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Taking the deer task force to task

January 14, 2009 at 07:54 AM

About the author

Tim Walmsley of Fowler (P.O. Box 8, Fowler, IL 62338) is author of “Trophy Whitetails of Illinois” (Volumes 1 and 2), is founder of the Illinois Deer Classic and is an official big game measurer. He has been a long-time activist regarding deer management in Illinois. Here are his thoughts concerning recommendations from the Joint Task Force on Deer Population Control.

 

 

 

 

Well, about the time you think the overall good health of the Illinois deer herd won’t be messed with anymore, “bang.” there they went with the political appointment of an Illinois Task Force on deer population control. With the exception of only a couple of knowledgeable deer hunters who tried to keep the damage to a minimum—they know who they are—the task force was made up of politicians and special interests who have no background in deer management. 

Why was this group formed? Mainly because of perceived high vehicle/deer collisions. One must look at the chart used in their decision making which shows those accidents actually peaked in 2003, and have come down and been fairly steady every since.

Illinois hunting and fishing

All this with more vehicles on the road every year and more roads opened into the whitetails habitat. I ask, why are we possibly making major deer management changes based on a chart that’s not exactly what one might call biological data.

Someone, maybe the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, seems to have come up with a magic number from billions of miles driven of a “Goal rate of 207 accidents.” Apparently that is how many deer collisions will be tolerable. Why now and not in 2003 at the peak I wonder? And I guess that if you want to avoid hitting a deer, don’t drive a billion miles. That or eliminate every last whitetail deer from the state of Illinois!

Now obviously it is a sad thing when someone is hurt or killed in a deer/vehicle accident—that I would never deny. But as long as there are any whitetails in the state, it’s going to happen.

And what county has the highest number of deer/vehicle collisions? Cook/Chicago, where no firearm deer hunting is allowed.

From a 2008 IDNR press release, here are the top 10 deer/vehicle collision counties in 2007.

  1. Cook, Chicago—995, no firearm deer hunting
  2. Madison—694, high traffic, East St Louis
  3. Peoria—624, high traffic city
  4. Pike—611, the most outfitted county in Illinois
  5. Will—572, high traffic south Chicago
  6. Sangamon—546, high traffic, Springfield
  7. Lake—533, high traffic north Chicago and no firearm deer hunting
  8. LaSalle—528,high traffic and major Interstate intersection
  9. Kane—496, high traffic west Chicago and no firearm deer hunting
  10. Fulton—very heavily outfitted

The task force also worked off a 2006 color coded Car Deer Accidents map showing the “Red” or highest collision hotspot risks in the state- Now compare that map to the list of 2007 top 10 deer accident counties above. Interesting, isn’t it. What happened to Cook County? And the rest of the top 10? The only counties in red are Fulton and Pike, two of the most heavily outfitted counties in the state. Other than those two, 8 of the top 10 counties on the list above, somehow are not considered the highest accident risks.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Now on this whole subject of managing the deer herd from deer/auto collisions, the following is very important to consider. In a attachment that was sent to the task force from the IDNR Wildlife Div. Titled-  “A deer objective using deer/vehicle accident data, and potential management approaches,”  the IDNR states the following:

“There is no way of determining the most correct, acceptable level of accidents.” That’s right, read that again: “no way.” But somehow, they have found a way.

Now back on the subject of the color coded car/deer accident map. The “red risk zone” reads like the who’s who of the heaviest outfitted counties in Illinois. Those are counties where outfitter’s clients only kill on average, one doe per 386 acres controlled.  Before going under commercial lease, these properties were for the most part, hunted by Illinois residents who took, on average back then, 56 percent bucks and 44 does. And they took does in much higher numbers per acre.

The Task Force never addressed the real problem of resident access, although the two real deer hunters on the task force tried.

And the Task Force never addressed outfitter created doe overpopulation due to buck overharvest. Outfitters, backed by the Illinois Farm Bureau, pushed for and received the virtually unlimited non-resident archery either-sex deer tags. For the most part, they have with these tags virtually unlimited access to permits, especially in the west central Illinois counties.

So now the very groups who brought on pockets of doe overpopulation problems, want resident hunters to clean up the mess. I use the phrase “pockets of doe overpopulation problems,” because in most of Illinois, there is not overpopulation/deer collision problem as per the char. Most areas may not need a nine-day January gun season at all, let alone a fourth November firearm day.

And I wonder how/why Sen. John Sullivan, who out of the blue came up with this fourth November gun day, came to be introduced in the last minutes of the Task Force’s last meeting? Could it be that in his west central Illinois region, the ones who benefit from this most would be the outfitting industry, which basically will receive yet another day to shoot bucks. This fourth day will not be antlerless only. One must wonder if implementation of these task force recommendations would have any impact on deer numbers on outfitter controlled properties.

And with a nine-day January “antlerless” season, just what will be taken? One must understand that 2,458 of 11,528 “antlerless” deer harvested in the January 2008 season were actually males: either fawn/button bucks or antlerless/shed bucks or legal/short antlered bucks. So a nine-day season may very well produce around 7,400 dead bucks, not helping much to stop a perceived deer herd growth problem. And that’s not counting the increased number of OTC permits that may be sold. The number could be much larger.

Presently, bucks are shedding antlers early all over Illinois due to the harsh December weather that stressed them out. Remember,“Bucks don’t have fawns.”

Why did the recommendations on having a longer doe-only season—if even necessary—end up with January? That season was once a pistol only season. Remember that far back?

Why not have the doe-only season start in the middle, or end of September? Those dates would eliminate the harvest of bucks already having shed their antlers, deer aren’t winter stressed and would most likely get more participation compared to extreme cold conditions in January. September would also probably get more youths involved.

States like Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota and many more start their deer season in mid-September. Why not Illinois? I seriously doubt the squirrel hunters would uprise. This is when an antlerless season should be held, if it’s actually necessary.

Since the peak harvest of a four years ago, the IDNR has kept a fairly steady harvest rate state wide, even with dumping ten’s of thousands of more deer permits on the market that have had no impact on total numbers. Firearm harvest dropped again in 2008, down 11,000 deer from 2007. Wouldn’t that show a trend of some kind? I once has a senator from central Illinois tell me that the IDNR/Goverment, acts/reacts two years after the fact. That’s just how slow goverment works he said. 

For the past five years, DNR has drilled into the public that the deer herd is growing. Everything from their own harvest data, to their vehicle collision info has shown otherwise. Just the opposite in fact. Something is wrong with this picture. Shouldn’t a computer model reflect this?

There was also no discussion that I’m aware of, that starting in August of 2007 and throughout the fall months, at least 28 counties and possibly more than that had the worst outbreak of EHD in the history of this state’s deer herd. In some areas of Adams county where I live—in the not-so Golden Triangle—total mortality approached 55 percent of the herd! It was quite devastating, and lowered deer populations significantly. Impact from the disease was much greater than any amount of deer seasons or permits issued could have done. But this was not factored into the task force’s decision making.

One must also ponder the possibility that this group was formed solely for more deer permit sales revenue. After all, it was made law under a Governor who raids public funds, who threatens to close parks and is no friend of the Illinois resident outdoorsman/women, and has butchered the IDNR.

Also, I personally believe IDNR was going to implement some of these changes anyway. The Task Force played right into their hands! They kind of fed off each other. One thing they weren’t considering was the Sullivan additional gun day. The public hearings yielded good comments and suggestions from hunters and landowners that were completely ignored. The public, that went to those meetings, for the most part, wasted their time. History repeated itself. Nothing was recommended that came from those meetings, other than what was already planned.

Big changes are needed. Hopefully a new governor will restore funding to the IDNR with new people, and new ideas. And for the first time since the de-regulation of the deer permit system that was established under the Department. of Conservation, the best system in the country at that time, some real conservation needs to take place. Reinstatement of the firearm check stations would be a good start. 

The committee’s proposals basically are: 

1)  Over-the-counter antlerless permits for the late-season, which will be a nine-day season in January. Bowhunting for either-sex deer would actually close a week earlier then in past years, do to the moved up starting date of this Firearm season. Counties could be unlimited in the number of permits, depending on where DNR feels they are needed. And they would be sold over the counter.

2)  Add one day to the first November gun season on the Monday after opening weekend. “We will call this one the “Sullivan/Outfitter” season. Gun season would now be eight days – Friday through Monday for the 1st Nov. season and Thursday through Sunday for 2nd season. 

3) Sell leftover second lottery gun tags throughout the season OTC. 

4) This one is scary. Form another task force to review programs dealing with crop damage by deer. Oh boy, just what we need! This has Farm Bureau written all over it and could lead to more problems down the road. In defense of the IDNR’s wildlife division, I’ve seen first hand what they’re up against in dealing with The Farm Bureau’s “Wildlife Management Group.” IDNR has it’s hands full and deals with them the best they can.

5) There’s some PR mumbo jumbo thrown in at the end that won’t amount to anything. 

There was talk of moving up the late-season into December instead of January, during which bowhunters would not be allowed to shoot bucks.  The Committee was split on it, and they really weren’t prepared to listen to “new” ideas.  So it got tabled. Somehow, Sen. Sullivan’s “new” idea of adding a fourth day to the November gun season became a proposal. Now think about this: at the very first meeting, the IDNR Wildlife Division stated to this task force: ” We recommended that they focus on antlerless seasons and not either-sex seasons.” Where was Mr. Sullivan? If present, he must have been asleep!

One last note, DNR does not, and I repeat, does not have to go along with any of these recomendations. So, what will they do? We’ll see! Let them know what you want them to do. These recommendations were released on Jan. 7, 2009. One only has to read the “comments” section under where they were posted on Prairie State Outdoors to see the public is nearly 100 percent opposed to implementing any of this. That’s the same thing they heard at the so-called public meetings.

Who to contact

Attached is a list of Task Force committee members and how to contact them. Take the time to let them know your thoughts, for they may meet again on this matter. And let the IDNR Wildlife Division know what you think. They get the last say. This is most important at this point in time.

DNR director
Sam Flood 217-785-0075
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

DNR Conservation-Wildlife Division
Mike Conlin 217-785-8272
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
                 
John Buhnerkempe 217-782-6384
Fax 217-785-2438
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Paul Shelton 217-782-6384
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tom Micetich
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Some Task Force members
Sen. John Sullivan Quincy
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Springfield 217-782-2479
Quincy 217-222-2295
Fax 217-222-2944

CPO Jason Sherman, Alton  
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
618-962-1181

Henry Kallal District 15
IL. Farm Bureau Director, Jerseyville  
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
618-498-4379

Jim Riemer
past IDNR Deputy Director,Springfield  
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
217-528-9120

Kevin Martin
Executive Director Illinois Insurance
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
217-789-1010
Fax 217-789-6559

Larry Trent
IL. State Police Director
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Rep. Bob Flider, Decatur
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Springfield 217-782-8398
Decatur 217-428-2708
Fax 217-428-3419

Rep. Dan Reitz, Sparta
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Springfield 217-782-1018
Sparta 618-443-5757
Fax 618 443-3800

Rep. David Reis, Olney  
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Springfield 217-782-2087
Olney 618-392-0108
Fax 618-392-0107

Rep. Jim Sacia, Freeport  
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Springfield 217-782-8186
Freeport 815-232-0774
Fax 815-232-0777

Sen. Gary Dahl, Peru
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Springfield 217-782-3840
Peru 815-220-8720
Fax 815-220-8721

Sen. Gary Forby, Benton  
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Springfield 217-782-5509
Benton 618-439-2504
Fax 618-438-3704

 

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

Tim,  You and several other ambassadors in the Illinois deer hunting community are doing a great service for all of us and it is greatly appreciated. 
Educating people is the only way we can fight this, and you guys are getting it out there.  I plan to contact most of the people on the list and will encourage all that stand with us to do the same.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 12:40 PM

Great job Tim, we appreciate all the work you have put into this.  I think the majority of the hunters here in Illinois feel the same as you.  It sure is a passionate issue alive and well on PSO. Lets get together as hunters and let our voices be heard.  Tim has supplied us with all the names and numbers we need.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 02:22 PM

I hunt Southeastern Illinois and we have plenty of deer. The problem I have with the deer population is what it has done to the small game populations. The rabbit and quail numbers are at all time lows. Honeysuckle and new growth blackberries are favorites of deer. The only places that consistently hold rabbits are weed and native grass fields because the deer don’t like eating them. I deer hunt(killed 4), my teen age son deer hunts(killed 3), and we plan on killing 2 more this weekend. I wish the population was half of what it is now. You would see a resugence of small game hunters if the deer population was smaller. Now we have to deal with bobcats(a whole new can of worms)!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 04:21 PM

The deer population must be manipulated to best serve the overall interests of all the people of Illinois or for that matter every state. The explosion of the deer herds have cost insurance companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sometimes “people outside the box” recognize this better than the blue collar “kill for meat” type of person. There has to be a balance.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 05:22 PM

Good work tim.  If you need anything at all i can do to help shoot me an email.  Im in south eastern IL and every county around me had a deer kill that was WAY down during gun season.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 05:49 PM

I certainly support an earlier antlerless season for the purpose of culling does.  It is the correct thing to do from a biological perspective.  In my opinion September may be too early if your interest is overall herd health.  I think the extra month (to late October) is better for fawn survival.

One of the three reasons the JTF report gave for rejecting the October antlerless season proposal was “Director Flood expressed safety concerns because of a large number of farmers harvesting crops at that time”.  If farmer safety is a big concern in October, just think how much more of a safety concern it would be under a September antlerless season proposal.

I personally don’t think that safety concern has much merit.  The DNR used to claim safety concerns about the last 1/2 hour of daylight during gun season (and the change was eventually forced on the DNR by legislation against their wishes).  The DNR’s safety concerns turned out to be baseless.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 06:18 PM

Rick the deer population has been manipulated look at the decline in harvest does that mean I will get a rebate check from State Farm fewer deer fewer accidents and like everything people in the box know better then some suit sitting at an oak desk who has never been in the woods this task force achieved exactly what they set out to do.What explosion of deer populations are you referring to?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 06:35 PM

http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc01/professional/papers/pap772/p772.htm

HEre is some reading for the people who have been brainwashed by the insurance companies and farmers that the deer are overpopulated.  Basically it states that in 2001 the state has less than 50 percent of what the environment can support.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 08:38 PM

Sj, I have shot nuisance deer for several years now next to a state park and I have to say that I was pretty surprized on the fawn survival rate.  I don’t think a Mid-late September would be much of a problem.  Alot of surrounding states actually open bow season either Sept 1 or the 15th. I’m with you on the safety factor, not a big issue.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 08:57 PM

Rick….I’m a white collar worker that is also a “blue collar” hunter…so I guess you can call me a WHITE COLLAR HICK…LOL!I have hunted deer in the same county the last five years and I have seen a decline in the number I see every year. You talk about all the hundreds of thousands that insurance companies lose every year due to deer accidents but you don’t talk about the millions the insurance companies take in every year and don’t have to pay claims on. I have 3 vehicles, 1 boat and a home that I have never taken a claim on. Doesn’t that tell you something? As far as I’m concerned the insurance companies need to stick with what they are good at….INSURANCE and stay out of the woods like yourself!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 09:03 PM

I am just tired of special interest groups trying to ruin the hunting in this state.  If it was biologically based… Sure ill deal with what research says… But if its so insurance company company books look better or farmers that are well paid to have wildlife on their land can be well paid and get their crops too… IM not going to deal with that.  Hunting around 20 years and to this point i have never seen ” crop damage” from deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 09:15 PM

Tim….well written article. You put some time and thought into it. As long as the rest of us do are part and contact the powers to be maybe we can get something accomplished. Thanks!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:04 PM

OUR PART….OOPPS

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:06 PM

.410 hunter have you ever thought that maybe the quail and bunnies never servived the winter? I don’t think you need to blame the deer… Insurance companies got us by the balls and now there going to ruin the deer heard in our state!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:20 PM

good article tim. i enjoyed reading it.

Rick has a good point.
As much as HUNTERS like HUNTING, there has to be a balance.  There are way more deer today than there was 10,20,30, and 40 years ago.  There are also as a whole more deer vehicle accidents and crop damage due to deer.  As a hunter, you cant assume and expect for only the deer herd to be protected while other interest groups are unheard.  I personally don’t see an issue with having an extra day to gun season.  3 days has always seemed to be a little short to me anyway.
Alot of this is just internet jibber jabber and a big part of it is its freakin cold outside and theres nothing else to do but get online and complain about something.

Im sure a few people will give me crap for writing this but to think the illinois deer population has more rights and priviledge than other very important businesses, like farming and insurance, you are mistaken.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:32 PM

And insurance companies exist based on their ability to manage “risk”.  They are just trying to lessen the risk by eliminating the deer herd.  FultonCoHunter has it right.  By the state doing what the Ins Co’s want with the deer herd is not going to result in lower premiums, just higher profit for State Farm, Country Co, Allstate, etc.  Crappy economy and banks losing their butts asking for a bailout, but do you see the insurance companies crying to Congress?  I’d rather see higher insurance premiums then an unhuntable-sized deer herd - of course, I’m biased in that I’m a deer-hunter . . .

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:37 PM

I have come up with the simplest solution yet.  Since Cook county has the highest number of vehicle/Deer collisions.  Lets just annex that whole area out of Illinois.  We can call it North Illinois, they can manage their own deer herd under some crooked politician, maybe John Sullivan could move up there, he would fit right in.  Everything else in the state would be considerd South Illinois, land of logic.  Our deer herd could be managed by Biologists that have a brain.  Insurance companies and farm bureaus wouldn’t even be in the picture of deer management.  Sam Flood would be employed by the IDOC making license plates with our past and present politicians.  Thats my simple solution.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/14 at 10:57 PM

I live in Pope County, Illinois’ smallest county in population, yet one of the “reddest” counties on DNR’s deer/vehicle accident maps.  Our county has never been in contention for the LWH.  Everyone knows that Pope County has a large deer population because (or in spite of) the Shawnee National Forest.  In the last five years, we have seen our deer herd slowly, yet surely, dwindle every year.  The only reason that the archery season saw more deer harvested this year than last, was because the bow hunters exerted one heck of a lot more effort this year to get their deer.  Our firearm harvest was way down from year’s past, primarily because of lack of deer to shoot, rather than the ubiquitous excuses used by the DNR of “too much corn in the fields and bad weather kept hunters out of the field.”  As an outfitter I spend a lot of the year in the field scouting deer, setting and moving stands, setting and collecting data from trail cameras, planting and tending food plots, and, of course, assisting deer hunters in hunting deer. In my spare time I sit in a tree stand and bow hunt. Who better would know what the true status of the deer herd in my area of Illinois is? I can report that without a doubt the deer population is in a downward spiral in our part of the State.  EHD last year, as Mr. Walmsley pointed out in his excellent article, devastated the deer herd in parts of Illinois.  The DNR played that fact down.  It was barely mentioned in the public meeting that I attended in Sparta.  Why, just imagine what would happen if it got out that Illinois actually lost a large portion of its trophy deer herd to a disease instead of the $462 dollars per pop, 25,000 n/r archery deer hunters and who knows how many n/r firearm deer hunters that the DNR and we outfitters cater to?  It’s way past time for the DNR and the State legislators to quit trying to sell the deer herd to balance their budgets.  It’s a shame that the insurance lobbyists and the Illinois Farm Bureau have more input into the management of the State’s natural resources than the citizens of Illinois.  I believe that it was an Illinoian by the name of Lincoln that once said…government by the people and for the people.  Mr. Walmsley has set the record straight, now it’s up to the citizens of Illinois to take back what is ours.

Posted by Dan Coen on 01/14 at 11:34 PM

God help us. The DTF has it all wrong and are consitrating hteir “efforts” in the wrong place. We (hunters) know extacly what is going with our herd for the most part. We know where the numbers are good and where they could be thinned. Not ONE SINGLE suggetion from the DTF is going to do anything to lower the numbers anywhere. It’s complete BS!!! And the insurance co are making MILLIONS they are one of the few places filling jobs as fast as they can. I’ve made 2 claims under $2000 my entire driving carrier..18 years..with multiple vehicles on the books. The whole thing is a joke and will only benifit the IL outfitter..ESPECIALLY the 4 day on the first season!! What a joke. Go a head add the 4th day but for gods sake mak it DOE ONLY. I bet there will a bunch of NR sticking around for that!! YA RIGHT!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 06:52 AM

Guys look at any IL outfitters web site. The 3 most costly days are, the first 3 days of gunseason. So when the FB puppet ( Senator Sullivan ) asked in the very last meeting, so the public could not discuss it, he knew exactly what he was asking for = 

More $$$$$$$$$, not herd control.

Their is no way in this world that a task force, that is suppose to be set up to look at ways to control the herd, WHERE NEEDED. Can now suggest a way to lengthen the most lucrative days of either-sex gunhunting. Senator Sullivan INC & FB, only see dollar sign$. 8^(

The IDNR knows & does admit, that more herd control measures are not needed state wide. The additional day of either-sex state wide gunhunting is the first thing that has to go on the task force/FB’s wish list !!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 08:35 AM

I don’t think the small game in Illinois is effected much at all by the deer herd.  You can thank coyotes, fox, mink, bobcats, owls, and a thriving population of red tailed hawks.  Fertilizers, nitrogen, anhydrous amonia?  Farmers plowing up every inch of ground they have, taking out the fence rows and hedge rows. 
We all need to stick together on this and contact these people and atleast let them know how we feel.  It’s our deer herd and our way of life that will be effected if we do not.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 08:46 AM

Tim, thanks for your continued efforts to help Illinois deer hunter.

The issue of properly managing the Illinois deer herd will require the following steps-

 


1.A limit on non-resident hunters will have to be established at a reasonable level. The problem areas are clearly urban areas and areas where rampant leasing due to outfitting has taken the control of the herd away from the DNR biologists.

 

 

2. Politics needs to be removed from the management of the deer herd. This is a natural resource that needs to be managed for sustained or improved quality for future generations. Right now we are exploiting it and destroying it for immediate cash income. Politicians have no more business managing a deer herd than they do walking into Caterpillar and building a diesel engine.

 

 

3.Once the politics are removed we need a whitetail biologist that cares about more than mere “numbers”. Dynamics such as age structure and sex ratios need to be an integral part of the deer management equation.

 

 

If these 3 things are done, our deer herd can begin to heal from years of mismanagement and we can leave the next generation with a quality whitetail herd with which dreams can come true.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 10:52 AM

IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY PERMITS THEY GIVE LOCALS MEAT EATERS’ DON’T HAVE A PLACE TO HUNT. THEY SAY YOUTH HUNTING IS DECLINING WHY, BECAUSE WE HAVE NO PLACE TO HUNT. I HAVE A HARD TIME EVERY YEAR JUST TO FIND A PLACE TO TAKE MY 12 YR OLD SON SQUIRELL HUNTING.MORE LAND IS LEASED EVERY YEAR.(MOST) OF THE LAND OWNERS GET FARM SUBSIDES AND THIS IS OUR TAX DOLLARS AND THIS IS OUR THANKS . LEASING FOR MORE MONEY. MOST HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY DEER GET TAKEN ON THEIR LAND.BECAUSE THE OUTFITTER LIES TO THEM.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 11:16 AM

Tim great write up on the DTF….I disagree with everything the DTF has proposed…I totally agree with Don..the powers to be should listen to Don and not the DTF…for Don knows what hes talking about and the DTF haven’t a clue…i think though the best we [hunters and deer] can hope for is they will leave thing’s as they are now…i don’t hear any hunter’s _itching about the way things are now so why change them…...

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 01:55 PM

I think that all concerned IL deerhunters & all IL deerhunting organizations, need to ask our IDNR & the state legislature, to hold all changes pertaining to the deer seasons, laws & regulations.

Our state has its hands full right now, with riding our state of a corrupt Governor, correcting a lot of his years of wrong doings & mismanagement and restoring millions of dollars, of federal IDNR funding, that is going to be lost.

The IDNR will probably & FINALLY have a full-time director, very soon ! Hopefully they will be managing our IDNR resources, from a long term perspective & provide leadership, that has been missing for quite sometime.

Lets not implement more changes that a new director &/or a new Governor, may not support in anyway. Lets wait & see what direction our new IDNR leader wants to take things.

Lets see what our future director, thinks of these task force recommendations ???

Lynn Wilcox

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 11:18 PM

Great State of Illinois, the only state where our past/present governors make our license plates for us.  After reading the article written by Brent Manning and Mr Lampe’s there may be a ray of hope for us outdoorsmen and women.  Lets get the politicians and lobbyist out of the DNR and get a real DNR director.  The day Blago and Sam Flood are gone, I’m having a great big party and you all are invited.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/15 at 11:41 PM

Controlling local deer levels has also been attempted to reduce accident rates.
Allen and McCullough (1976) suggested that controlling deer population numbers
through harvest may be an effective method for reducing deer-vehicle accidents.
Michigan and Illinois have used hunting in an attempt to reduce local deer populations
and decrease deer-vehicle collisions (Romin and Bissonette 1996). However, Waring et
al. (1991) found that deer-vehicle collisions did not decline on their study area even
though the deer population decreased

In areas with large amounts of timber, a highway ROW may provide deer with
attractive areas to forage (Feldhamer et al. 1986). To reduce the attractiveness of a ROW
to ungulates, unpalatable plant species should be planted and mast producing trees should
be avoided (Bruinderink and Hazebroek 1996).

In some areas, salt may attract deer to the ROW. Salt may accumulate on the side
of roadways during spring and attract deer in areas where there are few natural salt
sources (Bruinderink and Hazebroek 1996). Feldhamer et al. (1986) suggested that
deicers without salt could be used in areas of high deer-vehicle accidents to reduce the
attractiveness of the ROW. Finnish roe deer biologists have recommended that CaMgacetate
be used to deice roads instead of NaCl

Did the task force even look at research or do they just sit around and use the common sense redneck approach?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 07:07 AM

Good post Clint, you remind me of a guy named Pedro from Bowsite. 
I think we’re all on the same page here so now what do we do? 
Petition at the Illinois deer classic?  or Would that be a waste of time?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 08:35 AM

I THINK THE DEER NUMBERS KILLED IS A JOKE. DOES ANYONE NO HOW MANY OUT OF STATE BUCK KILLERS CALL IN AND SAY THEY SHOT A DOE SO THAT THEIR OUTFITTER LOOKS GOOD. SO MANY LIES IT WILL NEVER CHANGE UNTIL WE BRING BACK CHECK STATIONS.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 09:07 AM

.410——- deer do not affect small game populations. You might want to pick up a copy of “Ecology and Field Biology” or even the Wildlife Management merit badge booklet for Boy Scouts.

Major changes in the deer management program 5 years AFTER the population peaked (according to both harvest records and vehicle collisions). This to further reduce the herd by 14%? Someone running the show either has been asleep for 5 years or has not been aware. Maybe his computer shows those deer still exist. I dont know but none of those three is unaccepatble.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16 at 03:52 PM

Some of the guys here are seeing the full picture.  IF WE DON’T GET SOMETHING DONE THERE WILL BE NO DEER TO HUNT. The thing I don’t like besides all the extra hunters from out of state and so much pubilcity from magazines and TV to come to Ilinois and get that trophy Buck of a life time.  Is the fact that alot of these out of state guys are tying up the land with leases.  The average guy that lives in Illinois has no chance to hunt the prime ground because the fat cats have turned it into a money making industry.  And after hunting public ground the last nineteen years and seeing less and less deer each year.  Each year I meet more and more people from out of state on our public grounds.  But the one big question we need to ask ourself is just how many deer does one HOUSEHOLD NEED?  I ‘m tired of hearing the guys brag about the five they get each year.  Not many of these people hunted in the 70’s were I started with my Father.  Why are they lossing the sportmanship of hunting?  We can thank people like ( hang on let me catch my breath) Stan Potts for helping screw up an American tradition and turning it ito a money making expo.  So one day are you gonna teach your grandson to hunt or create a new scent or decoy??

Grumpy oldhunter

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/17 at 04:43 PM

Lonzo, what it all boils down to is that the state is basically requiring residents to kill off the deer on property where local residents hunt, while giving outfitters free rains to do anything they want on their land.  Lease it up with money from NRs and manage your bought herd however you like and we can deal with those deer overpopulation areas but the rest of the state… needs decimated.  All you need to do is read any popular IL forum to see the pride people take in decimating it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/18 at 01:14 AM

Gentlemen I for one have a reconmation after yesterday, move the antlerless season to september.I do not believe in abortion but yesterday I aborted twin fawns-fully developed eyes,ears,nose,tail and hooves. My son and I together have 4 unfilled permits that will not be filled this year now. k.e.b.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/18 at 09:27 AM

Im a farmer in lasalle co. I believe sept.is good time of the year for the doe season. As for the insurance companies, What is in it for the hunter, We go out an lower the number of deer and save them thousands and thousands of dollars a year an we the hunter get nothing. lets make a deal with them, We lower the numbers, they put money back in the dnr or buy hunting land and open it to the public. If we dont all were doing is ruining our futher deer hunting. Whats more important insurance money or memories with our kids

Posted by jeff on 01/18 at 09:00 PM

Keith… well over half the does killed after about the middle of Nov. are pregnant. By second shotgun probably 80% are breed.
Sept hunts, well some people say too many orphaned fawns, won’t make it without their mother.
It is all just a part of hunting, we have to accept.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/18 at 09:11 PM

yeh your rite Lynn, 25 years ago that would not have bothered me as much, getting old my dear.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/19 at 10:56 AM

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