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DNR warns waterfowl hunters that mowing or tilling unharvested corn could be considered baiting

August 29, 2012 at 09:22 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Dear Waterfowl Hunters:

Due to ongoing drought conditions in Illinois, some farmers are mowing or tilling their unharvested crop fields to collect crop insurance payments.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reminds hunters that the manipulation, including mowing or tilling, of unharvested crop fields is not a normal agricultural practice for waterfowl hunting purposes. The IDNR has received guidance on this issue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Federal baiting laws still apply, even during times of drought.  Therefore, it is a violation of the baiting laws under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act if scattered grain is not totally removed 10 days prior to hunting.  Hunters should familiarize themselves with baiting laws in Illinois.  For more information on waterfowl baiting regulations, refer to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service web­site link regarding baiting regulations at

Questions regarding hunting crop fields mowed or tilled due to drought insurance claims;

1. If a standing grain crop is 100% void of any ears (corn field produced no ears), can the field be mowed then hunted?  Yes, as long as there is no grain present in the field.  A field that produces NO ears of corn will probably be a rare occurrence.

2. If a standing grain crop has any amount of grain present after it is mowed, can it be hunted?  No, it is a “baited area” until 10 days after the complete removal of the grain.

3. Can a standing crop that was mowed be disked and made legal for hunting?  The field can only be hunt­ed after all exposed grain has been completely removed or buried for a period of 10 days.  Hunters should keep in mind that if a dry field is tilled to the extent that no grain is visibly present, strong winds or the first rain is likely to wash off some covered grain, thus still making it a baited situation.

4. Why can a person not hunt over a mowed area?  Under federal baiting regulations, mowing or tilling of a standing crop is not a “normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation, or normal soil stabili­zation practice” as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service.

More information can be found on page 25 and 26 of 2011-2012 Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations..

For questions about federal baiting regulations, please call (217) 782-6431, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Here is information on the federal regulations:

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

This is a blatant attempt by the USF&WS; and IDNR to keep waterfowl hunters, landowners, and conservation law enforcement officers confused as to what the real regulations over baiting of a field that is used for waterfowl hunting actually are trying to accomplish.  Who is to say what “normal agricultural practices” are, during a time of severe drought? It certainly is normal to waste some grain during a typical year’s harvesting of grain.  What is so blatantly wrong about this stupid regulation is the utter hippocracy
of this “regulation.” Apparently it is totally legal for the IDNR to plant sunflowers to attract migratory doves to their hunting areas.  And, legal for them to knock down and spread the sunflower seeds coveniently located near blind sites on the public hunting areas so they can brag about “harvesting 3000 doves in 3 days” on their site.  But, let a private individual do the same thing on their private land, and, according to this “clarification” statement, it would be considered an illegal act of baiting.  In other words, our Federal Government is selectively enforcing what laws they want to enforce to achieve their own agenda.  Nothing new here, move along, move along.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/06 at 11:05 AM

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