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Print

Bill would rewrite Illinois deer seasons

March 02, 2009 at 05:34 PM

While there has been no unexpected monster buck unveiled at this weekend’s Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, a new bill has created a stir among deer hunters gathered at the annual show.

The piece of legislation in question is House Bill 2589. Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), pictured below at right, introduced the bill which:

Provides that the special 2-day,Illinois hunting and fishing youth-only deer hunting season must take place on the Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday of the last weekend in September (now, between the dates of September 1 and October 31). Provides that the separate harvest period for the purpose of harvesting surplus deer must occur during the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the last weekend in September (now, during September 1st to February 15th, inclusive). Provides that the separate harvest period for the purpose of managing or eradicating disease must occur during the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the last weekend in September.

Click here for the full text of the bill, which was assigned to the Agriculture and Conservation Committee on Feb. 25, 2009. The fact that Phelps’ legislation moved out of rules and into committee means this proposed law may have legs in Springfield. Another sure sign of support would be the emergence of numerous co-sponsors in the days to come.

Many expect the Department of Natural Resources will oppose the bill, since it could be viewed as effectively taking major management decisions away from the department.

But trophy buck hunters at this weekend’s Classic in Bloomington were overwhelmingly in support of the bill.

MORE TO COME

 

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

“Many expect the Department of Natural Resources will oppose the bill, since it would effectively take major management decisions away from the department.”

I’m a bit confused…. Why would the DNR be against this bill? Did I miss something? Clue me in.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/27 at 11:09 PM

i vote NO on this bill…because there is nothing wrong with the way it is now…..

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 07:31 AM

Sounds to me like another waste of time on a bill that has no chance of passing.  How about this Mr Phelps. Kids are the future of hunting so lets think about this one.  As hunter numbers decline lets think about how to get more kids involved.  My suggestion is lets introduce a bill that would allow the youth of Illinois to hunt deer for 7 days instead of the BIG two days that they are allowed now for youth season.  There are alot of us parents that could and would take their child out after school for the last two hours of feeding light.  Its a no brainer.  More deer harvested and the kids are allowed more time afield to fill a tag. It keeps them interested and maybe will fill another pair of hunters shoes that is lost.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 08:14 AM

I think this is a big step in the right direction. This would allow the excess deer to be taken out in good weather and cut down on the number of antlerless bucks being taken. Most deer hunters would be ready to fill their freezers instead of the January season when they already have their meat. Most buck fawns would still be with the does and more easily identified. Also, the youth will still have all the other seasons to hunt and you can still take them hunting as you want. This bill would be a big improvement over the task force recommendations.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 08:40 AM

SO the DNR is alright with the JTF recommendations from All State, State Farm, farm bureau, and politicians who get their pockets stuffed from outfitters, but not this one? And why would this season need to be 7 days? Can a doe not be taken in two weekend days of hunting? Are kids no longer able to hunting the 11 other days of gun season? I mean maybe a 3 day Friday to Sunday season, but anymore than that I think its more for the parents and relatives, rather than the kids.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 10:00 AM

reddog, you obviously missed my point and must not have kids or grandchildren to make the comments you made regarding the youth season. Realize this, alot of us that hunt and have kids have more than one child and its tough to split two days into three kids in my case and alot of others. Have you ever been with your child as he harvests his first deer/turkey? There aren’t too many better moments in life than that.  Ya the kids can go out during the normal firearm season but sometime the weather doesn’t permit unless you are in a heated blind and I’m sorry kids aren’t as tough as adults. The kids aren’t just limited to a doe anymore and maybe thats your problem and them being afield a few more days might just give you one less chance at that buck.  Two days can be tough, last year we had temps in the high 80’s to low 90’s during the youth season, not optimal conditions for deer movement.  We had two deer harvested out of 10 kids in our camp.  Kids get frustrated easy, they lose interest and then we lose hunter numbers and thats exactly what all the anti’s want.  So in the big picture it isn’t all for the parent, relative or friend. Its about the experience and keeping the kids interested in the outdoors. Our kids are the future of hunting and once they are lost, we lose.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 10:36 AM

Jeff, as a die hard bowhunter I could care less if hunters are afield days before the bow season.  It make more sense from a management perspective.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 10:41 AM

I dont see anything wrong with this bill. From the management side of things it seems to be a step in the right direction. More Bucks will now make it to the next season because they wouldnt be mistaken for a doe during the present late season hunt…...

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 11:50 AM

Jeff, I don’t think either time period would be wrong.  Yes, if I had my way I would rather see a mid September season rather than a late September season.  The deer are on a pretty regular feeding pattern at that time and it sure would be alot easier determaining a doe from a buck. Bad thing for me is I am usually chasing screaming bulls at that time of year.  Thats the only disadvantage I see. Some farmers could be harvesting by then but I don’t think that matters alot. I have had them harvesting in mid/late November before and we still hunted.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 11:57 AM

ILbowhunter

I could give a rats behind if your children or anyone else shoots a buck. I don’t have kids but when I took my nephew hunting I sacrificed my season for his. Now this was not in IL, it was in PA, and there are no such things as youth seasons, or at least there did not used to be such a thing. So I gave up my experience to enjoy his. And it was worth it. The same thing my brother did for me when I was introduced to deer hunting at age 12. I guess I can see your point if you have multiple children, but when I see people asking for a 7 day season, I picture more Tony Louvsten and his 2 uncles and father sitting in a blind looking to make sure 15 year old Tony knows how to “pull the trigger” on a 300 inch whitetail, rather than someone enjoying the experience with their children. Hell as long as you bring back the check stations and CLEO, have a 10 day youth season. I just see another extended gun season without a check station or CPO presence more opportunity for poaching or other chicanery.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 02:31 PM

It will not make any difference in population numbers when the season is.  They need to open up more areas/land for in state hunters to control OUR deer herd.  Lets lower out of state permits and increase areas for hunter from the THIS state to hunt.  I would imagine it would not matter when the season is then.  Many hunters who can’t find places to hunt or can’t pay the tens of thousands of dollars for a lease would likely love to harvest a few does.  You also are forgetting this came from an IL politician which definetely makes it suspect as to what the real intent might be.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 03:00 PM

How does late Sept. make sense for anyone but the trophy crowd.  The loudest argument I hear is there are deer dropping their prized head-gear and we don’t want any one shooting a bald Muy Grande.
The weather may be cold, but its hunting not shopping.

The biggest issue for me is that the end of Sept. is much too warm.  Perhaps the coyotes won’t mind the bonanza.  Also I question its effectiveness as the corn crops will still be standing, no?  I heard enough about the late corn harvest affecting harvest.

If the late winter is for reducing the herd size, it makes sense to know the harvest numbers from the archery and the gun seasons.  Then after doing the math(forecast), have the permit drawing and make any excess permits available over the counter after the second shotgun season.  Only change I see making is to extend the number of days for the winter season to cover two weekends.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 03:05 PM

Reddog, you don’t make any sense, and I don’t care for your attitude in general towards other people. You sound like all for me and the heck with the rest. Maybe you should go back to PA and hunt. This bill is an improvement over what else may be coming down the pipeline so I think we should all get behind it and not take the selfish attitude that you take.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 04:01 PM

WHETHER YOU LIKE THE BILL OR NOT IT COMES FROM A POLICTICIAN WHO ALLEGEDLY STATED “I NOW OWN THE ILLINOIS DEER HERD.” THIS CAME OUT RIGHT AFTER PHELPS WAS NAMED CHAIRMAN OF THE AG/CONSERVATION COMMITTEE. I HAVE NOT CONFIRMED THIS STATEMENT BUT WOULD LOVE TO HEAR MR. PHELPS RESPONSE IF HE DID IN FACT MAKE IT. HE’S ACTING IT OUT IF HE DIDN’T MAKE THE STATEMENT.
THIS IS NOT THE ONLY BILL HE INTRODUCED LATELY WHICH WOULD IMPACT THE DEER MANAGEMENT ABILITY OF THE IDNR. THE SECOND IS A BILL GUARNTEEING SOME OUTFITTERS 1 DEER AND 1 TURKEY PERMIT FOR EACH 50 ACRES THEY CONTROL. IF YOU HAD 2000 ACRES UNDER YOUR CONTROL YOU WOULD HAVE 40 DEER PERMITS AND 40 TURKEY PERMITS.
IT IS ALSO RUMORED THAT REP. BRANDON PHELP’S BROTHER-IN-LAW IS A BIG TIME OUTFITTER.
ONE BILL ON THE 20TH OF FEB. AND THE OTHER ON THE 26TH. SOMETHING SMELLS OF BIG TIME POLITICS FROM A BIG TIME EGO. 
NONE OF THIS IS GOOD. HE DOES NOT OWN THE DEER HERD AND HE ISN’T A DEER BIOLOGIST OR DEER MANAGER. HE IS WHAT HE IS ON THESE ISSUES. A METTLING POLITICIAN PHERHAPS WITH A PERSONAL ISSUE INVOLVED.
IF YOU ARE FROM HIS DISTRICT YOU NEED TO REMIND HIM WHAT HE WAS ELECTED TO DO AND LET THE IDNR MANAGE THE RESOURCE. BOTH OF THESE BILLS WOULD TOTALLY TAKE THE MANAGEMENT ABILITY AWAY FROM THE IDNR.
WE HAVE A DIRECTOR NOW WHO CARES. LET MARC MILLER AND HIS STAFF MANAGEMENT OUR PRECIOUS RESOURCES.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 06:36 PM

How is the weather on the last weekend of September any different than on October 1 when archery season starts?  Guys hunt in much warmer weather in the southern states all the time.  I am for a September anterless season, however I would rather have the DNR determine whether it is better for herd management than a politician that might have ulterior motives.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 07:07 PM

I am also with Sns on this one.  Virtualsniper remember it hunting not shopping and alot and I mean alot of states open their archery season in September.  Spend some time and look at how many states do.  When I was stationed at Ft Bragg, North Carolina you could bow hunt in September. If you have ever spent time in NC its hot as hell in September and we didn’t let deer go to waste.  They may have been the size of dogs but they didn’t go to waste. I will admit that one reason I don’t like the late doe season is the fact that a buck could be harvested.  Thats a number, its not real management.  You want to eliminate your breeding/fawn bearing animals not males that don’t throw offsprings. It makes for an easier rut on the bucks.  Maybe your not a trophy hunter, I am and that is my objective.  Manage the does and let the bucks grow.  I have been through the stages of hunting where if its brown its down, not my style anymore.  I have no problem with that mentality because its your tag and to each his own on what makes a trophy.  Im gonna manage my property according to what I see not the state as a whole and if I can go eliminate some does in September, I am gonna do it.  By late season, I am burnt out, freezer is full and I am not going out.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 07:45 PM

Well…if BRADB is correct, the bill should be scrapped just on principle. I do however think the late season hunt should be relocated to September. Maybe Marc Miller can get that done without help from the political chimps we have in this state.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 07:46 PM

THE SYNOPOSIS OF PHELPS OUTFITTER BILL I READ SAID 1 PERMIT FOR DEER AND 1 FOR TURKEY FOR EACH 50 ACRES. MY ORIGINAL POST WAS WRONG. THE PERMITS FOR DEER AND TURKEY WOULD BE ONE EACH FOR EVERY 250 ACRES. I FOUND THIS WHEN I JUST READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE BILL.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 10:25 PM

This is too funny!  First the DNR can’t offer enough evidence to prove they are managing the deer herd so the JTF is formed.  Then the JTF and DNR work together but fall short of doing the right thing (which would be doe culling before the rut).  So another politician tries to trump them all and mandate a better option before the JTF/DNR recommendation gets implemented.  And then hunters start crying about politicians running the deer herd.  It’s hilarious!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 10:54 PM

All these seasons CAN already take place in Sept., WITHOUT the legislatures involvement.
This bill is simply one politician, taking away any option of our IDNR, of having any youth season, CWD season or antlerless season, after Oct 1, in IL.
The IDNR has lots of options now on how to set up these seasons. With this bill, most all of those options are gone !!
In 51 years of deerhunting in IL there has never been a deer season in Sept. Now one politician simply wants to force 3 seasons to take place in Sept ???????
Deer numbers are already on the decline. Now, not only do they want to kill more deer ( especially more does) but also sooner ??????

Everyone, please read the full text of this bill and what is being changed by it.
Full Text of HB2589 = http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=76&GA=96&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=2589&GAID=10&LegID=45322&SpecSess;=&Session;=

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 05:01 AM

SJ, on the suface it is laughable. I’ll pose one question. Would you want Rep. Phelps or any other politition doing your open heart surgery or making recommendations on how to perform the surgery? I doubt it!
Phelps did not trump anyone. All of the initiates he addresses are already on the table for Director Miller to consider in addition to the politically motivated JDTF recommendations. There is a lot going on not on the surface right now. Let’s just sit back and let our new Director lead the way managing with science based initiatives not politically motivated ones the IDNR is already drowning in.
Miller has a huge puzzle with all the pieces scattered about in front of him. The pieces gave to fit together while addressing all of the wants and needs. It’s no easy task he faces but we need to give him a chance without limiting his ability to manage.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 08:42 AM

Too warm…in Sept AND October for me.  I should have added that I don’t hunt until the weather is much cooler for the express purpose of preserving the meat quality without having to race to a meat locker.  One archery buck spoiled due to an overnight recover makes me wait.  Rhetorically, I wonder how many older trophies taken actually get eating or donated. 

I wait until Halloween to begin any archery trips.  I prefer my deer to be young.  So my management style is the frying pan.  But I too would like to put something on the wall someday but don’t make it the main goal. 

Illinois is a great resource for deer hunting.  Bow hunting is plenty long. Gun seasons a bit short.
Getting youth involved is paramount to the survival of the sport.

We all wish the politicians would step out of wildlife management process and leave it to biology professionals.  We are venting here as we don’t believe the process is on the up and up.

(Extending a Thank You to ILBowhunter for your military service.)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 01:27 PM

BradB, Until the DNR starts managing with transparency they can expect more and more of this type of political oversight.  The ball is clearly in their court to step up and prove themselves.  The politicians are trying to fill the vacuum left by a DNR whose management practices are shrouded in secrecy and who seem to not be able to make the simplest of no-brainer changes without help from someone else (such as expanding youth season to all counties and making those permits either-sex, and making it legal to shoot coyotes from tree stands).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 02:37 PM

Thanks Virtualsniper, I extend that thanks to all my brothers of the 82nd Airborne Division and 5th SFG that are keepin in right in Afghanastan and Iraq ensuring a safe future for us so that we have the priveledge to hunt and fish. A little off the subject but great to see our new DNR director at the deer classic.  Lets have them make our decesions on deer management not some politician that looks like he just got out of college.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 05:49 PM

SJ, I understand your frustration. It’s a new day in Illinois and in the IDNR. Phelps as well as all of the legislatures are more than aware of that.
If Phelps thinks things are so bad maybe he should have pushed for his son to be the new Director instead of that agencies Legislative Liaison. A position he obtained under the previous regime.
Why not give Miller and his staff a chance to cleanup the politically motivated mess they find themselves in. Quinn and Miller have only had a few short weeks to get anything done. As for the issues you raise - some are already done, some are in the works and some are being handled in the legislature.
A new Director in place, our parks re-opened, money replaced in the funds where it belongs and all that done while they prepare a muti-million dollar DNR budget due March 18th with very little money to work with. 
I’ll be the first and one of the loudest if they start down another wrong road.
It’s a time for all of us to stand behind this Director and the IDNR, not throw stones.
We are all looking for the same thing and with time we can get there. For now we need to be united and forget about our petty issues keeping the big picture in mind.
Everything can’t be done overnight.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 06:19 PM

Some of you guys are missing the point. Phelps has a bachelors degree in Political Science, and his work resume consists of 3 years in the state Treasurers Office followed by politics. He has a sum total of ZERO professional qualifications in either biology or gmae management. In light of that, what exactly qualifies him to single-hanedly rewrite game management laws over the objections of the IDNR?

Simple question here folks, do we want politicians calling the shots or biologists and professional wildlife managers? Now is the time to be standing behind the change of direction at the IDNR. Give them a chance to set a new direction, and tell the politicians stop micromanaging the IDNR.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/01 at 08:05 PM

Jeff2020, Henry, Lynn, and Brad (and others) are right on the money.  Never in the history of deer hunting in IL has there ben a more politically intrusive bill written to take control away from the DNR.  No matter how much you dislike past actions of bad DNR management, you simply can’t give Phelps and other lawmakers the management responsibilities.  Heck, this is borerline unconstitutional in IL, since our laws give the DNR the authority to manage our natural resources.

Fast forward to 5 years down the road.  What happens if DNR needs to tweak a few things.  They can’t.  They’re STILL tied into the stupid law.  What happens of Paul Shelton leaves?  Who the heck would come to IL to manage our great deer herd, with the politicians already having control with crap like this?  This just sets a terrible precendent.  Statute sets the “framework” for the DNR to operate within.  Lawmakers should NOT be setting the details themselves.  If some of the ideas are worth pursuing (and I think some could be), then he should be talking to DNR to make things happen the right way.

One good thing… if this bill would happen to make it far enough (even if DNR opposes it)... who do you think will have the most pull with Governor Quinn… Marc Miller or Phelps????????  This has VETO written all over, even if Phelps can get it out of HIS Ag/Conservation committee and he gets enough other politican support.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t even take into consideration the stupid wording of the bill itself!!!!!  I worked my butt off on the youth bill a few years ago.  I don’t like the idea of putting thousands of “anterless hunters” in the woods at the same time.  I do like the idea of putting the youth season in September, but only if the kids get their own weekend to themselves.

Posted by KC-IBS on 03/01 at 08:26 PM

I’d just as soon give the kids a full week, so long as the IDNR supported it. Personally I am in favor of certain September seasons, as are many hunters, but that is beside the point. This kind of political micromanagement is NOT in our best interest, and as Kevin says, it sets a really precedent for what could happen on down the road. If this bill makes its way to Quinn’s desk I hope he sends it right on back to Phelps with an angry letter. Politicians need to stop micromanaging the affairs of the IDNR.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/01 at 08:58 PM

If you want to get Phelps attention it has been proven over the years one of the best “attention getters” are LETTERS TO THE EDITOR to a politicians home newspaper. In Phelps case that would be THE DAILY REGISTER, 35 S. VINE ST. HARRISBURG, IL 62946. The website is http://WWW.DAILYREGISTER.COM.
A mailed letter will stand a much better chance of being printed. In this case I wold reccomend doing both both mail and internet.
MAKE SOME NOISE. THIS TYPE OF POLITICAL ABUSE HAS TO BE STOPPED. WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING STUPID THEY NEED TO REALIZE THE CONSEQUENCES.
There is something underlying with these bills and at this point it has not surfaced. There well be something else Phelps is after and he will use these bills to negotiate. I won’t speculate but mark my word there is SOMETHING ELSE on his agenda.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 07:43 AM

I spent the weekend listening to several views on this topic and considering my own stance. I have come to the conclusion that this bill by Senator Phelps shows that he knows more about managing the deer herd than Paul Shelton and John Buhnerkempe combined so why the heck am I gonna stand up and object to it? This bill is 1000X better than what the DNR task force recomended. I dont want to see politics managing our deer herd but compared to Shelton and Buhnerkempe, this proposal looks down right awesome. I agree that we appear to have a great DNR director in Marc Miller and I would love to see him get a chance to run things the way he wants without political influence but who knows when OR IF that will ever happen. Due to the AFSME union, we may be stuck with the “John & Paul show” that is North Americas most pathetic excuse for a whitetail management team. As much as it pains me to admit it, right now the Phelps option is the best one on the table. What else are we gonna do, sit back and HOPE that the task force recomendations dont get implemented? Based on past experiences, I am gonna jump on the best option on the table rather than wait for the ideal situation to transpire. We cant wait another 2 years to get it turned around. There are positives and negtives if this bill passes and there are positives and negatives if it doesnt. There are NO positives with the task force plan and I have seen enough of what Shelton can do.

 

Oh and by the way folks, in many parts of the state we dont need to worry about killing more deer. Do some of you guys want to eradicate them or what? Instead of falling into the trap of following past protocols and believing that we have an over-population problem because the DNR or the media tells us so, maybe it is time to start drawing our own conclusions based on what we actually witness and the reports we get from fellow hunters .... or we can always defer back to Sheltons “computer model” ....

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 08:15 AM

Sometime a man with no water in the desert might think he sees water & starts to drink the sand.
Point being, just say no to the task force, say no to this bill, say no to the politicians & let Marc Miller have a chance to straighten thing out with our IDNR. Give him a little time. He is our best option right now, NOT guys like Phelps, Sullivan & any other puppet of the FB, Ins. Comp &/or outfitters.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:02 AM

Count me and many other fellas out for a September hunt. The farmers and folks who help with the harvest who hunt, and control most of the private huntable lands, in Illinois will never be able to get out in September. Plus the majority of fields will still be standing and the timber will still be green. People will have to drag animals out farther because they will be unable to drive across or down frozen paths or fields. Deer will spoil. Heck you won’t be able to see a deer till it’s right next to you. The mosquitoes will be thick ticks will be everywhere the temps unbearable. This is plain stupid. What group is pushing for a September hunt? Huh sounds like we have some selfish individuals out there.  Most of us don’t even start thinking about deer hunting until the end of October.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:08 AM

“What group is pushing for a September hunt?” ...I FOR ONE AM PUSHING FOR A SEPTEMBER SEASON! As are several others who want to see the herd managed properly

“People will have to drag animals out farther because they will be unable to drive across or down frozen paths or fields.” .... if I am “selfish”, then you are lazy

 

“The mosquitoes will be thick ticks will be everywhere the temps unbearable.” ... then we better change all the early seasons; squirell, dove, waterfowl etc etc etc. Are you on board with moving these seasons to “the end of October”?

 

 


“Heck you won’t be able to see a deer till it’s right next to you.” ..... GREAT! then maybe hunters can tell a doe from a button buck or a shed antlered buck

 

“Most of us don’t even start thinking about deer hunting until the end of October.” .... EXACTLY!, what you take so casually some of us take so seriously. Some of us think about whitetails every single day of the year, not just about killing them when it is most convenient for us. Oh, WHO is the selfish one?


Good Grief!!!! I see a lot of opions that I dont completely agree with but at least most people use sound logic to support their views. If someone wants to argue against a September season then I am willing to listen but to call others “selfish” when they are offering a sound biological basis for their opinion while spitting out so many obviously selfish reasons to oppose it is beyond comprehension.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:30 AM

“Sometime a man with no water in the desert might think he sees water & starts to drink the sand.”


Sometimes a man has been forced to eat turds so long that sand seems like a treat.


Sorry Lynn, I couldnt resist! Ha Ha! Good to see you at the Classic this weekend

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:35 AM

No deer overpopulation problem here Don. In fact, I go for weeks at a time without seeing a single one. I have a plot full of standing beans surrounded by warm season tall grass, and it hasn’t been touched. Personally I like the September window for doe control, but I disagree that Phelp’s bill is the best option on the table simply because I think a DNR micro-managed by politicians is like having a semi on the interstate driven by a committee of chimpanzees. I think the best option is to scrap the task force, which was politically driven in the first place, and scrap any further political intrusion into the affairs of the IDNR.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/02 at 09:46 AM

To throw more gas on the fire, did anyone get a survey from the DNR and IL Natural History Survey about turkey hunting, and the way they are proposing to change seasons? They were proposing a condensed 3 week season with your tag being viable any season, OTC tags available equally for residents and NR alike, with a 2 turkey allowable harvest. It seems like many changes are in store for the DNR over the next year. They said the want to model it after Missouri’s season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:52 AM

Henry, I agree with everything you say but your plan falls 1 item short of what we need. Shelton and Buhnerkempe are managing our deer herd. Lets just assume that Miller gets total control of the DNR and all politics and employee union influences are out of the equation, who really believes that these guys even know what the best thing is for our deer herd and would then have the guts to do it? These guys gotta go and if Marc cant fire them then he needs to put them in a closet with a bucket of beans to count and either move Ron Wilmore over to manage the deer herd or hire Gary Alt to do it. If everything falls perfectly into place and we still have these 2 then we are still in deep trouble. I respect Marc Miller and believe he will do the best that he can for all of our natural resources. He has even stated that he wants scientifcally based management of the resources but how does he address Shelton and Buhnerkempe? .... talk about “having a semi on the interstate driven by a committee of chimpanzees”! Even if we get the perfect race car, it will still be driven by apes.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 10:05 AM

Great comments Don,  I am tired of hearing every excuse in the world on why not to have a early season in September.  Do these people realize that hunting occurs in alot of states that have warmer temps than ours and if you haven’t hunted in October where bugs have been a problem then you obviously aren’t a die hard whitetail freak.  By the way, great book, bought it Saturday and can’t put it down.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 11:41 AM

Before anyone reading takes offense at my above remark, let me clarify. I’m sure that these Illinois politicians are perfectly good at being Illinois politicians, but they are no more qualified to manage one of the nation’s premier deer herds than chimpanzees are to driving semis on the interstate. Thats a job for professionals and the agency tasked, by law, with managing the state’s wildlife.

Having the manpower and financial resources to get the job done within the agency is a different matter, but fixing that problem by handing over the keys to the semi will only make matters worse in the long run. Given the recent turnover, I think we’d be better served by encouraging Miller to fix these problems from within, rather than to encourage further political micromanagement.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/02 at 12:06 PM

I still keep hearing the reason for a Sept season is to prevent someone from taking a buck that has been shed.  This alone doesn’t give merit to move the season.  If the late winter season moves, then count am out.  For the die hards - it seems your main motivation is managing the buck population.  Not the herd population.  It seems way to logical to have the late season for removing excess deer after knowing some harvest number of the archery and shotgun seasons.  You don’t know the whole harvest but you some numbers to manage.

Anyway, unless you have a very large property to manage by your own rules, you will not be effective alone.  To that end, the tropy rules have to be enacted by moving the season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 12:08 PM

It’s very easy to bait an argument by using one word, and it seems I hooked one right in.  Apparently the several reasons I listed why I am against a September deer hunt did not show up on some screen. Lampe you editing my posts again. So I’ll try to put them in numerical order for you.

1. It is a very busy time of the year for the rural farming communities. Which means fewer hunters in the woods.

2. Warmer weather meat spoils quickly. The temps in Southern Illinois will be unbearable.

3. Not thinking of my LAZY self but the other elderly hunters who cannot or should not drag a deer in high temps through unpicked fields and areas that are only accesible when the fields are out.

To harvest does don’t we need people out in the woods? How many folks you think will enjoy a Sept. season? How many deer will spoil in the heat. It’s about putting food on some tables for some folks. Not about heads on a wall. This state is very long and the Southern part of the state will still be running there air conditioners. Calling me lazy really. I see ya know me real well. I’m thinking more about the older generation that stills hunt not about myself. I’m not one bit afraid of dragging a deer. Been doing it for over 30 years. No ATV for me.

I am for the continuation of the January hunt. People can be educated to tell the difference between one of the few bucks who have dropped its antlers and a doe. The does are traveling in herds and still have the their youn’uns with them in January. Not too hard to spot the trends.

The areas of the state where there is a severe deer problem are fairly isolated to suburbia and counties that have a high number of outfitters controlling the acres.

The state needs to allow the DNR personel at some of these sites to harvest animals when they think it is needed. Using staff or bringing in trained shooters if needed. The meat would then be used to stock our numerous food kitchen’s throughout the state.

Dealing with suburbia is a bigger challenge. The communities involved will have to argue what is best for them. With the help of biologists hopefully they can come up with a way that is best served for there own community. Urban sprawl will continue and these areas will constantly be having deer car interactions.

Outfitter controlled areas. What do we do about the overpopulation? The problem in these areas were brought on by the glorification of the ANTLERS. The folks profitizing from the death of an animal. These folks are gonna need to police themselves or the Govt will step in and start mandating changes in these areas. To get the overpopulated area under control. And we all enjoy the Govt. medling in our ways don’t we….


I have been in the deer woods for nearly 35 years. Bow hunting and firearm hunting. Hunting is hunting no matter what weapon is involved. My family eats venison weekly 52 weeks a year. My grandfather was a hunter my father and uncles are hunters. So I guess I am one of the dieing traditional hunters. I’ve seen alot of changes in deer hunting through these years. Most lately how folks want to pofit on the death of an animal that God provided us for food. The Indians used deer antlers for tools not ornaments. Many of us view Indians as some of the greatest hunters of all time, but living in the present time we are now judged by how many mounts or inches of antlers we killed.

Since I am not a true trophy hunter I get the feeling we are not included in the group “Most Hunters….” anymore. We manage our own lands. We let the young bucks walk, and we fill our freezers. I do not attend deer classics or subscribe to magazines or watch videos promoting unnecesary stuff you need to buy to harvest a deer. I guess we are the rednecks in the outdoor world, and that many folks want us to go away. I guess they can sell more wares to the folks who don’t know better.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 12:09 PM

I guess a couple of you have lost sight of the fact that the whole reason for the “January season” was to kill ANTLERLESS deer or “DOES” in order to decrease deer numbers where they need controlled. It is NOT a “January season” it is an “ANTLERLESS season” to control the herd or to kill female deer. The word “antlerless” is used to keep from making people criminals who may happen to kill a male deer without antlers such as a button buck. The goal was and is to kill female deer. Holding the “antlerless season” in January results in 20-25% of the harvest actually being male deer. This is due to 2 biological facts- 1. in January the button bucks are similar in size to does and hard to distinguish and 2. some bucks have shed their antlers. The driving force behind intelligent deer hunters wanting a September season is that these 2 factors are not in play at this time of year, at least at the same level and a higher percentage of the harvest will actually be female deer (the intended target). Now let me spell out a couple of things that a real deer biologist cares about - sex ratios and age structure. I realize that the Shelton years have left us with a bunch of deer hunters who have never seen nor understand proper deer management BUT a season intended for the harvest of female deer should be set up to maximize the percentage of harvest to be female deer, not just to randomly kill deer as already happens in every other season. Such a season not only helps to control population growth but it serves to get the sex ratios of the deer herd in line.

Now I admit there are numerous social reasons for supporting the January season but I could respond to every one of those with a counter social arguement for supporting the September season. However I will await any scientific biological reason to support the January version of an antlerless season. I believe none exists. I also clearly understand that some are willing to throw sound biology out the window and further mis-manage the herd for selfish reasons.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 01:05 PM

Over the years I have shot many nuisance deer in the months of July and August.  We had a farm over-run with deer adjoining a state park and up to 90% crop loss at times. We shot the deer, skinned them, quartered them and placed them in a refrigerator.  Nothing went to waste. So I don’t buy this (Its too HoT)”.  Ya ever been down south to hunt?  It was a hell of alot easier shooting these deer at this time of year then say January where we were very lucky to even see any does after January 1st.  They were pressured to the point they wouldn’t move till dark or relocated to another property that allowed no hunting.  So to me if we are talking management, it is best to do it earlier than later.  I understand that there are areas that do not have a surplus of does and that is one area that the landowners must deal with on their own. If you got em, shoot em, if you don’t then let em walk.
Its a pretty simple philosophy.  When it comes to management in this state I want a competent biologist doing the work, not some politician whom has some alternative motives trying to get bills passed so he ultimately gains from this. (Sen Sullivan)..  Abolish the JTF and their recommedations and let the biologists do there job…......

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 01:17 PM

goosedown00
I don’t edit posts. Ever. Just delete them. So yours was as you posted it. Perhaps your finger slipped? Post-hoops depression? Not sure. But it was not edited.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 03/02 at 01:47 PM

Don is RIGHT ON!!  The late season hunt was designed for doe control not just shooting whatever comes by without looking.  If anyone has paid attention the buck numbers last year were down 11,000.  That may reflect on many different reasons( ehd, overharvest of young bucks, to many people waiting on a buck, or simply mother nature) whatever the reason the last thing we need is the last gun season.  I believe almost 18% percent of the deer harvested in the late season hunt were bucks.  Let alone with the deer numbers down and the complaining from everyone on not seeing deer, numbers being down, and plain struggling through the season weather related why not get rid of the late season hunt.  IF U HAVE NOT HARVESTED A DEER BY JAN. WITH THE 10 DAYS OF GUN SEASON AND 3 MONTHS OF BOW U NEED A BREAK ANYWAY!!!  I control over 1000 acres in a good deer hunting area, and for what I witnessed this year with the lack of sightings the heard needs a break!  I am not a big fan of early season hunting for the reason of the weather, but moving the anterless season up, eliminating the late season, open the bow season 2 weeks early in september with both weekends for the youth hunt would be a good decision in my opinion.  To many does are shot that have been bread late in the season, and right now they need a break.  3 years ago we took 5 and each one had 2 fawns in them that is the last time that will happen.  As avid outdoorsmen and women we need to be responsible of controlling are own land by ethical methods.  The politicians methods are not going to work we know that so we are the only one to blame.  Whatever the seasons, dates, time frames, and permits u hold it is u the hunter who makes all the difference in the ILLINOIS DEER HEARD. PERIOD!!

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

I didn’t point this out before cause I was really hoping you typed this without thinking. I had some respect for your articles until I read this statement.


“then we better change all the early seasons; squirell, dove, waterfowl etc etc etc. Are you on board with moving these seasons to “the end of October”?

1. How do you compare a 3 day anterless deer season. With seasons that involve weeks or months, and allows the hunter to pick and choose the days they go into the field.

2. A toddler can carry a squirrel out of the woods and it can be processed and placed in it’s ziploc bag in minutes. Upon arrival at home. It takes a BIT more work and much more time to get that deer in a ziploc bag.


So nobody will be shooting button bucks in Sept? I have never nor do I know of anyone around my small part of the world that has harvested a mature buck in January. I’m sure it happens. But why are you so worried about bucks? If they shoot a few buck in January who care’s as long as they are putting a dent in the doe population in the areas that need control. Okay okay so a few bucks get shot in January. How about we let a few bucks live the next fall. For each buck that was shot in January we take one either sex tag away from an outfitter, and give them an antlerless only tag instead. Bwahahahaha. Or wait how about this if you shot two bucks in the last season you will only get issued antlerless tags the next season. BwaHahahahah. I’m killin myself now.

You can stick with your scientific argument all you want but in order to get results you need hunters in the field to do the harvesting. Don’tcha think!

How about this…we take the unfilled un-applied for tags from the September antlerless season and allow those fellas to use them on the first two Saturdays in November, and then if they still have some lef…..lets add on the last few Saturdays in December. Wait I’ll come up with some more gimme time.

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

I think your on to something there Jeff.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 03:05 PM

goosedown00 is right big bucks influence whitetail hunting to much anymore. I have been hunting whitetails for 18 years and I like killing a big buck as much as the next guy but anyone who has hunted know that killing a big mature doe with a bow is also a challenge because they are so wary.  I have no problem with a September season, but if it is going to be for “population control” it needs to be antlerless only. Also the trophy hunters should support this also because killing a big boy before the rut means that he won’t be able to pass on his genes. goosedown00 is also right about true rural areas, I farm and help my friends farm and try to get harvest done so we can ll get in the woods ourselves and it ain’t very often we’re done before mid October. If you really read the word of the bill anyway this a pointless law that would take legislation to over turn. The current regulations already allow the DNR to set a september season so let the DNR director set it. If it doesn’t work with the new director then we can revisit the issue but right now there is no need to.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 04:17 PM

“A toddler can carry a squirrel out of the woods and it can be processed and placed in it’s ziploc bag in minutes. Upon arrival at home. It takes a BIT more work and much more time to get that deer in a ziploc bag.”  A 10 year old can carry a bag of ice from the truck to the field dressed deer and stick it in the cavity to help cool it too.  Your point??? 
“Not thinking of my LAZY self but the other elderly hunters who cannot or should not drag a deer in high temps through unpicked fields and areas that are only accesible when the fields are out.”  Do you really think many of these “elderly” hunters are going out in single digit temps we’ve had that past 2 years for late season?  (Yes, I live a little farther north than you, but it’s still Illinois)  Do you think it’s hotter in S IL than it is in North Carolina in mid-late September?
“So nobody will be shooting button bucks in Sept?”  If you are good enough to tell the difference between a doe and a buck in late January, you should be able to tell a little button buck from a mature doe.  If you really look into healthy herd management, losing a button buck is less damaging than losing an older buck to the overall herd balance and health.
“You can stick with your scientific argument all you want but in order to get results you need hunters in the field to do the harvesting.”  I would be willing to wager more hunters would be in the field in late September than in late January.  Scientific numbers would probably show that anterless hunts aren’t needed in southern IL right now due to the big EHD kill off in 2007, so you probably wouldn’t even have to worry about an early or late season for a few years.  I’ll take that scientific argurment over political BS any day.
parkerbows, the early/late season is anterless.  They’re not opening a new “all goes” season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 04:20 PM

Snshunts these are the type of guys who the task force love.LOL!  They complain that their job runs into deer season who’s fault is that.  The other complains that he is to old to drag a deer out in the cold.  D_m than give it up or wait move the late season up or open bowhunting up 2 weeks earlier so u can use your crossbow!  As for getting your deer out by now u have someone u know who hunts.  This whole thread is talking about the dealing with ANTERLESS DEER so quit posting people about how it fits into your profession or age structure.  Read my post from earlier or Don Higgins and if there is something that is not connecting with your mind then you are probably one of the guys who can’t identify if you are shooting at a buck or doe in the late winter ANTERLESS ONLY SEASON!!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 05:06 PM

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