Sen. John Sullivan (D-Quincy); Sen. Gary Dahl (R-Peru); Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton); Jim Riemer (appointed by senate minority leader); Conservation police officer Jason Sherman; Larry Trent, Director, Illinois State Police; Jerry Beverlin, United Bowhunters of Illinois; Bob Becker, Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources; Kevin Martin, Executive Director, IIllinois Insurance Association; Henry Kallal, District 15 Director, Illinois Farm Bureau.

The goal of the task force is to:

“examine and make recommendations on ways to manage the Illinois deer population; issues that shall be addressed include, but are not limited to, maintaining and increasing deer hunting opportunities in Illinois, reducing car-deer accidents and examining how these accidents affect insurance rates, reducing agricultural crop and other property damage, and maintaining and increasing the health of the Illinois deer herd.”


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

I have a suggestion… and a legitimate one in my opinion.  What about changing the “muzzle-loader only season” into a third “gun” season.  Due to factors outside of my control, the other gun seasons don’t time out for me to participate in.  However, the muzzle loader only season DOES, and would allow me to deer hunt.  I’m sure there are many other people that have situations similar to this, that don’t have muzzle loaders.  Since the IDNR allows muzzle loaders and pistols during the “shotgun season”, and shotguns and muzzle loaders during the “late winter, pistol” season, why not allow shotguns or pistols during the “muzzleloader season”.  This would provide 3 additional days that could be easily regulated for hunters that want an opportunity to get into the field.  If you could pass this idea along to someone, it would sure be appreciated.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/07 at 02:55 PM

That is a very good suggestion Mark.  Makes a lot of sense.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/07 at 03:26 PM

One thing that moving up the late season would do is eliminate Bucks being shot that have lost the antlers. The past couple years bucks have shed there antlers before the late season. Whatever is done, I think we need to stop and think of all angles so we don’t deminish what great deer hunting we have here in Illinois. When I was a boy you hardly ever seen a deer. We sure don’t want to go back to them days!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/07 at 05:10 PM

i agree with you all but would like to add another about forgetting the split season and doing what missouri does, a week long with the weekends on both sides giving us 9 days straight.that would give them the option of having the doe only hunt in december before the antlers fell a bowhunter i am glad they aren’t going with a shotgun season in october.good luck and be safe.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/07 at 07:22 PM

Nine days is fine, but I like the spread out season.  I lived in Wisconsin for a long time, and they do the nine day thing.  I like the fact that deer hunting opportunities are not over in nine days.  I believe I am more likely to hunt every available day if they are not all in a row.  So if there is a nine day season, I hope they keep the 2nd and muzzleloader seasons as well. Just my 2 cents.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/07 at 09:38 PM

well I think they should run this task force out of town on a rail right after they tar and feather them…....boy’s they are going to screw our deer herd up till it will take years for it to come back Here’s my suggestion it’s open season on the task force get rid of them before they sell the herd down the crapper….....

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 07:09 AM

cant they see the system in place is working fine…I work construction and theres a old saying “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”  this is the proof things don’t need change ........Weather and deer have been cooperative so far for Illinois bowhunters.

Through the first five days of the season, hunters have shot 6,229 deer. That’s above the harvest for the past three years and is notably better than last year, when the first five days yielded 2,951 deer. Then too, last year’s first five days did not include a weekend, which is a factor in early results….....

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 07:18 AM

Coondawg, I like most of your idea’s and aggree if it aint broke don’t fix it. Like I said in my first post, I remember my father going deer hunting 40 years ago to some prime hunting ground today and he was just lucky if he saw a deer. The bureaucrat’s will screw something up forsure. They have been trying to kill more deer for the last 15 years, with all there programs. The best program I can think of if they want more deer harvested is the earn a buck program like are neighbors to the north use. Especially if the make the outfitters obey that law!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 07:49 AM

i’m all for the earn a buck program not sure why the task force can’nt agree on this simple program that can be implemented right away

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 09:04 AM

Outfitter Perez. For soem reason our state is SO afraid of regulating them and the very least make them obey any laws.

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

Idiots still don’t address the access issue. Do we really need another day in the gun season? Its already at 10 days counting the muzzleloader season, is one more day really going to help? It will juts kill more bucks, mostly young ones, and further disparaging age class structure and buck doe ratios in this state. I am sure the outfitters are pushing for another gun day because that is an extra $500 they can charge for the 1st season. This task force should be all tied together with a rope and cinder blocks and thrown in the Illinois River while Asian carp are spawning. Politicians please go back to only screwing up Illinois and leave the DNR alone for 1 year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 01:01 PM

I’m OK with adding an extra day to the first season,but why not make it a Thursday at the beginning like the seond season. I would still like to see the split seasons kept like it is. It gives the wooods time to calm down a bit before the next season. I would be in favor of keeping muzzleloader season separate, since it is nice to traditional hunt on a slower pace. Late season doe season should be over the counter and unlimited permits with longer dates.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 01:32 PM

I am a meat hunter but the main reason i dont want to shoot a doe is it is usualy to hot, and once it finaly gets cool enough to hang a deer,  the bucks are starting to become active and i dont want to mess up the oppertunity at a nice deer buy shooting a doe. I know the state has enough money problems as it is. But i think a great solution would be any doe killed in october would either have the processing fee payed for or give people a tax break for processing. i think if they set up an acount with lockers to give some releif to have a deer taken care of when its to hot to do so yourself, unless you want to stay up till 3am doing it then get up and go to work the next morning, that bow hunters will start pulling the trigger.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 08:53 AM

They could offer more antlerless permits in the first firearm lottery. Most people send off for their combo permits and never think about later sending for leftover permits. I have hunted for 18 years and this is the first year I have ever went back and sent in for extra permits. If they were available up front, maybe an either sex and 2 or 3 antlerless tags, I would order them and would fill those tags, thus taking more does out of the herd. Hopefully this would allow the deer herd to be a little more controlled and still not hurt the trophy potential that we have today.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 11:07 AM

My son only has one either sex permit for the deer gun season.  He sent off for a leftover either sex and a antlerless only permit.  He got the antlerless only permit but was turned down for the either sex permit.  Now if they are so concerned about getting rid of does, why didn’t they issue him a doe only permit.  As of today, there are 150 doe only permits available for the county we live in.  Doesn’t seem right to me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 01:22 PM


You must be a democrat. Do you want the state to wipe your nose too. Give me a break, I’m assuming your a grown man, so if you can’t skin, quarter and ice down the meat in under an hour you shouldn’t be shooting one. The meat will keep all week on ice, just freshen it up and don’t let it get watery. Then you can debone and take it in or do it yourself. But don’t ask me as a tax payer to finance your inadequacies.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 02:38 PM

That is my point - just offer extra antlerless tags up front and I think people would order them and fill them during season instead of having to remember to send off for leftovers each year at another given date. Then the leftover permits would more than likely be all either sex permits.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 02:39 PM

Earn a buck is the only way to go. A true sportsman cares about the deer herd. Everything good requires investment and sacrifice. This may be having to pass on a great buck if you don’t have your doe killed. Make it similiar to the preference point system. If you kill a doe you get a buck tag. If you don’t harvest a buck that year then you start off with a buck tag the next year regardless of method. In my opinion, you should fire up the check stations again and sell the buck tags over the counter or sell them two tags and have to “activate” the buck tag somehow. I realize you may have some dishonest folks turning in bogus doe harvests, but on a grand scale I think it’s managable. I’m not to familiar with outfitter’s regulations, but if they have to register “acres” that are leased thay should be given the responsibility of harvesting does or geting their buck tags reduced significantly. I have more thoughts but would like to hear some feedback

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 03:00 PM

It’s ALL a crock!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/09 at 10:05 PM

earn a buck program;;;;;; thats the way;;; and get the outfitters out of here…. to many people losing hunting ground because of them.. and those people probaly shot doe"s;; i started hunting in the early 70’s not many deer around then,, BE CAREFUL…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/10 at 05:43 AM

I really like a late December Hunt and have been advocating it since the task force was formed. 

The task force has to find away for the outfitters to participate, otherwise we will never gain ground on the deer population.  My son and I have nine deer permits bwt gun and bow.  I don’t need anymore.  The permits need to go to the areas/county that have the problem.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/10 at 07:59 AM

Again I saw Earn a buck. If someone wants to turn in a bogus doe harvest OH WELL!! Its going to cost him or her $15 to do it. Make it so you have to harvest a doe and cant kill a buck until that the next day that doe is checked in. You will have some dishonest hunters out there, but with the system we have now I think we do already.
Doublecluck!!! Whats with all your crap about being up til 3 in the morning to take care of your deer. Thats a bunch of BS If it takes you that long give it up. And wanting tax payers to pay for your processing fee. Give me a break!! How did that come up in this forum? I aggree with Hank, offering extra tags is not the only answer. I have more tags than i will use already!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/10 at 12:26 PM

I just don’t see giving out more tags will help.  I will work all winter filling the nine tags my son and I already have.  And trying to give away more deer will be tough when everybody has had all the deer they want.(I send one to SAH already and keep three for the family).  I will say it again, they have to find away for the outfitters to kill more deer.  I kill enough on my property.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/11 at 07:50 AM

my job requires me to work 6 days a week and sometimes 7 days. If I am lucky, I will get to bowhunt 6 or 7 times a year.I love it, so I can’t give it up, but I have to work,also. Earn a buck would really be bad for me, since I might not get extra opportunities like the rest of you to harvest that doe before the buck comes by. We need to consider all factors on these laws. Earn a buck needs check stations to really work and this governor has broken the state. What few days I can get off, I gun and muzzelload hunt with my family. I just think the best solution is to make the outfitters meet quotas on does and keep records for the state like we used to at the goose hunt clubs. If quotas aren’t met, then reduce their allotted permits for the next year. The average hunter like myself will harvest both does and bucks like I have always done, but earn a buck would not be a fair way to approach this problem.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/11 at 11:30 AM

There are two major problems in the state of Illinois that are affecting hunting:  outfitting and non-residents.  Outfitters have run everyone out of their hunting spots to chase that almighty dollar.  They’ve killed hunting as a whole.  They want to own every last piece of ground they can get their hands on and what they can’t own they want to lease.  Not to mention they’ve driven the price of ground out of proportion to where it should be.  It’s wrong for outfitters to get guaranteed tags and it’s wrong for non-residents to get a tag before a tax paying Illinois resident does.  I own my own property and I get landowners tags.  However, I put in for two paid tags in the adjacent county to mine and got DENIED!!!  Now, some might say:  “Well, you already got your landowner tags that should be enough.”  Well, it’s not enough!!!  My money spends the same as anyone elses.  I, as an Illinois resident should get first dibs…...always!!!  I don’t begrudge a non-resident who wants to come to Illinois and shoot a monster whitetail.  I’d love to go out to Montana and shoot an elk or a bear but, I’m a guest in their state and it’s a privelege for me to get that opportunity.  I shouldn’t be able to do that every year.  Illinois needs to implement the preference point system as many states out west do.  Non-residents also need to pay more for their Illinois deer tags.  By the way, the Illinois residents are the conservationists not the non-residents and outfitters.  They’re here to take a big pile of bone and that’s all.  We as residents are the ones who kill 2 or 3 does every year.  Extending the season is flat foolishness.  Number one, placing a gun season in October screws up bowhunting.  Number two, an extended late winter season can result in a lot of bucks that have already lost their antlers being harvested.  The answer to controlling the deer population is very simple:  less out of state tags and more resident tags.  By the way, what good does it do to issue more tags when we’re out of place to hunt???? That’s the problem you get when you let politicians make decisions about things they know nothing about.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/11 at 10:18 PM

I agree with Mr. Kiefer, Illinois doesn’t have the guts to turn down non res tag dollars, instead residents get burned by losing hunting ground, tags, etc. I know we can’t blame landowner’s or farmers for wanting to lease ground for hunting and make more money, but here is the problem. Landowner leases ground to hunter. Hunter pays goods money for hunt (dreaming of big bucks as we all do) Hunter or hunters try all week to kill big buck. Last day comes anything goes small bucks including, cause they aren’t going home empty handed. Doe population still growing. Iv’e lost alot of hunting land to out of state people (again can’t blame landowner) There is hardly any ground to hunt on. Illinois is public land poor in alot of areas throughout the state. Start with the earn a buck program with non res tags first, then if successful we won’t need it for us!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/12 at 07:53 PM

thank God the Illinois Task Force has started to level the playing fields for the meat hunters. Nine days all together or spread apart…. still gives gun hunters another reasonable chance to deer hunt. Over the counter.. Terrific!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/20 at 08:47 PM

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