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I am done with hunting in Illinois!

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I am done with hunting in Illinois!

Old 09-14-2011, 02:05 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Default I am done with hunting in Illinois!

After living in Illinois for over 8 years and hunting all 8 of them, I am no longer giving directly giving my money to the IDNR or the state by buying a tag, license, gear etc in this state.

This all came about after moving to Mchenry last month, thinking I would have plenty of places to hunt. I used to hunt Midewin, Marseilles, Des Plaines and some private ground out by Joliet.

I recently got an education on Mchenry Conservation District. They have acquired over 24k acres of land using public tax money and muni bonds.
They only allow approx 100-150 hunters access to hunt, that is a whopping 160 acres per hunters.

Not to mention the rather short dove season at Chain O'Lakes SP (5 days) and very unlikely chance to hunt Moraine Hills (5 min from house)

For the foreseeable future, I will take my money and time to Wisconsin.

But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, if you have read this far, then maybe you will join me.

Any hunter in Mchenry or Lake County that feels like me need to get together and fight for our rights to hunt the same public land that we pay for, period!

If you have any ideas, please PM me. I will be talking with other hunters that I meet in the area to put a stop to this.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:05 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,462

I personally love hunting Illinois and think its a great state to hunt in. You have to realize you live within 50 miles of a city of over 2 million people, there is no way to have enough land for everyone. Look at some of the bigger cities in the country and then look at how much public land they have near them, it isn't much.

Alot of the land that Mchenry has aquired that you speak of in is near subdivisions so there is no way that they can all have it open to hunting. Granted, I wish they did, but you have to realize that this isn't like a small town in rural america. There are anti hunters around here and we have to jump through hoops to hunt anywhere near the city and constantly deal with anti hunters.

It stinks that we don't have more public land but you have to realize that we live near one of the largest cities in North America, there is no way we can have enough land. We have to share this land with the non-hunting public so you can't open up all the land to hunters. There are people who like to photograph, take there dogs for walks, jog and they pay taxes too so we can't take all the land from them. Chain of Lakes is closed to the non hunting public October to January and thats a lot of land, so we get our turn there. Plus they have some great pheasant hunting as well.

I sure wish we had more public land and I've hunted a lot of public land but there just isn't enough land to go around. Land is expensive and the state can't afford to just keep buying it.

Try hunting farther south in Illinois, since there is less people there is a lot more land. Illinois had Shawnee National Forest, over 250,000 acres of public land. I hunted it last year for deer gun season and had a blast. There are some Giant Bucks down there on public land and saw a few harvested last year.

Hopefully you can find some spots near Mchenry county to hunt, there are some and after some research in Lake County and talking to some people I've found a good amount of spots to deer hunt. There there, you just have to keep your eyes open and ears to the ground. Good luck, hopefully it will all work out for you over there this season.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:34 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 261

Stilll have some spots in Manitoba for a good deer hunt, not to far from wisconsin.
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:19 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 848

I'm from DeKalb County, hunt Marseilles a lot, and several of the public sites along the Illinois and Rock River. I'm a transplant from Wisconsin, though, and we recently started hunting spring turkey up there again. Wisconsin is a lot friendlier to out of state hunters than most states (in terms of license fees particularly) and hunting north of the border is a good call. I think though, that the south east corner of the state doesn't have a ton of public land either (too close to Milwaukee) and what's there is likely crowded too. I'd love to do something to improve hunting opportunity in Illinois, but I'm a little at a loss. Forest Preserve land has always been the holy grail for bowhunters, and in that sense, McHenry is actually ahead of most, as most don't permit hunting at all (bowhunting got shot down in Will County earlier this year). I'd like to see more access at existing sites. You mention the short dove season at the Chain, and that certainly could be improved. I'd like to see a late season squirrel after bow closes when others really aren't using the parks much, and maybe coyote during that period. Just a few ideas of mine.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:29 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4


I feel for you moving hear from Wisconsin. I used to live in Texas and that is the mecca for hunting. Marseilles is a great area, as long as you dont have to hump a deer out of one of those deep revines. There are some very big deer out there, I hunted there for about 4 years before deciding on Midewin. I will most likely hunt the Kettle Morraine this year, a short hour drive or so, but well worth it.
I think it was last year that the Will County Forest Preserve deal got blocked by some anti's, I went to a few of those meetings. That was a real shame, now I hear they are sharpshooting deer. Hopefully they are donating the meat.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NE Illinois
Posts: 54

Jeepthing, I feel your pain. I've been dealing with it my whole life in Illinois. In my experience though, for the NE IL area, the MCCD has the best hunting setup for the public. It's not easy, ideal, nor cheap, but then beggers can't be choosers.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4


I hear ya about having to beg for land to hunt. I saw some land in SW Wisconsin going for around 2K/acre. I just got my tags for Wisconsin yesterday, yahoo!!
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:41 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 426
Default Glad I live in Southern IL

We don't have the people problems down here, but are still subject to the freakin politics up there...
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:27 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Godfrey, Il.
Posts: 814

Amen!! Downstate is sooooo different than Chicagoland, but I guess s*** runs downhill, or downstate in this case. Take a long weekend sometime and try tne Shawnee area, some of the best land in the state.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: People's Republic of Illinois
Posts: 4

The area of Illinois North of I-80 and East of I-39 is almost like a different state (hey, now there's an idea). There are a number of areas downstate in which to hunt, without all the problems that flow out of Chicago.
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