DNR drops non-resident two-buck proposal

February 10, 2010 at 04:44 PM

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is withdrawing a proposal to allow non-resident archery deer hunters to purchase a second combination archery deer permit.

That proposal met with angry response from several resident hunting groups, since it would have allowed non-residents to shoot two bucks during bow season.

But DNR will move ahead with plans to allow non-resident youth hunters to take part in the October youth season. Writes John Buhnerkempe, chief of DNR’s wildlife division:

“Regarding amendments to 17 Ill. Adm. Rule 685, the Department believes the recruitment and retention of young hunters, regardless of residency, is of paramount importance in today’s world.  This is a national issue, not just a state or local issue.  Regardless of what other states are doing, we believe that youth season should be blind to residency and that youth hunting opportunities should be a priority.  Given the importance of this issue, we plan to proceed with allowing nonresident youth to participate the youth deer hunting season.”

Earlier this winter Buhnerkempe had discussed these changes for non-residents during the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever state convention in Peoria.

“I think the whole issue of kids hunting is not are they residents or non-residents, it’s are they kids?” Buhnerkempe said. “There may be grandparents who want to invite their grandkids in to hunt. Is an outfitter going to make more money off of it? I doubt it.

“As far as the issue of non-residents hunting in Illinois, Pandora’s Box is already open.”

Buhnerkempe said the Illinois Natural History Survey is currently doing a mail survey of outfitters to get more information about the industry.

“I don’t think we fully understand the industry as well as we need to,” Buhnerkempe said. “