Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


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.



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

I left out several things from your posts as well that I could have debated but lets face it, this started with you calling me “selfish”.

Through my own selfishness I am trying to offer solutions that will improve our deer herd for every single Illinois deer-hunter including those that are not even born yet but who deserve to be left a well managed herd by our generation. Managing a well balanced and healthy herd does not force anyone to shoot only mature bucks or only does or anything else. Every hunter in the state can still choose to shoot whatever they wish within well thought out and well managed seasons. My goal is that everytime a kid in Illinois is born with that burning whitetail passion that some of us know, that he is not forced to go elsewhere to live his dream. I grew up at a time and in a state where the deer herd grew right before my eyes and that herd was well managed. I could live my whitetail dreams right outside the small town where I grew up. Whitetails are a big part of my life and kept my mind focused on the outdoors when I was younger and could have easily found myself getting into trouble. I think that every kid that ever grows up in this state and loves the outdoors should have that same opportunity. Maybe I am selfish for wanting to leave the next generation of Illinois hunters a whitetail herd to be proud of instead of a mis-managed mess. Dont get the idea that I am putting myself on a pedestal either as I am not alone in my goal. Many of the guys posting on here and many others who are smart enough to not waste their time with internet message boards have gave much of their time and money in an effort to better our states deer herd. If “only going out after late October” and “eating venison 52 weeks a year” is your deal then fine. I hope you have a ball and are successful but you need to see that this is atill possible with a well managed deer herd. Nobody is trying to derail your fun-train. You dont even need to jump on board and help save the sinking ship. Just sit back and relax and those of us who are ate-up with whitetails will get-r-dun. Just dont be throwing hurdles in front of us. Thanks

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 05:31 PM

In reality all of this squabbling amongst ourselves does no good. We are all outdoorsman and should all want the best for the future of the outdoors. At the same time calling each other selfish or lazy makes us look like a bunch a junior high kids. So of us feel different about this for different reasons, some guys simply say something to say it and people jump all over them. If anti-hunters read any of this and you some probably do, how does this make us look as hunters when all we do is argue. Don’t get me wrong I like playing devil’s advocate as much as the next guy but it get’s us nowhere in the end. Actions speak louder than words, if it bothers anybody this mcuh contact your reps and tell them how you fell. Complaining on here wont get it done.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 06:16 PM

I agree don.  I really dont want any more increase in doe harvest but i think sept is the best time.  Button bucks are smaller and i would think the rut would be more stable with fewer does around during it.  I also feel pressuring deer during january can not be good on their health.  I cant really think of a reason NOT to move it to SEPT.  Lots of lazy reasons but its deer hunting.  Deer management does not have to be based on user friendliness of the season.  Its sad really that it takes a politician to do whats right for the herd and the DNR cant do it.  Really sad and truly shows how incompetent the department has been for years.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 06:16 PM

My opinion is that October is better than September for doe culling.  I’d be interested in hearing the September supporters explain why they think September is better from a biological (NOT social) perspective.  To me the extra month fawns would have with their mothers is better for overall herd health.  I can’t think of a single biological advantage of doe culling in September over October.  But I’m willing to listen to an alternative view.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 06:48 PM

Don, I respect your opinion, but I disagree with this bill.  I have no problem at all with a September doe season (if it’s proven that it’s needed).  I don’t have issues with getting rid of the January season.  I have no problem with moving the youth seson to September, although I don’t like putting the other doe-hunters out there with them.  My big problem is with the POLITICIAN that thinks he is now managing the deer herd and wants to take all management decisions away from the DNR for now and forever.  How can you say that this is best for IL deer management when you have no idea what the future holds?  I’ve heard people state that the antlerless season is not needed, yet here we have people supporting a season that would probably kill even more deer (because of better weather and better participation).  So why aren’t they trying to stop a bill that forces the DNR to have a season they don’t want?  People have preached for years about how we need to get politics out of IL deer management, yet the first bill that a politician introduces that they agree with, they’re all over it.  Is this any different than when the ILFB ran to the lawmakers to get what they wanted?  Is this different than when crossbow proponents run to politicians when the DNR won’t let them into the regular season?  This sets a dangerous precedent… one that can’t be easliy overturned.  This goes beyond weapon discussions… this is about taking management away fromDNR forever.  This bill tells the DNR EXACTLY how and when they can ever implement special seasons to control does for overpopulation or disease.  For all those who support this bill, what other management issues shall we let Phelps decide?  Maybe he can set the waterfowl seasons.  Maybe he can decide how many gun permits to issue per county.  Or maybe he’d like to do away with the NR limits, both in total number and in individual limits.


In the future, when IL is trying to get a new deer biologist, who in their right mind would WANT to come to IL if we sit back and allow the politicians to manage our wildlife via statute?  Are we willing to set IL up to be managed like this in the future?  Keep in mind that if Miller wanted to implement the JTF proposals, that ad rule would have been pushed through already.  But he stood up to the politicians and now gets thanked by Phelps wanting to take away his authority.  It’s my opinion that those proposals are dead, as well they should be.  Give Miller a chance to make some changes before you let Phelps take all the control away from him after a couple weeks on the job.  Does anyone think Phelps even went to Miller to discuss making these changes the right way, or did he just assume that he knew what was best?  Doesn’t that bother anyone that he would do that?  For all the people who criticize Shelton for managing from a computer… is it any better to let Phelps (a non-hunter from what I hear) manage it from the statehouse?

Posted by KC-IBS on 03/02 at 06:57 PM

well said KC-IBS well said

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 07:29 PM

Kevin, you are right on all counts. I was just trying to get peoples attention by pointing out that we have a politician who is putting out better proposals than the DNR task force. I got a couple of emails right off the bat this morning from guys that thought I lost my mind by supporting Phelps bill. Like I told them, it is not so much about supporting Phelps bill as it is pointing out how much better it is than what the task force came up with. I actually have very high hopes for Marc Miller but we all know how those dirty Illinois politics can chew up the most well=intentioned folks. No matter what he wants to do he is going to face some big hurdles. Oh yeah .... any ideas on what he needs to do with Shelton?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 07:54 PM

The present wildlife code allows a culling season to be between Sept 1 and Feb 15.  So somebody already thinks Jan. is better than Sept.  The proposed change is to force the dates to be in Sept, effectively trumping the discretion of the director/department.  The wildlife code does not limit the culling efforts to be female only.  So thats part seems to an administrative rule set by the director as allowed by the wildlife code.  It may be the rule is meant to ‘increase’ the female reduction as not enough hunters are doing it willingly.  I recall a main justification for hunting is for reducing the herd size to a sustainable level for the food available.  To that end, any deer removed is working for that goal.

Rationale for a January hunt…
If knowing the on-going harvest numbers are meaningful for determining surplus deer, then having the culling season after the main harvest has occurred certainly provides the biologists with sound data for determining the number of permits.
That seems to justify a Jan. hunt the way I do math. 

If anything it may provide reasoning to have a culling season on both ends, Sept. and Jan.  Then if the Sept crowd takes out enough does, the Jan. crowd will not have to randomly take out any.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 08:11 PM

Fire Shelton and find a real biologist that isn’t a number counter, someone who actually goes afield and gets his hands dirty and then bring back the check stations!!!!!! There is a good start.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 08:21 PM

I am not even a resident, and I think it is a great idea. This will help the management of anterless deer, which is needed to be addressed, along with letting more anterless bucks walk during the late season. One comment I found interesting was that of lowering the nonresident tags, because they couldn’t afford the big lease amounts to hunt there own state. Well when a person owns a parcel of land it is an investment to them, whether it be reeping the benefits of crops or from hunters paying to hunt on there land. It is the american way, to put a little money in there pocket. They didn’t purchase that land to let anyone and there brother hunt it, it’s the farmers investment and can choose to do what they want with it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 08:28 PM

ilbowhunter has the best idea I have heard yet!!!!!


September vs October doe season, there is no biological benefit either way. The fawn health issue is a non-factor as a fawn can easily survive on its own at 6 weeks of age or less. I personally would prefer September but either one is a huge improvement over January.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 08:55 PM

Jeff2020, I’m with you.

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

Here’s something else to chew on.  The highest ranking biologist at our DNR predicts the percentage of bucks harvested in a September or October antlerless season would mirror that of the January antlerless season.  Here is what he said, as reported on this website:

“The expectation when you have an antlerless season is that you can expect to harvest somewhere between 20-25 percent bucks. That just happens. If you look at the (October) youth hunt for comparison, when it was antlerless only the buck harvest was 20-25 percent. And that’s what it is during our January season.”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:31 PM

For firsts I never singled you out and called Don Higgins Selfish. I was singling out the folks who have put trophy hunting on such a high pedestal that whatever they say must be the way MOST HUNTERS want. Or the groups who only specialize in one type of deer hunting, and say that the other group are slob hunters etc… The fellas that banter back and forth and are worried to death that one group may have a better chance at killing a deer that is better than theirs. Those are the selfish groups I am refering too. So if you fit into one of these categories well…....

I am so sick of bow hunters vs. firearm hunters. And trophy hunters vs. meat hunters, but we continue argueing because most folks tend to have an opinion. And it will never end or go back to the way it was twenty years ago. Back when neighbors didn’t care about people shooting a deer on the other side of the fence and they all got together after the hunt for a few drinks and some fine venison. A big buck was a special deer but in no way newspaper material. The world and the people in it had more important issues to deal with other than self promoting themselves as the great hunter. But times have changed and now the bickering has come and the common denominator and underlying problem is all rooted by trophy hunting. The media promotes it the people eat it up and then we all start fighting. Oh what a joy these last few years have been, and to only think this debacle has yet to peak.

I hunt everything in Illinois and use whatever method is in season. I have no preference, bow or gun. Nor do I specialize in hunting only one species. Everything is open season for me. My family is the jack of spades in petas most wanted deck of cards. But yet we are an undervalued ally in the voice of the outdoorsman, and our opinions don’t matter much to fellas who really are ate up by antlers. So we are discounted and thrown to the curb and at the mercy of special interest groups and big money.

I have kids all around me that want to hunt, but their fathers have no place to take them anymore.  All there land is now controlled by outfitters that cater to the trophy crowd. I take youths hunting several times during the season, and the majority are not my own kids. I put them in the choice stands, and am not worried if they stick or spook a monster or a 6 point. Try getting somebody who leased property to let a youth shoot a small buck on that property, or getting outfitters to donate hunts to a father and son who was misplaced by his dealings those are the selfish individuals. Kids today will never have the oppurtunities to hunt the way we did growing up. The only kids that will be given this oppurtunity will be the ones whose folks are willing to pay to play, or are fortunate to still be part of the family farm. The poor small town neighbor boy…..well his dreams are fading fast with the reality of this new trophy sport. So lets get out and make some more dvd’s and sell some more how to books and garbage cause we know that this will help lead to more oppurtunities for the youths.

Lets be realistic now. The hot spots of the deer herd are beyond the reach of us hunters. We do not have access to urban sprawl property, or nature preserves. The outfitters are controlling many of acres where the deer population densities are the highest. Leave the decisions to the Biologist and The DNR. Politicians in this state are some pretty nasty fellas. Maybe in the next election we can cull a few of the bad ones.

If your trying to save more bucks for your walls then take some either sex permits away from the outfitters who refuse to work with the biologists in overpopulated areas.

Take the number of bucks that are harvested in the antlerless only season, and subtract that total from the the either sex permits allowed to outfitters who fail to reach a management goal set forth by a state biologist. Give them antlerless tags until they comform to the biologists plan.

Allow the staff at the state parks and forest preserves to harvest animals and provide meat for soup kitchens.

The traditional family oriented hunting folks may be a dieing breed, but we aren’t extinct yet. Close but not yet. A few more idiotic hunting shows, dvd’s, and another dozen or so outfitters ought to take the fight out of us soon. Then the fellas who are ate up by antlers will have there kingdom. Good luck with the fight. Hope you can save them bucks.

Pretty soon it won’t be cool to deer hunt anyway:) And the way the economy is going people won’t be wanting to spend money on land consultants, food plots, dvd’s, leases or outfitter fees. Soon people will come to there senses and realize that a side of beef in the freezer is money well spent over the dust collectors on their wall.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:54 PM

There is alot of valid points in the last post when it comes to the future of deer hunting.  One thing that I have complained about over and over is the small window that our youth has when it comes to hunting. Two days for Turkeys and two days for deer.  Thats tough on a father of three and I want to keep my kids interested in hunting and off the streets.  Ya they have opportunities to hunt at other times but lets face it, kids aren’t as hardy as adults.  I would love to see the youth season extended to 7 days.  I have even suggested to Jeff Lampe that we put some of these outfitters on the spot and at least give some local kid a place to hunt during the youth season.  I know a local outfitter who lets at least 10 kids hunt his property and its choice ground.  They aren’t limited to does either.  He would prefer they shoot a doe but won’t freak if they shoot a small buck either.  He knows that the kids are our future voice and without them participating we are just a dwindling number. As far as I am concerned, they should open up some of these suburbia sites to the kids.  Like park district ground, nature preserves that only act as deer sanctuaries. I know everyone won’t agree with my philosophy when it comes to youth hunting but I want my kids and all the other kids in Illinois to enjoy the experience of hunting deer and turkeys as I did.  Bill Jordan finishes all his shows with “If you have a chance take a child out hunting with you”.  I have taken that to heart and every chance I get with my kids they are going.  I hope to look back at these times and laugh.  A politician overseeing or suggesting how to run our deer herd is like me being a brain surgeon after flunking out of middle-school.  Myself and alot of hunters in Illinois will not see this happen again.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 11:17 PM

lampe,set a maximum amount of words everyone can use on this post.this is about our deer hunting privleges,not how to write War and Peace about rambling

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 11:28 PM

Virtual sniper… that goal to remove excess deer to help with food is an old myth.  Research has show since 2001 that IL has less than 50 percent of the deer that it can biologically support.  Ive posted the research that supports this in the past so im not going to dig it up now. 

Jeff that is not something we could all deal with.  Since that IS the absolute prime whitetail hunting and there isnt any current research to show that fawn survival is better 2 weeks later in this climate.  If this were WI or MN where there is a huge winter kill then that might work.  But the 2 weeks from end of sept till mid oct will not make a significant difference in the following summers body weight of deer.  I do agree that the main reason for the late season was so that the DNR can monitor the level of reduction from bow season and firearm season but since now the tags are available BEFORE second gun season… this no longer works.  THere is more biological support in the literature for a doe only season before the rut.  SJ you are right… the only reasons for supporting SEPT over october are social reasons. 

There ARE fawns born in OCTOBER.  I know i know its extremely rare but they do survive.  If ya need evidence of this check bowsite where there is a new thread of people getting spotted fawn pictures NOW.

You cant elimiate Buck harvest with any season regulation.  1.  Too many hunters just dont care to use proper management or care about the next hunter and are actually bitter towards bucks and intentionally ruin it.  2.  Button bucks are the dumbest animal in the woods.  Even dumber than the dumbest fox squirrel with next to no survival skills. They are about 3 months removed from running toward humans as they are not born with an intense fear of humans.  They are the first critter in thus a prime target for a young hunter.  SO an early youth hunter has a pretty good excuse.  ADULTS on the other hand during an antlerless season DO NOT.

Goose i dont brag about being the ace of spades in peta’s deck of cards.  I do wildlife more good on properties i manage than PETA’S whole organization likely does for wildlife. I dont just kill animals.  I will rabbit hunt if i have a spot that an afford to lose some.  I will rodent hunt when i can get the limit by 730 because if not… the place probably is over hunted.  GOOSE… IF EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD QUIT HUNTING,  IF no one CARED what i shot, if all my prime spots were leased up… I WOULD STILL HUNT.  Whitetail addiction has taken me into a personal lifestyle you would NEVER understand in a million years.  I Likely make 10 percent of my potential income because of this addiction.  I shoot trophy bucks not for the praise of others… I shoot them because they are the only animal that can satisfy this addiction.  They are the hardest animal in the woods to match wits with.  They allow me to make it a quest.  One that is year long and never ends.  I am out nearly every day still checking cameras,  shed hunting or something else. 

I too have helped Youth hunt THE RIGHT way.  Teach them to leave what they have better than they left it.  NOt that hunting is about killing something and drinking beer afterwards.

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

This bill is wrong in in so many ways..just for starters..look who phelps is!! Come on people! Wake up!
Personnaly I wont be out in woods shooting anything in Sept. Too hot!! Looks like I’ll be a contributer in taking 1-2 less does a year with this bill and so will many others! It’s a mistake!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 06:46 AM

Goose, the selfish ones are the ones who will oppose a well managed deer herd if it means they must sacrifice in some minor way like the timing of their hunts. A well managed deer herd is in everyones best interest but the selfish ones wont allow it to happen without throwing a fit.

For the record I was an outspoken critic of the youth season being antlerless only. I thought that young hunters deserved to be able to shoot whatever came along. I have also had first time hunters on my own land which I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on come and shoot whatever deer they want even though I was trying to manage for older deer. To characterize any specific group with a strict mindset is ridiculous. All groups need to be banding together to get the DNR and our deer herd on the right track and that might mean making some sacrifices along the way.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 06:59 AM

This discussion got side-tracked about 50 posts ago.  Markeje, You are correct, and I think most that are posting here are in agreement that legislature should not dictate when the seasons take place.  It looks like there is a rift in when the anterless season should be, but not many want it to be dictated by legislature.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 07:05 AM

Jeff2020 and a few other interested about the Turkey survey.

I just received the survey in the mail in the past week. It is from the DNR and Illinois Natural History Survey. The survey administrator is Linda Campbell, which lists her phone as (217)244-5121, and it says you can access results of this and other studies at and . I am not sure if there is anything of relevance at those sites concerning this survey at this point.

The survey is 41 questions and asks things about when and how much you turkey hunted during the 2008 season, spring, fall, weapon, season, public land, private land etc. It also has a few questions about past hunting over the last 5 and 8 years. It also asks about EXTENDING hunting hours until sunset.

Specifically regarding the season it says:

It has been suggested that the IDNR wildlife managers consider changing the current structure of spring turkey season to a framework similar to the season structure in MO. Such a change would eliminate the multiple, consecutive seasons now offered, and create a single, shorter season (less than 3 weeks). All permits would be valid statewide for the entire season, but only one (1) bird could be taken during the first week of the season. Permits would be sold OTC at license vendors, with no advanced drawings to award permits. Hunters would be permitted to purchase a maximum of 2 permits, and prices would remain unchanged. RESIDENTS AND NON-RESIDENTS would have equal ability to purchase permits. Would you support changing the structure of the spring turkey season in IL as described above?

They then ask questions about how do you think your access to hunting would be affected, how do you think your quality experience, and how do you think it will affect the amount of hunters you see.

They then make this statement and ask more questions.

Making several changes to the spring turkey season as described in 24 is likely to have several effects on turkey hunters in IL. Where as OTC permits will allow hunters easier access to permits, eliminating multiple season framework is likely to significantly increase hunter participation during the first several days of the season and on all weekends. This may increase competition to access hunting land and increase hunter density on private land. Arrangements where hunters share access to private land based on different hunting seasons may no longer be possible.  Public lands not subject to limited draws, may become more crowded as all hunters may attempt to us the areas at the same time.
It then asks more questions about how do you think it will affect your quality, days to hunt and hunters seen.

I don’t know what to make of this, but now that I typed it on here, I wonder if the ones suggesting to the ILDNR managers, are outfitters, since they want to make permits OTC, extend hunting hours and not break up the season. I have never shot a turkey, seen plenty, and it seems like turkey hunting is great in this state. I am not sure why they want to “fix”  something that does not seem broke.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 08:49 AM

Don, I agree that on the face of it Phelp’s proposal is better that what the task force came up with, but I still can’t bring myself to support having the IDNR micromanaged by politicians. As KC pointed out, when the time comes, no top notch biologist in their right mind would ever want to come and try to manage a program they have no control over.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/03 at 11:04 AM


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 05:15 PM

Just a quick update, Phelps was not present at the Agriculture and Conservation hearing this afternoon, so his bills were not called.
HB 2294, which will allow for hunting coyotes from a treestand passed with a unanimous vote. Many thanks to Representative Hatcher for bringing this bill to the legislature on behalf of Illinois hunters.
HB 2546, which adds fishing to the law prohibiting interference with hunting was also passed by the committee.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/03 at 06:48 PM


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 08:18 PM

“I too have helped Youth hunt THE RIGHT way.  Teach them to leave what they have better than they left it.  Not that hunting is about killing something and drinking beer afterwards.”

My gosh where did the Chicago soccer mom (sorry bout the stereotype there) come from. The social police of hunting. Oh wait just a second my gosh lets see a fella may drink a beer after the hunt and now he is a BUBBA! Wait isn’t the Bubba image just another steroetype….hmmmmmm

Taking Pop-Shots are fun ain’t they! Childish, but easy humor for some. Enjoyed your post ‘til the last paragraph. That’s where you declared your godliness over our other brothers in the woods. See they be WRONG HUNTERS, and we all know them.

See this is the problem with the internet. Everyone is WRONG and there is somebody always waiting to explain what is the RIGHT WAY! Is it Illegal to have a couple beers after the hunt? I don’t make drinkin’ a habit but I like to keep my options open.

I see nothing wrong with the fellowship of hunters, or the ways they choose to share and compare there hunts. Plus I will never dismiss a fellow as a WRONG HUNTER just because of what he chooses to do out of the timber.

But we always have the “libbies” who like to tell the rest of us how we should run our lives (or hunt)without even taking a few steps along side the fella to see what he is all about.

Whose way is the RIGHT WAY? Is that up too any of us to decide. Why can’t the bow hunters get along with firearm hunters. Who does it the RIGHT WAY there? Everyone has an opinion…...which is right?
Trophy Hunters vs. meat hunters which is the RIGHT WAY? The internet is full of opinions. Why is one group the RIGHT WAY and the other WRONG?

Here we are. Most of us are sick to death on how Chicago politicians push there agendas down on the rest of the state. Some city folks thinkin’ you all are a bunch of hillbillies that need protection from one another. Listen to ‘em they’ll tell you how to live the RIGHT WAY. You are some dangerous cruel killers.

Too bad there always have to be a RIGHT WAY with some folks. It would be a shame to think of all our brothers in the woods as equals.

I’ll take a smoke filled hunting lodge anyday over a hotel room full of video hunters editing tape. But that’s my choice. But we all have the right to be in the woods. But for how long? Lets just keep fighting amongst ourselves ‘til we figure whose way is the real RIGHT WAY.

Now lets get back to keeping POLLY’S away from the deer herd.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 10:35 PM

Goose - wanting a well managed deer herd is in everyones best interest, will not keep anyone from being a meat hunter or a trophy hunter, everyone can still shoot whatever they want and is not a selfish goal. Trying to prevent or opposing better regulations which will help improve the age structure and sex ratio of the herd IS selfish ..... my last post on that subject.





September vs October antlerless season- While not strictly a biological arguement supporting September, we must keep in mind that much of the area where this season is needed is heavily controlled by outfitters. In October outfitters are selling hunts to paying clients and will not allow hunters on land they controll just to shoot does when these paying clients are there hunting for bucks. In September this is not an issue. Remember when the DNR said that limiting NR hunters was a social issue and not a biological one? It became a biological one when DNR lost control of the deer herd in certain areas.





Phelps bill- I oppose having legislators manage our deer herd and I have already contacted my state senator in opposition of this bill. I also pointed out that he should contact Governor Quinn ( a democrat) and let him know that Phelps (a democrat) should leave the management of the deer herd to the DNR and his appointement as DNR Director Marc Miller. Rather than going behind Millers back, Phelps should be consulting with Miller on needed legislation. So who else on here has taken the time to contact their legislators?????????? It takes about as much time to do that as it does to make 1 single post on this or any other message board!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 10:35 AM

I also really dont buy that the outfitters WILL open up their land.  Lets be honest.  They have the deer herd they have because it is Conducive to good deer hunting but not to social pressures to reduce deer herds.  And honestly nothing will change how their land is managed. And why should it?  Certain rights are conveyed with land owners and that right is that you can manage the wildlife and hunting on that land as you see fit and NOTHING should ever be done to change that.

And goose… my intent with my post was to show that your hey and mighty bring hunting back to the good ole days isnt the perfect view of how hunting should be.  And hunting will never be like that.  It had its good points and bad points but in todays woods.  Some people want to go and be alone and there are few ways to have that.  I know meat hunters that post large sections of ground.  Its because people want to be alone in the woods and thats many people reason for hunting.

Higgins i want the herd managed biologically but i do wish that more people cared about any type of management and implemented practices on their ground.  Personally in my area i would love to see poachers hung at the courthouse.  THAT is our main problem with age structure here.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 01:48 PM

Poachers being hung at the courthouse, thats a great idea. Game violations are a joke in Illinois.  You can go out and harvest a buck in the wrong county (knowingly doing so), then not call it in and get a slap on the wrist.  Wonder whats happening to our deer herd, there you go.  This happend in the 2008 season.  As far as I am concerned these individuals should lose all hunting priveledges due to the fact they are stealing from all of us.  My feelings on why this was done was the commercialization of deer hunting in this state.
Im sure all caught on video and on outfitted land.  Hopefully this will be made public record and the punk little celeb will be run out of this state.  Makes me sick.  Wonder whats going on with our deer herd.  There you go.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 02:27 PM

So who else on here has taken the time to contact their legislators?????????? It takes about as much time to do that as it does to make 1 single post on this or any other message board!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 03:31 PM

Based on the outline of the bill above it requires the youth season and surplus season to take place at the same time???  What happened to giving youth hunters an uninterrupted chance w/o other firearm hunters in the woods?
Also, as was stated above, these seasons can legally take place in Sept. now.  If this is what most want then contact DNR and let them know your feelings.  It’s amazing what can get done if we redirect some of our energy from debates above to addressing the issue with people who can do something about it ... i.e. new director Mr. Miller

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 03:39 PM

So who else on here has taken the time to contact their legislators??????????
Don…Good job contacting your Senator !!!
Some of us are also actually actively working against this bill.  This bill is in the Ag & Conservation committee right now, so IBS, IFOR & UBI had people at that meeting yesterday when Phelps bill was SUPPOSE to be read, BUT Phelps was a no-show, so the bill was not read.
Phelps probably already has realized this bill is a joke & it is not going to fly. So he is probably in hiding. IF, Phelps was smart, he would pull this bill before looking any more a fool & losing further credability.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 04:18 PM

“So who else on here has taken the time to contact their legislators?????????? It takes about as much time to do that as it does to make 1 single post on this or any other message board!”
And then some Don. I made the three hour round trip to attend the Ag & Conservation hearing. The best place to try and stop a bill like this is in it’s tracks before it leaves committee.

Posted by Henry Holt on 03/04 at 04:51 PM

Lynn, I was pretty sure that a few of the people that post here had contacted their legislators. The point is, those who have already contacted their legislators are the minority of those who post on these internet message boards yet in the time it takes to make 1 post, these people could have ALL sent a short message to their legislator via email, phone call or letter and actually made an impact. Agreeing or arguing on message boards can inform us of what is happening and give us new angles to consider our own position but it does nothing to solve the problem ... NOTHING!



We have a very unique situation here where a new governor has about a year and a half to get things headed in the right direction before he probably will seek to be relected. He has a legislator in his own party (Phelps) going against his appointed DNR director. Not only should we all be contacting our legislators to ask them to vote against the Phelps bill, we should also be asking Quinn to lasso in Phelps if he wants any kind of support from sportsmen in the next election. Here is my letter to Governor Quinn. I encourage anyone to copy and paste it to your own letter and change the words to fit your opinion or use it as it is. If 100 or better yet, 1000 of these letters comes across the governors desk in a couple of weeks I think Phelps will be rethinking his approach to managing our deer herd-






March 4, 2009
Dear Governor Quinn,

  Congratulations on your new position as governor and thank you for quickly doing what you can to turn around the nightmare known as the Blago administration. In particular I am grateful for how fast you were able to reopen our state parks. Issues involving our natural resources are very important to me. I also want to express my approval for your new appointment of Marc Miller as DNR director. I am particularly pleased with Marc’s policy of managing our resources with science based regulations.

  One thing does concern me however. That is in having Rep. Brandon Phelps heading the agriculture and conservation committee. Soon after his appointment, Rep. Phelps was quoted as saying that he “now owns the Illinois deer herd”. This is completely unacceptable to me. Rep. Phelps then soon showed his arrogance by introducing legislation which would take the management of our deer herd away from the DNR. This approach seems more suited to the Blago administration than yours and I would strongly encourage you to address it with Rep. Phelps. If Rep. Phelps wants to help manage our deer herd, he should be contacting DNR director Marc Miller and ASKING him what legislation he should be proposing, not dictating to him. I would think that with yourself and Rep Phelps being from the same political party that you might have some influence over his actions. Our natural resources should be managed by professionals instead of manipulated by politicians. I along with thousands of other Illinois sportsmen appreciate any help you can offer in regards to this issue.


  In closing let me state that in most instances I support the republican candidate for office. There are times however when the republican is not the best choice, one notable exception was when George Ryan ran against Glenn Poshard for governor. The management of our natural resources along with second amendment rights are the issues by which I vote. I am very impressed by your short tenure as governor and should you stay on your current course I will give you serious consideration should you run for governor during the next election. Thank you for your time.


Don Higgins





send these to -

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706



There, I have done the work for you so there is no excuse for not taking a couple of minutes to send one to the governor

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 05:07 PM

Does anyone realize that Rep Phelps son Brock works for IDNR. Could it be that IDNR already knew about this bill and might be for it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 06:16 PM

government is always the problem. plain and simple. they cant even run the freakin postal industry without losing 3 BILLION a year. what makes you expect anything positive from them with anything else. government is where all good things do to die and where all is wasted. the only way to change it is vote for true conservatives and hope they will help govt to get the hell out of your life and your wallet.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 06:23 PM

OH YES most of us are aware BROCK PHELPS is the LEGISLATIVE LIAISON for the DNR. I believe he obtained that position under the BLAGOJEVICH ADMINISTRATION???????
The only support I have heard or seen is from the ILLINOIS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATION. Every other organization that I know of is against the bill. The ILLINOIS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATIONS SUPPORT, no doubt is a political pay back to REP. PHELPS for his support and sponsorship of gun regulations irregardless of the health of our precious resources. The ISRA support for this bill is similar to their misguided ENDORSEMENT OF KURT GRANBURG FOR Director of the IDNR as GRANBURG supported the ISRA issues. The endorsement was a total disregard of the overall well being of the IDNR. We really needed another political HACK stitting back waiting on his pension dreaming of building A golf course trail across SOUTHERN ILL.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 07:04 PM

the question is: Will the IDNR abandon their plan to implement the 9day-January-unlimited permit-firearm “antlerless” season IF the phelps bill doesn’t happen?

THAT’S the BIG Question! Will They? On their own? Mr. Miller?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/05 at 12:41 PM

I noticed that all the task force link’s on the IDNR’s home web are gone now. 
HOPEFULLY, EVERYTHING about the Task Force, is also all gone from everywhere, for good !! 
This is not the Blago controlled IDNR anymore. 8^)
Marc Miller & Quinn keeps impressing me more & more all the time.
Check out the IDNR home page, for a lot of new info that Marc is having posted already in the “directors corner”.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/05 at 01:41 PM

Late season hunts Kill a large number of mature bucks that have shed antlers.

Late season either sex hunts suck.
Also large number of spike and button bucks are accidently killed as hunters dont see the antler like they would on a trophy deer.

Youth & Youth Hunts are our priority and the few deer they kill serve a greater good.

A lot of kids dont want to fight wind, rain,  cold ice, & snow, weather thats not a problem in early season youth hunts

Tink Nathan

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 12:39 AM

How about a two week season starting the third week Nov. A hunter could shoot two does or one buck only. That would make both the meat and trophy hunters happy. Two weeks would also give time for the kids too. Also have a lottery for out of state hunters like they do out west and kick up there fee. The DNR could control the herd by how many permits are issued too each county. That would be good for the bow hunters it wouldn’t mess Oct. Just a thought.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 09:30 AM

The continuing theme for supporting this move is the trophy-focused crowd becries the late season as the money (a.k.a. shed bucks) deer are being taken in Jan.  When an outfitter can get 3,600 to 7,000 and up for a weekend for one buck, you see the incentive to prevent any buck from being taken by a those less fanatical about horns. 

Better weather is not the motivation to move a Jan season to Sept.  If it is truly weather, then the perfect time is end of Oct/early Nov.  But I think its all money.  A post mentions outfitter heavy areas are out of control.  Moving the season will not regain control of those areas.  They simply do not have the incentive. 

By the way, we have a chance to cull during all regular seasons.  So if the trophy crowd would do their part during that time, there would not need to be special season.

I have no issue for an outfitter to make a living, but they are doing so on a public resource and now seem to have audacity to lobby to impose rules on the rest of state to fatten their bottom line. 

If this bill isn’t the result of a lobby effort, then the author needs to be above board on the motivation.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 12:29 PM

I find it curious that (1) these responses are all about getting politicians out of running the DNR and leaving it to the “professional biologists”, (2) the “professional biologists” running the DNR claim the SAME percentage of antlerless bucks will be killed in a September antlerless season as in Late Winter season, and (3) hunters continuously say in thread after thread that a September antlerless season will result in less bucks getting killed than Late Winter.  Obviously deer hunters either have a hard time with logic or else they don’t believe the “professional biologists” know what they are talking about (the same “professional biologists” they are demanding to be in charge of the herd).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 08:36 PM

So if a biologist isn’t managing towards my/your goals, we have to ditch him and shop for a new one that agrees.  Sounds like we politicized the biologist position. 

Perhaps the DNR needs to give a position paper(mission statement) so it can inform everyone of it’s goals and the approach chosen to get there. 

Perhaps this will help educate all hunters and the public about the importance of taking antlerless ‘deer whenever’ they can(sex ratios/age structure).  How to reduce the social value of antler size.  Basically show the big picture.  That includes crop damage(farm bureau), higher insurance costs(insurance company), herd statistics(biology), harvesting statistics by county(deer age, sex, resident and non-resident), some analysis on the social and biological benefits/negatives of outfitters and leases(economic/social).  Perhaps this has been done and we all need to read it.

In the end, everyone can re-evaluate their own beliefs/goals and see where they fit in the big picture.  Then we can speak loudly about the right way to hunt.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 08:53 AM

Let’s not lose site that deer hunting in IL is a “social” issue. IF it were truly just a biological issue, then DNR sharpshooter would be the ones doing all the killing, selecting what will be killed, when & where.
That is not what deerhunting in IL is about or was ever suppose to be about and hopefully never to be about.
There are a lot of guys on here, including myself, who don’t really participate in the antlerless season. Most of us are trophy hunter to some degree.
I myself find it hard to tell the hunters, who do participate in the antlerless season, that they must now hunt only a Sept season. That they will now be force to deal with the heat, bugs, standing corn, possible lose of meat due to heat issues, ect…
A lot of people who do hunt the January seasons, do not have work that time of year & in Sept. they might be working 50-60 hour weeks & 6-7 days a week.
Also the DNR has told us that the CPO’s are still very busy with campers, fisherman, hikers, dovehunters, ect…that time of year. We all know how thin our CPO’s are spread now the way it is.
As I have said, in over 50 years of deerhunting in IL there has never been a Sept deer season. Lots of good reasons for that. I am NOT saying that there can’t be a Sept. season, BUT we must look at all the pros & cons of this, from all points of view !!!
We sure DON’T need this forced down everyone’s throats, by politicians.
Hunting in IL can’t just be about deerhunting either. That is the way hunting in IL is slowly becoming. Meanwhile other forms of hunting are being left out, overlooked & dumped on. The IDNR is also very worried about that very thing. They know all to well that we can’t stake the future of outdoorsmen, based mostly around deerhunting & trophy hunting.
Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture here.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 10:17 AM

If it is not broke, dont fix it. I think the hunting dates are just fine. As any hunter will tell you hunting in the heat is a B*@#h. September and October both can have summer time temps. The crops are still in the fields most of the time in October. I dont know about some of you but draging a deer through a corn field is hard work. You can not just drive a truck or 4-wheeler through it. Leave the hunting times the way they are.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/23 at 07:00 PM

Moving the late season to september is the dumbest idea I have ever heard. Why? because lets see the weather is hotter than heck this time of year, which keeps deer movement to a minimum. secondly zero of the crops have been harvested, which makes it much harder to see deer and to get in and out of your hunting areas. thirdly, all the leaves are still on the tree which makes it even more difficult to see deer. any fellow bowhunter knows when the crops come out and the leaves fall and the temps drop deer movement increases. another reason they should leave the late season in january is becasue the deer are herded up. The late season purpose is to shoot does and keep the population down. It is alot easier to shoot alot of deer in january when the deer are in large groups than in september when they are spread out all over the place. as far as the youth season goes they should just leave it as it is. If they do anything they should make the season longer, to give more parents and adults the opportunity to take their children out hunting.Anyone who agrees with this bill and calls themselves a deer hunter is crazy.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/24 at 03:31 PM

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Tales from the Timber: Mystery buck

Previous entry: Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic recap

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

January 2020
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons