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Legislation authorizes sling bows; outlaws wanton waste

August 07, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The State Journal-Register

Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Marc Miller hosted a conference call for outdoors writers this week to talk about new legislation of interest to hunters and anglers.

Here is a roundup of new bills passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Full text of the bills can be found at: Enter the bill number in the search box at left.


Veterans who complete the online portion of hunter safety requirements in Illinois are eligible to receive a hunter safety card without having to take the field portion of the course.

To obtain the hunter safety card, the veteran will have to provide DNR with the online hunter education certification as well as military verification. Effective immediately.

“They are already trained in firearm handling they just need to be aware of some safety issues,” Miller said. “(For example,) if they are hunting over dogs, they should carry their gun parallel to the ground, not pointing down.”

Effective immediately.

SB 1620

The bill requires a hunter to use all of edible parts of a game animal – defined by law – as long as they are safe for human consumption. Killing an animal simply for the trophy rack, for example, will be considered “wanton waste.”

According to Miller, 18 percent of all calls to the Turn In Poachers hotline were for dumped animal carcasses.

Previously, it was not illegal for a hunter to shoot an animal and leave it in the field. “(The law) especially (applies to) the offensive act of shooting a deer cutting off the rack and dumping the animal,” Miller said. “That does not follow our idea of fair chase and hunting ethics.”

Migratory birds, including bobwhite quail, doves and turkeys can be “breasted out,” meaning hunters may remove only the breast meat.

According to DNR, “Breasting out” waterfowl (and other migratory birds) is not considered wanton waste.

The law takes effect Jan. 1.

HB 1003

This bill, “corrects a small issue” with the definition of deer and turkey baiting.

Previous legislation outlawing baiting could have been interpreted that water was defined as bait.

The definition raised questions as to whether farmers who put out water for livestock or pets would be allowed to hunt on their property.

New language says pure water is not bait. The bill takes effect immediately.

HB 1651

Furbearing mammals can now be taken with shotguns loaded with deer slugs. The intent is to allow firearm deer hunters to shoot a coyote with a shotgun loaded with a deer slug.

Previously, coyotes could be taken with any firearm except a shotgun with deer slugs.

The bill takes effect immediately.

SB 1170

This law makes it illegal to possess any animal that was not legally taken in another territory or state.

“If you have taken an animal illegally in another territory or other state we can find the offender and recover the costs incurred for investigating the illegal activity on the behalf of another state,” Miller said.

Illinois Conservation Police Officers routinely investigate instances of poaching in other states.

DNR would be able to recoup some of its investigative costs by fining the individual for illegal possession.

Effective Jan. 1.


Anglers may use of a sling shot bow and arrow to take rough fishing including shad and carp.

This legislation was supported by the Central Illinois Tribal Council, that also manufactures slingbows.

DNR supported the bill because it would promote expansion of bowfishing opportunities in the state.

“That was an interesting set of hearings,” Miller said. “But we asked for this so you will be able to use it to shoot invasive carp.

“But we asked that it only be used for bowfishing,” he said. “There are questions about its ability to effectively and ethically take an animal.”

A sling bow essentially is a large slingshot that has enough pull to have an arrow rest incorporated.

Miller said he saw one demonstrated during the Illinois State Fair.

“It’s not exactly easy, but it can be done.”

The bill is effective immediately.

Chris Young can be reached at 788-1528 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow him at

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