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Firearm deer hunting in Will County?

June 08, 2010 at 07:13 AM

A committee of the Will County Board of Commissioners recently voted to establish two firearm deer seasons on Will County Forest Preserve District Property. This proposal will go before the full County Board on June 10 at the Will County Building in Joliet at 9:30 a.m.

If passed, the legislation would open up new hunting opportunities for families living in Chicago’s south and southwest suburbs. Additionally, allowing firearm seasons on the forest district land would reduce the huge excess population of deer in the area.

“All preserves have more deer than can naturally be sustained. We have no choice but to cull the herds,” forest preserve board president Cory Singer said. “There is no other reasonable option to consider. Our primary responsibility is to manage and maintain public lands. We have to employ deer management practices. It would be irresponsible not to.”

Other options, such as deer repellent, fencing, fertility control and relocation either are too expensive or ineffective, according to forest preserve district research.

Public hunting will be a “small part of the solution,” Singer said. A limited number of permits could be issued by a lottery because officials expect high interest from local hunters. Permit fees have yet to be determined.

As in other forest preserves, most herds will be thinned out by sharpshooters - police and trained volunteers who will trap and shoot the deer at night. The meat will be butchered and donated to organizations to feed the hungry.

DeMauro said there would be specified seasons for hunting. Those using firearms would have two three-day sessions in November and December. Archery would be permitted from Oct. 1 through mid-January.

In some areas, trails and preserves would be closed to the public during hunting season, Singer said.

In developing the new deer management program, the forest preserve district must follow the requirements of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Sharpshooting only is allowed in areas with more than 30 acres with a 100-yard buffer from adjacent property owners. Archery and firearms can be used on sites of 70 acres or more, but firearms require a 300-yard buffer. All sites must be fully or partially owned by the forest preserve district.

According to these criteria, 16 sites are suitable for sharpshooting, 14 for archery and eight for firearms, DeMauro said, but it is likely not all will be used.

Some committee members, however, pointed to a staff analysis of the program that projects higher costs for the forest preserve district when hunters shoot deer (between $605 and $1,200 per deer) than when sharpshooters do it (between $103 and $227 per deer).

Commissioner Tom Weigel, R-New Lenox, said he’s not against either method of deer management. But pointing to the costs linked to hunters, Weigel said, “I don’t think we should pay that much for public hunting.”

Forest preserve board President Cory Singer, R-Frankfort, said the answer is to allow more hunters.

Calling the cost a matter of “economies of scale,” Singer said the expense would go down if you allow more hunters. At a certain point, if enough hunters take part and fees are sufficient, Singer said, the forest preserve district would generate revenue from the program.

The program now is designed to allow 17 hunters to take part, Singer said, and, “We could employ a safe and well-managed program with a significantly higher number than 17.”

Singer suggested 75 hunters.


  * Hunters must be 18, meet state requirements for firearm owners and hunters, submit to background check, obtain a hunting zone permit from the forest preserve district and attend a hunter orientation course created by the district for the program.
  * Limited number of hunters to be chosen by lottery. Will County residents would get preference.
  * Hunting would occur Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 3-5.
  * Hunting would be restricted to sections of Goodenow Grove/Plum Valley Preserve in Beecher and Sand Ridge Savanna/Kankakee Sands Preserve in Braidwood.
  * Hunters would be required to use shotguns and shoot from tree stands.


  * Participants would be forest preserve police, other trained professionals or individuals who meet marksmen standards as certified through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
  * Sharpshooters who are not forest preserve police would be subject to background checks and would be required to take training course.
  * Sharp-shooting would take place in restricted areas of McKinley Woods Preserve in Channahon, Lockport Prairie in Lockport, and Messenger Woods/Messenger Marsh in Homer Glen.
  * Sharpshooters must use modern rifles or shotguns.
  * Usable deer carcasses would be processed for venison that would be donated to charitable organizations.


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

“Will county residents would get preference”-from that, You can tell the Illinois Dept.of NonResident Revenue- “IDNR” -IS NOT calling all the shots on this one!!

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

It’s about time someone allowed hunting and sharpshooters with meat going to shelters.  Several years ago Chicago suburbs tried feeding deer to make the deer healthier and less “ribby.”  That only created more deer.  Then they employed trapping as their means of reducing the herd.  They built these huge live trap boxes and baited them.  What they didn’t figure into the equation was that more than one deer may enter a trap at one time.  When the trap door closed, several deer were trapped in one box.  When several deer entered a single trap, one deer would survive and the others were trampled to death.  A fate much worse than one shot to the coconut.  The surviving deer were transplanted to you guessed it, huntable areas.  Whatever makes your heart feel good I guess.  Hunting should have been allowed in Chicago area Forest Preserves years and years ago.  Deer, in my opinion, should be micromanaged from area to area.  Some pockets have too many deer….way too many deer, while other areas in Illinois have too few.  One big statewide law does not effectively control a herd.  Each county should be able to handle their own permit allocations and restrictions.  Where I live, in Peoria County, we have way more than we need in most areas.  I currently have my truck and my wife’s vehicle in the shop due to deer damage.  Heavily populated areas (deer) should be handled differently to be effective.  Also, please tell me they won’t open Will County Forest Preserves to NR’s.  That’s all we’d need is armed trespassers in a new hunting area near Chicago to give hunters a bad name.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/08 at 09:19 AM

treehuger… you said “Also, please tell me they won’t open Will County Forest Preserves to NR’s.  That’s all we’d need is armed trespassers in a new hunting area near Chicago to give hunters a bad name.”
I’m not going to start the resident/NR discussion here, but I’d be more concerned about the so called Chicago hunters than NR giving hunters a bad name.  The Chicago hunters are what’s driving the land prices up in my area.  The Chicago boys are the ones locking up huntable properties in my area.  The Chicago hunters are the ones shooting neighbor’s livestock thinking it’s a big deer (don’t laugh.. it has happened).  NOT the non-residents.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/08 at 01:20 PM

According to the Joliet newspaper, the program will allow 17 hunters in three preserves for shotgun hunting only. No bow hunting! What a joke.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/08 at 01:59 PM

I just meant it in terms of fairness….giving locals the rights instead of shared rights.  I do know what you’re talking about in regards to Chicago people buying up land though.  But personally, I’ve had more problems with local hunters than with NR’s or Chicago hunters.  A long time ago I was one of those Chicago hunters looking for a place to hunt.  If someone wants to find out how difficult it is to find a place to hunt, knock on a farmer’s door and ask for permission to hunt…then when he asks where you’re from, just say “Chicago.”  Not everyone from Chicago is a half Mafiosa.  It just happens to be where they are from.  In terms of property that is for sale, I guess I have a different opinion.  If property is for sale, isn’t it for sale to everyone?  If someone from Chicago buys a piece of property, is it his fault for buying what was for sale or the seller’s fault for selling it?  The market is what the market is.  If something is for sale, I find it hard to fault someone for buying it.  When I bought my property, I liked it so much I moved here and that was about two decades ago.  Best move I ever made.  I guess my point is, in terms of this article, that I would hope the residents of Will County get the first shot at each and every tag available.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/08 at 02:03 PM

It’s about time ...they have been sharp shooting the deer for a while in a lot of parks. Thanks to the tree-huggers!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 06/09 at 06:49 AM

Guess I should have picked a different screen name.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/09 at 09:16 AM

Illinois Dept.of NonResident Revenue- Tim that’s classic.  Too funny!! Glad to see your internet’s up and running.

Posted by Metallicat85 on 06/10 at 10:08 AM

Guess I should have picked a different screen name.
Posted by treehugger on 06/09 at 09:16 AM

Hope you don’t mind if I agree with you this time LOL.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/11 at 01:26 PM

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