Join Date: Feb 2003
Found this article in today's Chicago Sun-Times today and thought there were alot of guys here who would appreciate it. From OUTDOORS columnist Dave Bowman, here it is in it's entirety. Bear with my typing skills.
FROM 02-11-2004 CHICAGO SUN-TIMES (OUTDOORS)
I'll give Joel Brunsvold credit. He waded into thr deer issue, where his predecessor as director od the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Brent Manning, let it swirl through years of committee meetings.
The IDNR on Friday propsed sweeping changes in deer-hunting regulations. I'm willing to give them time to work.
"Overall, we have to get hold of the deer herd as far as numbers are concerned," Brunsvold said. "There are a lot of winds here. We discussed this at length with staff, outsiders, hunting groups, outfitters."
There have been alot of wind, or hot air, from all sides.
The most controversial change is upping the cap for non-resident archery permits from 12,843 to 15,000.l The Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources issued an alert.
Most of the other proposals are aimed aat controlling the state's deer herd, estimated at 750,000 to 800,000.
* Hunters could apply for bothfirearm and muzzleloader-only permits during the
same application period.
* In Kane county, firearm hunting would be allowed west of Route 47 (Uncle
* Regulations would be eased in the restricted archery zone in Champaign, DeWitt,
Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties.
* In the traditional handgun season in January, hunters could use a handgun, shotgun or
muzzle-loader. Brunsvold said Tuesday he had assurances from some outfitters that
they would allow resident hunters access to leased land during this season.
* Hunters who have a deer test positive for chronis wasting disease would be given a
free permit to the same county or special hunt area. Illinois has 41 confirmed cases of
CWD in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry and Winnebago counties.
For the proposals, go to dnr.state.il.us/legal/rule-status.htm.
There are powerful reasons why non-resident archery hunters want to cap non-resident archery permits while farmers and outfitters want it removed. Illinois is a proven trophy producer. (DON'T BELIEVE THIS! ILLINOIS IS TERRIBLE DEER HUNTING AND NOT WORTH THE TRIP, TIME OR EFFORT! KEEP OUT!!! - Uncle's opinion added cause I can) Mel Johnson's "Beanfield Buck" taken in Peoria County in 1965 scored 204 4/8 inches and is the reigning world record for typical archery.
Illinois trails only Wisconsin, 5,093 to 3,749, in whitetail entries in Pope & Young records, according to Clenn Hisey, records committee cahirman. Pope & Young keepsbowhunting records. In terms of non-typical entries, Illinois is No.1 with 344, followed by Wisconsin's 251.
According to the Boone and Crockett Club, keeper of big-game records, Illinois has become the premier trophy destination (HERESAY! HERESAY! Again priviledge reserved by....me!) From 1980 to 2001, Illinois had 509 Boone and Crockett entries, nudging out Iowa (507) as the top state for trophies. Historically (1830-2001), Illinois ranked behind Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin as a trophy producer.
"Why should you go somewhere else?" asked Jack Reneau, director of big-game records for Boone and Crockett. Of the 1,443 counties with Boone and Crockett listings, Illinois has four of the top 10. Pike County is fourth with 22entries, followed by Adams, McHenry and Fulton with 21.
That's the million dollar reason non-resident hunters come. More than 90 percent go to the triangle of Pike, Adams and Brown counties. And unnatural things have happened there to the herd and resident hunters. The percentage of does is out of whack and getting worse, as non-resident hunters target monster bucks.
The big-spending visitors seeking trophies have a trickle-down effect on resident hunters.
Chicago hunters who once leased land there with gifts or a couple hundred dollars have been priced out of the market by outfitters willing to pay thousands of dollars. As a result, Chicago hunters were pushed out to other counties, displacing local hunters.
Manning finally capped non-resident archery permits at 12,843. But that also capped the income from non-resident fees. In these cash-strapped times, Brunsvold has plans for additional funds.
First, fund the Sportsman for Hunger program better so hunters will harvest more does, with the meat going to charities. Second, fund special policing of poaching, especially sting operations. Third, use it to purchase more land accessible for resident hunters.
Land purchases are the sticking point for me. A couple hundred thousand dollars each year won't buy much unless the state becomes far more creative.
But to gain more public land we so desperately need, I'm willing to concede some non-resident permits. We need the public land that bad.
If the additional funds don't go where intended, Brunsvold's ideas will need to be bagged.
SNOW GEESE: With moderating weather, numbers should improve in coming weeks in
southern and central areas. In Monday's aerial survey, Horseshoe Lake
held 19,000, Union County 13,000, Rend Lake 4,100 and Pyramid SP
13,000. But there were 65,000 nearby at Swan Lake in Kentucky.
OTHER: Hunting site cards must be returned to the site by Sunday. Raccoon and
oppossum hunting closes in the south zone on Sunday.
And that's it. Now.......comments? Opinions?
Uncle Matt (in IL)
As long as no one got hurt!