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.
When they put a cap on the NR permits and jacked the price up so bad it hurts for them they where supposed to take the money then and buy more land. Instead all that money gets tossed into the general fund.
Who the heck is going to believe that they are going to do that now by adding more permits to the cap.
And they wanted to get rid of the Conservation officers by merging them in with the State Police.
The new DNR is money motivated and can give a dang about the herd and us hunters................
Get rid of the cap it is just costing the state money. The cap on nr hunters is not opening up any more land for hunters,taking the cap off will not take more ground from the hunters either. In Pike county I would say 90% of the ground is leased, cap or no cap this will not change. About 10 years ago I could hunt about anywhere I wanted around here,times have changed,now I only have a few places. I have leased some just to keep places to hunt.Farmers are used to getting paid for their hunting ground now so even if nr quit coming the majority of them will still want money to hunt their ground. I wish it was the way it was 10 years ago but it never will be again. The cost is getting out of hand,this is because of a handfull of outfitters(not all of them). When I first leased some ground to hunt it cost me $5 per acre. Now people are paying $40-$50 per acre.The problem I see that needs to be fixed is that ground is getting so expensive that there are only going to be a few big outfitters in the county,a small guy won't be able to afford it.
This is ridiculous. Anyone who thinks that increasing the cap on non resident permits is going to do anything but hurt the overall quality of hunting in this state is an idiot.
Look around us guys, everywhere you go land is getting leased up left and right. It is damn near impossible to find a spot to hunt anywhere in northern or western Illinois without either being a landowner, be related to one, or being willing to fork out big money. Public hunting lands in these areas are pretty much non-existant in any sort of real number. The ones that are around are flooded with people so much so that it makes hunting them more of a chore than an enjoyable experience.
The # of NR permits needs to be left right where it is. Upping it is only going to flood already overhunted areas with even more trophy hunters who are going to shoot nothing but bucks and throw the buck/doe ratio even more out of whack than it already is.
I agree with Don K - we need to go back to a lottery system. Even with unlimited archery antlerless tags there aren't enough does being shot, and that is problem that needs to be addressed far before whether or not we should allow more non residents in here just so we can pad the state budget a little more.
Don k I agree with you too but I also hunt other critters in other states and the thought of them keeping me out breaks my heart. I dont know the answer . Just thank our creator that Iam blest to live here in big buck country.
In The Game Of Life Or Death I Win.
And If I Dont What A Way To End The Game.