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Illinois hunting and fishing

Early harvest for archers?

September 05, 2010 at 03:12 AM

Deer permit details

Illinois archery deer permits are currently being sold over the counter for residents and non-residents. Bow season opens Oct. 1.

Permits for the Oct. 9-10 youth deer season are also sold over-the-counter by license vendors.

For firearm permits, hunters must apply online at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting. Random daily drawings start Sept. 14 and run through Oct. 4. Do not apply for the random drawings if you already have a permit. Remaining gun tags will be sold over the counter starting Oct. 19 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Farmers are not the only folks smiling to see brown, mature corn in so many Illinois fields.

Many bowhunters preparing for the Oct. 1 start to archery deer season are also encouraged by an early harvest. Though there’s not always a direct relationship, less corn typically means more deer — or at least more deer sightings.

And there’s not much question corn will be coming out well ahead of the last two seasons. Through Monday, 34 percent of the crop was mature compared to just 2 percent last year and 11 percent on average.

“The guys I’m talking to about (the early harvest) are excited,” said Merle Keefer, owner of Pekin Bass and Bow. “They think it’s going to be a phenomenal year.

The approach of rolling combines isn’t the only good news for deer hunters. The Illinois whitetail herd came through this summer relatively free of disease, aside from a few outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in Will and Morgan counties.

And if trail-camera pictures are any indication, there are numerous trophy bucks roaming the Prairie State.

“As long as the weather is anywhere near cooperative, (hunters) ought to have more opportunities” than last year, said Paul Shelton, Illinois’ deer biologist.

But corn coming out doesn’t mean you have to approach the season different than normal. That’s according to Marc Anthony of Goodfield, who has built an impressive resume of early season trophy bucks.

“My scouting will be the same,” said Anthony, who has arrowed four bucks that qualify for the Boone and Crockett club record books.

Anthony uses what he calls the 200-yard rule to find big bucks in early October. While scouting he looks to find for hotspots where a food source, a reliable water source and heavy bedding cover are all in close proximity.

“If you can find all those conditions within 200 yards of each other, it’s a great starting point for big bucks,” he said. “I’ve got one buck on trail cameras that I think is not traveling more than 60-90 yards per day.

“He gets out of his bed, walks 30-40 yards, nibbles on some corn and beans, then goes the opposite direction and gets water. Then he winds up back in the same spot he started.”

Anthony said that may change as the corn comes out and hunters move into the woods.

“In some areas of central Illinois where I was hunting last year, I think the standing corn was a blessing,” he said. “They get pressured so much around here that I think the corn made them feel more secure.

“I wouldn’t push them as hard with the corn out.”

Anthony also said bowhunters may need to be more selective, since deer sightings can be expected to increase.

Then too, weather remains a critical factor. Bowhunters shot an impressive number of huge bucks in early October last year despite
abundant standing corn.

“The difference last year was that it was so cold in October and a lot of big deer got smoked because they were moving,” said Tim Walmsley of Fowler, a diehard bowhunter and one of the state’s top big buck measurers. “I don’t care if there’s not a cornfield standing on Oct. 1. If won’t matter a hill of beans if it’s 80 degrees.” 

As last hunting season continued, though, deer harvest totals did not reach expectations despite longer seasons and more permits sold.

Some say that was due to all the standing corn. Others says there aren’t as many deer as advertised.

Given the expected early harvest this fall, we should learn which theory is closer to the truth.

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

I am looking forward to finding out!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 09/05 at 06:41 AM

I personally would like to see the corn where I hunt stay in until mid October but I don’t think that is going to happen this year.  That way you draw in deer from all around and hopefully they stay.  Its almost here, good luck to all.

Posted by Metallicat85 on 09/05 at 10:23 AM

Was it corn or, lack of deer?!?! Really, look at the #’s from the past 2 season’s

  Decrease 6%  Gun season 08/09 to 09/10 (corn was in)

  Increase 30%  Late winter 08/09 to 09/10 (corn was out)

In the deer hunting blog about the IDNR website, treehugger made a comment

“simply because two or three percent of us are doing it wrong”

  I would say more like 90% are doing it wrong!! I hope I’m wrong but, in Illinois 86% of the timber is unmanaged, so if the timber’s not managed, the number 1 thing deer need, really. I mean, they need; timber, grass, and water,(food, water, cover) so if the timber isn’t managed, then its off to a bad start! Then, do they manage; grass’s, food plots? Is the deer herd managed??!! So there really is more to it then you think, and that is just barely scratching the surface!
  In my opinion it was the corn, when the farmer cut the corn where I hunted, it was like a switch had been turned on!
  This just shows, the importance of cover! You can create cover by managing your timber, planting grasses, and some food plots! So maybe instead of worrying about your scent lock , and your sweet new.. whatever! Maybe you should worry about where the deer live, hide, and spend every day! Yeah, while your in the office, fishing, and with family, yeah the deer are in their same core area, which you provide them!
    But don’t listen to me, you probably have it all under control! Clearly! So keep doing it your way, your only hurting yourself and the others who hunt with you! Do you want; a teacher, engineer, or businessman, managing your hunting land? Well, they are! So if you want a professional to manage your investment, then email or call me! I would love to help! Thanks for your time and God bless!


FoodplotPhil

Posted by food plot phil on 09/06 at 12:54 PM

I can gurantee the corn will still be up until mid November around my honey hole.  We have one of the laziest farmers in the state that owns all the land around us. He will take it out about three days before gun season and no sooner.  Oh well, same ol stragety as every year, set up from bedding to the fields and hang close to the creek which they use as a highway.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/06 at 07:10 PM

Never hard of planting beans after cutting corn. Are you sure they didn’t say wheat?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/07 at 11:13 AM

I can’t wait to see what my new bean plot provides in the late season.  Seems like the deer have been hitting all the big bean fields all around me and leaving mine alone until this past week or so. 
——————————
Phil, you quoted me correctly but sort of misrepresented the quote.  On that blog, and in that quote, I was speaking of people shooting too many bucks….more than they are legally allowed.  I was not speaking about habitat management at all.  I am all for property and game management.  I stick by my guesstimate that only a few percent of hunters in Illinois kill more bucks than legally allowed.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/07 at 12:22 PM

Second yr of hunting and trail cam has them walkin to beans every day! Then back to creek and bed down. Like one guy said “if its 80 it isnt gonna matter” Good luck to you all this year. If you read about someone dangling from their safety harness 20 ft up its me…..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/07 at 04:10 PM

Sounds like a great season…good luck to all.  Enjoy the outdoors and have a safe hunt. 1st time in 18 years I’ll miss opening day..I have a date with Mr Muskie (I hope).

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

jcdeckhand09, no need to name call! He asked a question, he didn’t reprimand you. Not everybody farms or is aware of your intentions when you state something. It was an innocent question. Easy does it.

Posted by deerhead on 09/08 at 07:47 AM

The gray box within this article, titled Deer Permit Details, says “Do not apply for the random drawings if you already have a permit. Remaining gun tags will be sold over the counter starting Oct. 19 on a first-come, first-served basis.”  I think that statement is incorrect.  A resident hunter with existing gun tags can apply for as many daily drawing permits as they want to buy at the IDNR’s online permit vending site.  There is a cutoff date to apply for online random daily drawing tags in early October.  After that date, remaining tags will be sold over the counter on a first come first serve basis.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/08 at 07:11 PM

I want to wish all bow huners, Good Luck and have a safe hunt. I can not wait till that opening day. I am still debating, if I should use my compound or the long bow.

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

yeah fultonctyhunters prediction will probably be correct. the corn will still be up making it harder for the poor bowhunters. lol.but hey, the deer have to have somewhere to hide after the first week of bow season. seems like bowhunters around here will shoot at anything that moves with no regards to the herd.sounds like strategy, not laziness to me!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/10 at 08:48 PM

Ah Geez…did spoonriver/privateowner change his name AGAIN!?!?!?  lol…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/13 at 10:06 PM

Great website man…thanks for the post…this article was really great…keep on posting such stuff…great work….prada designer

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/08 at 01:05 AM

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