Bill would rewrite Illinois deer seasons

March 02, 2009 at 05:34 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORE TO COME