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Illinois hunting and fishing

Some Illinois gun hunters grumbling

November 22, 2009 at 12:42 PM
Illinois Outdoors

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Too much corn, too few deer.

That seems to be the sentiment of numerous Illinois firearm deer hunters through the first two days of gun season.

As always, there were also plenty of stories of success. Among the happier tales from the timber was that of Eric Trone (pictured above) who shot this wide 9-pointer in Fulton County on Saturday.

Other successful hunters included 11-year-old R.J. Sodt of Plainfield (pictured below with his first deer, a 9-point buck taken on opening day), who was hunting on a farm in Kankakee County near Braidwood with his father, Robert Sodt. Said the proud papa,“The buck came running in towards our doe decoy from 250 yards away. He stopped 50 yards away from our two-man stand just long enough for my son to take a shot. Twenty minutes later he was holding the antlers of his first deer. I was more excited about this deer than any I’ve ever taken myself.”

That’s what it’s all about.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Cherra Hughes also enjoyed a strong start to the season. Hughes was in her stand for only 57 minutes Friday morning before shooting this wild-looking 9-point Fulton County buck.

Illinois hunting and fishing

But for every happy hunter there seemed to be one more who “just didn’t see the deer we normally see.”

Harvest totals won’t be final until Tuesday, most likely. But deer biologist Paul Shelton told Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times: “It is looking like the [deer] harvest is comparable to last year, which wasn’t a particularly good opening day. It is pretty clear it will not be on par with opening days in 2005, ‘06 and ‘07 when crops weren’t an issue.”

Based on what I’ve heard from many, many hunters, things did not improve Saturday or Sunday morning as the weather turned warm. That created dense fog in parts of central Illinois, where hunters were shaking their heads Sunday.

Some of that grumbling could be heard Sunday morning at Jordan’s Mobil station in Elmwood, where most hunters agreed they had seen far fewer deer than normal.

Brian Davis of Elmwood spent Friday and Saturday in the stand and saw just one deer. “But when I was driving home I saw a doe in the middle of the road. As soon as I got close she ran off into the corn,” he said.

Richard Powers had not seen a deer. And Tom Ramsey had seen a few deer, but had not yet had a good shot.

“I saw a lot more deer the week before gun season,” Scott Davis said. “But we’re not even seeing any pumpkin heads (does).”

What hunters are seeing is plenty of corn—much more than expected. And while combines have been running hard all weekend, they can’t make up for the lack of harvest earlier this year.

That has left some hunters wondering whether the crops will be out in time for the second firearm season Dec. 3-6.

Let us know how your opening weekend has gone.

 

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

i have hunted all but 2 days this month and im frankly tired of hearing about the deer all hidding in the corn.  The early next week write up the dnr will put out also frustrates me.  If the kill is up this year… they say its up because ” unseasonably warm weather increased hunter participation” If its down its because ” too much standing corn combined with unseasonably warm weather which suppressed the rut caused decreased deer sitings”.  ive hunted very open areas where i can see for half a mile in several directions.  I havent seen over ten deer on a hunt yet this year and go into the coffee shops and hear old women talking about how their husbands havent seen a deer all year and wondering where they are cause they are ” thick”.  Deer DONT HIDE IN CORN!  Oh sure some do but its not like 25 to 30 percent are in these few corn fields.  Most farmers i know are nearly done.  The ones that arent done in my area are the ones that are NEVER done by this time of year. there is 40 percent less deer in my county than there was in the late 90s. I did hunt a uncut corn field yesterday.  Seen 3 bucks and a doe… only one buck came from the corn field.  The other came from the other way while the 3rd can up and down a ditch at 200 yards from the corn. Could have shot them all.  We hear about the corn 7 out of ten years and im tired of it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 03:03 PM

i hunt (or hunted)in adams county and didnt see much till tonight hit a big doe but then went back in and the farmer told me i couldnt come back….so a lil puzzled i diidnt understand he said his son made a deal with sum out of staters that they were leasing it and since they were coming to hunt sunday i dont get to EVER go back now i feel for the guys that get tags and dont get land to hunt but do u know how it feels tohunt land for years andplan a trip with a 2 hour drive book a hotel and all the works just to get the rug pulled out from under u and then the farmer wont even give you a chance to at least match what they r paying…...oh well what can the small guy do anymore…..(hunt state ground)i guess so this is a long shot….if anyone has a spot in adams county and would allow me to use my tags just for does as im a meat only hunter any way that would be great just click on my name and shoot me an email

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 06:07 PM

Deer were moving really well west of farmington. Even with all the corn still standing in the area, our group of 5 hunters harvested 3 bucks and 2 does and combined we saw more than 60 deer on friday and saturday. We didnt hunt Sunday due to fatigue since we were all severely out of shape! We had to hike in about a mile to our stands due to the muddy roads and had to drag our deer all the way out as well since the 4 wheeler got stolen.

Posted by PondGuy on 11/22 at 06:31 PM

This was the first year that I did not see a single deer during the entire 3-days of 1st shotgun season. Not even a snort in the pitch black darkness. Blame it on standing corn, the untimely warm front, or all the rain we got earlier in the week. But that’s okay, I’m not complaining. I also did not hear a single gun shot blast within a half mile of my stand the entire weekend. Luck is bound to improve 2nd season. Corn will be gone (mostly), weather will be cooler, and (hopefully) there will be less orange in the woods…
*Oh yeah, despite what my name says, I’m hunting Macon Co. this year…;)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 06:37 PM

Clint how can you say the deer our not in the corn??? The farmers I talk to say they are chasing them out left & right. I hunt Henry co and this was the worst year for deer sighting i have ever seen or heard from other hunters. I hunt some real ggod ground were its nothing to hear upwards of 150-200 shots on opening morning i heard 8 including my own. Saturday morning i drove around were I hunt thinking maybe there were less hunters. It wasn’t from lack of hunters but i did see thousands of acres of corn still standing. One thing i do aggree with you on is there are alot less deer as a whole in my part of the state. I started bow hunting 17 years ago, they started offering over the counter bow tags and allowing you to kill as many deer as you wanted. Now they are offering more gun tags than before, our state and the Ins. Co are ruining our sport. If the decline keeps up we will be back to where we were when i was a child, NO DEER!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 06:59 PM

hunted all day all 3 days and never got a shot, seen 5 deer on Friday and not a single deer all day Sat or Sun. I hope the second season brings more sightings then we will know if the corn is an issue or not.

Posted by holmzee on 11/22 at 07:03 PM

How can i say it? I have hunted to the point of addiction for 20 years?  Spend every day but one in a tree this month?  SoTHE RUT! I seen deer chasing at 11 am on saturday morning.  3 big bucks.  They dont just stand in the corn and walk circles during the rut.  Are some deer in the corn?  Yes.  Do the deer like to lay in the corn and sleep in the mud no?  And the deer dont just feed on the standing corn and not come out.  They are a class of animal that can not just stand and feed in one spot they roam from food source to food source.  You did get it right though there are ALOT less deer.  Seen about 15 deer tonight on 400 acres thats managed for deer no where near standing corn.  They dont just stand in the middle of 200 acres of corn and not come out all day.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 07:14 PM

My family owns 110 acres in Fulton County. I have hunted it for over 20 years and this is the worst season I have ever had for seeing deer. I shot my deer late Saturday and feel lucky to have gotten it. I don’t know if it’s the corn, the weather, the deer population or just a fluke but things were totally different this year. I definately know what I’m doing when I deer hunt our property and I was beginning to wonder if this would be the first year that I wouldn’t fill my tag in over 20 years. I sure hope things are different next year!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 07:18 PM

I had quite a few deer moving Friday morning, a few moving Friday afternoon, and barely any all day Saturday and this morning.  I moved to a different location on my farm this afternoon and found all the deer I hadn’t been seeing.  I saw 9 different bucks from fork horns to a nice 8pt that would have been tagged had I not seen 2 bigger Thursday afternoon.  I would guess I had over 20 doe sightings (not necessarily different does), and I had my first handgun kill on a young doe at 27 yards Saturday morning.
  I was a little frustrated going into this afternoon’s hunt with the lack of deer movement during daylight.  I had a bunch of corn around me Thursday and Friday that was picked by this morning so I can’t blame standing corn.  I think it’s more weather related.  East and south winds are not normal for this time of year, and although not quite t-shirt weather, it was pretty warm compared to the last couple of weeks.
  The good news is that most of the remaining corn should be gone by 2nd season and the long term forcast is calling for cooler temps.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 07:31 PM

Say what you want about the deer being in the corn, but I’m just plain seeing fewer deer this year. All the areas that I hunted this weekend HAVE ALL THE CORN CUT around them. To back that up, on my daily drive to work this time of year I usually see 15 or so deer in the 12 mile trip. This year I might see maybe five or six. That’s over the last 22 years by the way. In that 12 mile trip the fields are about 90% harvested. I believe the lack of sighting is two fold, fewer deer and much more pressure from non resident hunters. Maybe Blago sold our deer too?

Posted by knob on 11/22 at 08:25 PM

saturday was a pretty amazing morning.  Friday evening i seen several bucks chasing everywhere.  Buddy and i got to stand the next morning… NOTHING.  We went into the woods to take a stand down that was left in this woods since we posted it 2 years ago and there were deer in there bedding.  I think deer movement was horrid and mostly at night due to the warm temps… But friday when the deer movement was best this season, is the first time i can remember gun hunting in green sweat pants a tee shirt and my light orange jacket and it cooled down slightly after that.  The deer kill cant keep going down and us get jacked with by the IDNR with excuses other than there being less deer.  Ive hunted the same locations as last year and my deer sitings have dropped to less than 40 percent of the total sitings last year and ive hunted alot more this year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 09:05 PM

I think you people who gun hunt only 7 days out of the year and expect to automatically kill are crazy. If you bowhunted too you would have a better chance at bagging something.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/22 at 11:47 PM

I hunt 2 pieces of private land in Christian County. Neither one is very large. Both are mainly bottom land timber, CRP and corn. With all the rain we had last week most of the hunting areas are flooded out. The CRP where the deer had been beding is flooded out. This has pushed the deer into the corn fields. Granted they don’t stay in the corn for 24 hours. They do have lots of bedding areas in the corn though. After the corn has been picked you can see where they wiped out the corn earlier in the year and it is completely weeds and grass. I’ve seen very few signs of the rut here. The bucks I have seen are not all swolen nor are they chasing hard. The bucks have been singles and the does still have their young with them. With the weird weather I do not think the rut has gone into full swing, IMHO. I do bow hunt. Got my lone buck with the bow 2 weeks ago. Out of the 53 days of hunting season this year I’ve probably been out 40 times and I’m just not seeing the numbers of years past.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 12:33 AM

Two deer down Sat. morning for my hunting party after only seeing one doe at 175 yards all day Fri.  The funny part was a I was sitting on the ground after tagging my 8 point buck and waiting for the 4wheeler to haul the deer out when I had the most amazing expericence of my hunting life.  As I sat there next to my buck I heard the tell-tale signs of a deer walking just over the drop off in the creek edge so I shoulder my gun thinking I was going to get to fill my doe tag.  Well when the deer came up out of the creek it was a huge 14 point buck that prolly weighed around 250, and as I sat there and smiled at the horror of already filling my either sex tag 15 mins prior to this the big boy just walked past me and milled around for a few mins before walking off.  The funny part is after I stepped it off at one point he was only 12 feet from me lol, and im not one of those super skilled hunters who has all that scent lock stuff I wear a pair of fleece lined green pants and a camo coat with my orange vest, so either I was extremely lucky or the big boy couldnt smell, even though I didnt get to harvest him it none the less was an amazing hunt and one that I will remember forever I can not wait to take my five year old son on his first outing next season to watch the deersees as he calls them with me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 02:34 AM

Doe down Friday morning @ 7:30. Saw 10 deer that morning.  Went back out that afternoon. Seen 7 deer including a nice 8 pt. Sat. morning saw 12 deer and shot the same 8 pt. @10:30. A lot of deer movement during midday. Got done in time Sat. to go watch Metamora beat Rochester. Cant beat a better weekend then that.  smile

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 06:36 AM

Clint, I totally agree with you. I hunt Hancock co. and have been for better than 30 years. Deer hunting is a passion for me as well. I am blessed to get to hunt some of the very best ground available. I bowhunted pretty much everyday up till gun season and never seen a defined rut as in years past. I did harvest a nice mid 140’s with my Bow earlier this month. This first gun season was the worst in many years. I counted 18 skinheads and no antlered deer. 3 years ago I counted 87 deer the first 3 days. The population is DOWN. I am seeing more hunters than ever as well. There are more out of state pickups parked along the fields than locals . Deer hunting has become a business and I know of some locals that had their check refunded without getting a permit. In away I am glad to see the numbers down, maybe this will somewhat detour what deer hunting has become.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 06:51 AM

What usually sounds like a war zone in our area was dead quiet all weekend. In our area, deer numbers have actually gone up in the past 5 years - so too have the number of hunters. Our preferred spots were inaccessible this weekend due to flooded creek bottoms. I’m convinced that our misfortunes (not seeing a single deer all weekend) were weather related. Too much rain created a barrier from us and the deer. All the standing corn on the other side of the creek bottom probably didn’t help either. smile
*
Oh well, it wouldn’t be much fun if you shot something every year at 7:00 am on opening day. 2nd season will be much better. There won’t be as many hunters out there, and I’ll bring a boat if I have to in order to cross that GD creek. Congrats to those that actually saw something!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 07:31 AM

Stepped out to hunt after bball game on saturday only to find neighbors lined up on the fence row waiting for something to jump out in the feild.Some people don’t think about the land around you that is leased up but nobody hunting it,since the out of state hunters can’t all get tags it sets empty its like a refuge and the deer find that out real fast.The deer are hear there just going to the land with nobody hunting it.As for hearing shots fired if they are hunting bucks only your not going to hear very many shots. If you are lucky enough to have a spot left to hunt and are a resident of illinois you are a dying breed enjoy it while you can. Its hunting be lucky your not home WISHING YOU HAD A PLACE TO HUNT.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 08:26 AM

Had a great weekend in Knox County.  Saw tons of deer and took a doe on Friday with my 6 and 7 year old sons with me.  They were about as excited as two kids can get.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 08:33 AM

Not much in Marshall, my son and I saw 9 does opening day.  Nothing Sat, 1 large doe Sun. Waiting for something with horns. Surrounded by standing corn. Quiet and peaceful…took naps and enjoyed the weather.  Not much shooting in the area.  I’m positive numbers will be down this year.  Should be better next month.  Now for some bowhunting!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 08:55 AM

Deer don’t hide in the corn?  Are you serious?  I can’t tell you how many deer I’ve seen coming out of the corn to feed on my food plots and hay field during an afternoon hunt.  I saw one doe real early Friday morning doing what a deer should do….coming out of the corn and into my timber.  Just as she was about to cross the fence to enter the timber, a small buck came out of the corn and she turned and ran back into the corn to get away from him.  Completely backwards.  If the corn was down, she would have ran into the timber to lose him.  Within the next hour and half, I watched three more bucks come out of the corn trailing her every step.  I called to all three of the bucks, all heard me and were interested, but only the last one actually came back into the timber about 20 minutes after I saw him in the corn.  He was definitely looking for the girls but one of the few deer that I’ve seen in the past couple weeks.  I hunt almost every day.  The season (bow) opened great with more deer sightings than ever before.  Once I taught them that deer season was open, they disappeared.  Why?  Because they now beeded in the corn instead of the timber.  If no corm was standing, they’d have no choice but to bed in the timber, pressured or not.  They’re not going to lay in a picked field.  The combination of typical hunting pressure and standing corn worked out great for the deer this year.  In my opinion, there are not fewer deer, the deer simply have more hiding places when pressured.  To think that standing corn late in November has nothing to do with fewer deer sightings is just wrong!  Just wait till it’s picked.  We’ll all see more deer in the fields and in the timber.  Maybe a slow gun season is just what we need if you think our population is down.  Bottom line, I killed two real nice bucks this year, one bow and one gun, I just had to hunt a lot harder this year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 10:59 AM

Just a note concerning shotgun this weekend. I hunt the Mackinaw River Bottoms in Tazewell Co. I saw 1 doe on Sat and two fawns. Nothing on Friday or Sunday. I have been deer hunting since 1966 and have harvested certainly more than my share. I do bow hunt,also but anyone who doesn’t think the corn has had a major impact on the movement just isn’t living in a real world. I have seen a tremendous amout of fresh activity,both trail wise ,in the mud, as well as rubs and scrapes. According to my cameras and visual most all movement is being done at night. New scrapes with heavy use in the last ten days. Very little gunfire around the area. Maybe enough harvest by next season to pick this up.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 11:09 AM

Im surprised at all the different opinions from everyone. And im evem more surprised that all the veteran deer hunters haven’t commented on the fact that deer are moving at NIGHT PEOPLE, HELLO! I definately do not know as much about deer as some of you but I have been bow hunting since 2000 and like anything i do i try to become the best at it. And i have seen over the last 9 years the deer have changed there statigies. They also wander thru the woods looking up in tree’s now. And I havnt tipped them off either i am EXTEMLY cautious about my scent and exposure in my deer woods. But there is no doubt in my mind that the population is as strong as ever, they are much more aware of us then you all think. And they are ADAPTING.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 11:58 AM

Very few shots and very few deer sightings in Calhoun.  Not sure if the deer are in the corn or not; most of the fields where I hunt are in CRP or just fallow.  I saw plenty of deer during bow season so I know they are around; just a bad weekend for whatever the reason.  Probably a combination of warm weather, standing corn, and hunting pressure (too much or too little).  Its just hard to say.  I do know this though: sigthtings of big, mature bucks is way down over the past 5 years.  I use to see a few 150 inch deer during the bow/gun seasons and although I may not be able to connect on them it was always nice to see them run away….  I think outfitting in my area has really taken a toll on mature deer.  My 200 acres is bordered 80% by outfitters.  The only savior is a 60 acre farm that is not hunted.  Deer use this as a bedding area.  Most outfitters have left to go ruin another part of the state.  I wish the rest of them would go with them.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 12:05 PM

Never posted here before, but I saw deer first thing Friday morning just south of Windsor (Shelby County), IL.  Two Buck’s chasing a Doe.  I got luck and shot the three and a half year old seven point.  My two brother in laws didn’t shoot anything all weekend.  I saw several deer running to or out of the corn.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 12:51 PM

Ok… they are outsmarting some of you and all hiding in the corn smile If that makes you feel better about yourself believe that they are just smarter than you.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 01:22 PM

I hunt Macon county, Menard, and Cass and can honestly say that as a whole I have seen far fewer deer all together. however, i have seen a ton of movement at night. One other thing that I have seen is that the deer I see in town has gone up tremendously. It is nothig for mee to drive just three blocks form my home in Decatur after 6pm and see 15 to 20 deer in the park or in the few lone fields that are still left undeveloped. Deer are smarter than we give them credit for they are moving to areas of les danger. They do hide in fields and they do roam but if you have a 200 acre field for them to roam around and forage for food they are going too. In my opinion it is a mixture of all three conditions, Weather, Crops, and simple survival.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 01:34 PM

Hunted livingston county and seen a few deer.  Could have shot a few does and the hunting party shot a couple decent bucks (130ish) If I can say this w/o getting yelled at, the deer are definatly in the corn alot.  I think it is mostly trying to get away from the bucks.  Was harvesting a field and had a doe all around the combine and bucks where cruzing in and out of the corn the whole time.  When I got down to about 16 rows she took off and the bucks were after her.  Kinda funny watching it actually.  Know people in Morgan county seeing the same thing all though they did mange to shoot a stud 8pt and missed a few other big deer.  They ARE in the corn alot of the time but I do agree that numbers are down and that warm weather and alot of nighttime action took it toll this season.  250+ night pics on the trail cameras in the last week.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 01:50 PM

I still say in my county,fulton its not lack of deer but lack of hunters. Alot of land sets idle because of leasing to outfitters. I bet if alot of people on this site would check out some of the land around them they would see the same thing not in the corn as much as the idle woods next to you.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 02:47 PM

I hunt on my father-in-laws farm in Shelby county and on a lease next to his farm.  So I am lucky enough to hunt on about 500 acres of good bottom land. Father-in-laws crops are out and the corn is still in on the lease.  Killed a 140 class over cut corn field week before gun season.  Gun hunted on our lease and seen a few bucks and does the first day, but after that they were hard to come by. Checked game cameras around the corn and had a good number of pictures. Just not seeing them.  Moved to another farm Saturday afternoon and got a 140 class with muzzle loader. You just got to be in the right place at the right time.  Gun season is more luck then skill. People pushing deer all over the county.  Bow season is when it takes skill.  We are all lucky just to be outdoors enjoying the weather and Gods animals!!!! It will get better next season!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 03:23 PM

I am amazed on the small amount of deer activity I have seen (none)....but Im curious why Im the only one to comment about the buck taken by the young man…the dad said the buck ran to the doe decoy they had set up….Im pretty sure that decoys cannot be used during gun season for safety reasons…am I wrong, if so, please correct me….kudos to the boy getting the deer…but dont set yourself up for getting shot at with a decoy in front of you…al

Posted by dartonman on 11/23 at 06:00 PM

iasked earlier on here…..does anyone have a spot in adams county that they wouldlet me come shoot 2 does due to me losing my spot to leasing halfway thru the first season???????????if so could u plz contact me….just click on chumly and it will prompt an email thnx u in advance i hope

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 07:06 PM

Harvest was down last year. Harvest appears to be down this year. Just suppose it is because there are fewer deer ...... now consider that the DNR has extended the late antlerless season to kill even more. Oh wait, its the corn .. same as every other year ... even though many river bottoms were flooded thus eliminating a lot of potential deer hiding cover ... yeah, its the corn!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 09:03 PM

the corn crop hasn’t been this late since the mid-60s.  It was also late last year.  The harvest wont be down that much. You guys should all quit your day job and go be statisticians or something because you love splitting hairs on deer harvest numbers. The corn harvest is so freakin late is it like there are tens of thousands of additional cover for the deer.  Not to mention they are adapting better to hunters, and Did you ever think there are MORE trophy hunters out there, just letting deer walk?  I hunted for a total of 4 hours this shotgun season and saw over 30 deer. You guys need to complain to your wives, or call up the DNR, but to get on this site and moan about your problems is a waste of energy. you should be out trying to kill a deer since it is so difficult for you

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 09:11 PM

lungbuster… my day job is actually teaching things… such as stats, research methods… and logic. Along with many other college level subjects. Thats why i can call BS on the IDNR’s press releases.  There has been an all out goal of extermination on the whitetail deer for around 20 years.  And only a MORON would think it wouldnt have some effect on the density of the deer herd.  And Anyone out of the office who drives around every evening in the summer can see it right here in my county.  I would go with friend A to his neck of the woods and see over 100 deer and between 6 and 15 shooters a lap.  WHen we would go to the other end of the county, we would see ten deer and 2 shooters on a GREAT lap covering 30 miles.  He averages 30 deer a hunt in any woods in this area… i avg 3 on the other side.  In the 90s… the whole county was similar to this.  The difference…. Cover.  That area say 100 square miles is probably 60/40 cover/field.  Where the rest of the county is more like 20/80.  The herd is becoming more sporadic.

I am actually friends with many big time farmers in the county that farm huge operations.  One had 200 acres left to get out the other had 60 acres.  These are two of the top 10 farmers in the county if you go by acres farmed and 2 of the later planters in the county.  I would have been EXTREMELY hard pressed to find 1000 acres of corn left standing if i searched all weekend. 

One good point that was made here… The deer are moving at night more this year. And its NOT from the deer learning to move at night more nowadays. ITs because the average temp this year has been well above normal causing more rutting activity to be at night…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 09:39 PM

Here in Winnebago County the Deer population is way down. Thanks to what I believe is the DNR’s fault. The DNR take their sharpshooters into the county parks and shoot hundreds of deer with the use of baits and spot lights which is against the law for you and I but not for them. Why can’t the hunters who pay the taxes so they can buy these parks get to use them. I would be willing to pay a fee to use these area’s. Instead we pay the DNR to shoot them. And A reliable source told me that when they shoot a big buck they remove the cape and rack and keep or sell them. DNR quit killing all are Deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 09:56 PM

Everythings IDNR’s fault! Wow!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/23 at 10:32 PM

I dont gun hunt but i guess it sounded like world war 3 around the land that i bow hunt. Unfortunately the guys that do gun hunt the land needed to do a little better sighting in there guns or something. The landowner told me there were 2 big bucks shot both from my treestands and they couldnt find them. Now what i dont understand is how you cant find a deer after shooting it with a gun, one of the bucks was shot twice and was seen running on the neighboring property which was a good few hundred yards away. Then he says one guy shot a button buck,the same one Ive seen numerous times im sure. I was hoping he would get big someday. But i guess when you give blood thirsty idiots a gun thats what happens. Sad thing is that they try to bowhunt too.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 06:50 AM

hunting overall was slow. I saw a handful of 2.5 year old 120 inch 8 points. I let them all walk. I saw does many of which I could have shot. Overall very anti-action foe what I expected. The deer seemed to find my farm as a home as the next door neighbor a doctor shot like it was tet in vietnam.
The rain the previous week seemed to slow deer movement to a stop? I had 5 110 to 120 inch deer chasin a doe one afternoon and that was the best action I saw in 13 days. As most people go I guess I should not complain. I do know that the State of Illinois has a great resource that they need to protect. Its a shame to see things going in the direction they are as very few places have what Illinois has.

Posted by AntlerMineOutdoors on 11/24 at 08:24 AM

ad, who elses fault would it be?  They are the ones printing tags for every season?  They are the ones with the idea for this late weapons season expansion.  It wasnt me? I actually havent ever killed a doe that could walk cause ive seen this coming for years. The doe slayers and kill mongers have killed deer after deer for 20 years and now that they arent seeing any they are ” hiding in the corn” the dnr loves these people.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 08:27 AM

I’ve been reading this site and following the comments on the DNR management decisions for the past 2 years, both of which have been what I would consider atypical deer seasons for where I hunt in Fayette Co.  Last year I saw less deer than I have ever seen down there and it seemed like there was less shooting.  All my buddies who live down there blamed blue tongue and told me they hadn’t seen as many deer because the area got hit hard. 

This year I was prepared for a great year as my friends told me they saw tons of deer in the weeks leading up to the season and said it was nothing for them to see 15-20 deer standing in open fields.  I get down there and saw 6 does on Friday, 2 of which I jumped while walking and the other four came out just before dark.  On Saturday I saw no deer and heard so little shooting I wondered if anyone was out hunting.  Things finally improved on Sunday when I saw 6 does and 3 bucks, and took an 11 pointer.  Althougn I consider myself fortunate, I just didn’t see as many deer in either of the last two years as I got used to seeing before last year

Everyone I talked to saw less deer than usual during the day, but swore they were seeing the deer standing in open fields at night as they drove around.  Surrounding my primary hunting spot, there were 500 acres of standing corn and around my secondary spot there were around 300 acres of standing corn.  I find it hard to believe that the amount of standing corn had no effect on the numbers of deer I saw, especially when you hear of farmers combining corn and running 20-30 deer out of the corn while doing so.  The locals say that the deer are there, and while I haven’t really seen them, I have to believe the locals. 

I don’t really agree with what the DNR seems to be doing over the last several years because almost all Illinois hunters who don’t own their land have less land to hunt and are seeing less deer in those areas.  I know I can’t afford a lease and if I lose my spots to outfitters, I’ll be joining people in the sweat line at Iriquois.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 11:09 AM

Walleyered…. I hear ya, I hunt on the Winnebago, Stephenson Co. border, and those sharpshooters been whacking deer across the Pec River from me for at least 3 yrs. now. I was seeing some big ole sowbellied bucks looked to be pushing 300 lbs. B4 them bums started whackin them. I hiked down the Pec Prairie Path last year to check them out 1 day, nobody was around so I went looking around the state land. Truckloads of corn laying in piles, bales of hay and lo and behold, about a 100 yds away was a fancy groundblind. What kind of crap is that! Were paying for these bums to do this. I agree, Id be glad to save the state some money and go in there and hunt. Heck Id do it for FREE. By the way I got a 9 pt. 200 lb. buck Saturday morning, in Stephenson Co. Good Luck all.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 11:37 AM

Ever heard of CWD? Got a better idea how to monitor it. Don’t believe the shooters take bucks either. Meat with CWD ain’t real good for the brain.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 12:19 PM

What to do? I read about guys losing there places to hunt. My son got his first deer ever bow hunting. a 6 pointnot bad made agood shot. A coupla days later i went on 4 wheelerto north end of our property havent been there for a while, found 3 stands thar arent ours! I dont want trouble with the neighbors, would gladly let some hunt! But would like owners of the stands to at least ask first!So what do I do leave notes on stands , call cpo, or take my chain saw and make a point?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 01:19 PM

CWD?????!!!!!! Is that the disease that makes deer disappear in cornfields every year ..... even when the cornfields have been plowed under?


“meat with CWD” ... WOW! we are in the midst of some real cerebral greatness here ....... and I wont even start disecting dunglusters posts!


I conclude that Illinois has an epidemic of CWD killing off the deer and the hunters who eat the deer meat. The physical proof has been disappearing into cornfields for decades ..... Oh, and its all DNRs fault!


Think I’ll go hunting before the Illinois whitetail becomes extinct

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 01:21 PM

Don, I propose you go find an infected deer, accidently cut into it’s lymph nodes, or through a bone to expose the marrow then chow down. I suspect you’ll be more intelligent in 2 years when you find holes in your grey matter.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 01:34 PM

I hunt in Jackson Co.  Opening day I heard about the same number of shots in the area around me as I have in the previous 4-5 yrs.  On Sat an Sun, not so much.  It was almost spooky quiet the second two days.

In terms of deer I and my buddy saw…about the same as the last few years.  I saw 5 over the 3-day weekend hunting each morning and evening.  My buddy saw a few more than that one morning.  Not a lot compared to the dozens seen by others, but comparable to previous years on this same wooded property w/ no corn anywhere near us.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 02:31 PM

I dont about everybody else but my family had a really good hunt this season. My husband got 2. I got 2 and my daughter got her very first deer. Plus during the bow season, husband and son both brought a deer home. They are out there just need to be in the right place and the right time. So far, the deer hunting has been fun for us.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 02:42 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC302048/

AD, with your type of paranoia you likely work for the DNR.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 02:43 PM

IDNR, and paranoia has nothing to do with it. Eat at your own risk if infected, and not boned properly. Where I hunted, our population is down due to EHD, but saw plenty of deer (more bucks) with standing corn sporadically around the area hunted.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/24 at 02:54 PM

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