Illinois hunting and fishing

This is the potential state record non-typical buck that state law enforcement officials say was taken illegally by Chris Kiernan. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Top 10 outdoors stories of 2011

December 30, 2011 at 09:10 AM

It’s a little sad that poachers hold down two of the top news stories in the outdoors world in 2011.

The upside is we wouldn’t be talking about poaching stories at all if federal and state law enforcement officials hadn’t caught the perpetrators and brought them to justice.

Here are the top outdoors news stories of 2011:

1. Pleasant Hill callmaker and “Fallin’ Skies” video star Jeffrey Foiles is serving 13 months in jail for routinely exceeding bag limits and falsifying records. He also was fined $100,000.

2. Two trophy deer poaching cases in northern Illinois were announced within weeks of each other. Deer taken illegally were worth thousands of dollars.

3. Richard Lomas’ 30-point doe taken during second shotgun season south of Olney raised eyebrows. Missouri hunters report antlered does, too. Even if it is a doe, hunters must tag it as an antlered deer (buck).

4. A young Pike County deer hunter fell out of his tree stand and made up a tale of a mountain lion attack so he wouldn’t get in trouble. The boy finally admitted he made it up.

5. Methods of deer control for chronic wasting disease, for management of deer within forest preserves and within city limits, remain a subject of intense debate. Hunters want a shot at deer being killed by sharpshooters.

6. Land prices top $8,800 an acre in December.

7. Illinois hunters are asked to be on the lookout for feral swine. Wild hogs can multiply out of control quickly. Most wild hogs are in Illinois because someone brought them here and released them.

8. Firearm Owner Identification Card information will remain private — after a months-long debate in the courts and the legislature. Concealed carry legislation fails.

9. A fourth waterfowl hunting zone is established to spread out waterfowl season dates in Illinois. The change had been sought for years.

10. Periodical cicadas made a noisy early-summer appearance in Illinois.

Chris Young can be reached at 788-1528.

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