Monday, February 20, 2017

Family Adventure in February

Family Adventure in February 


Call it global warming, call it whatever you would like.  If you weren't outside this past weekend, let me tell you, you missed out on a record breaking weekend.  Not for fish, number of birds surveyed or whatever but for record temperatures. Like many of you we spent our weekend outside enjoying the beautiful crisp winter air. Even though it felt like spring, it's still winter. We were taking care of yard work, all the things that you would do on a normal spring weekend. However, those chores didn't stop us from enjoying our passion.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor, water and closeupLike so many others that were out at Jim Edgar Panther Creek, whether in their boats, hiking or picnicing we enjoyed the sights, smells and sounds showing that spring is just around the corner. No trip out to a state park is complete unless you bring your fishing pole. From 38 to 42 degree water temps fishing was tough but that didn't matter because of just how beautiful the weather was.  Bouncing around from lake to lake and spot to spot, we kept ending up short. Finally, we hooked into one.  It wasn't a biggin' or a world record fish but it was a bass in open water in February in Illinois. 

What was also great about this weekend, was that the family was able to tag along to enjoy what they like about the outdoors. It was great to watch them walk along the shore as I fished and they were also there to cheer me on as I caught the only fish of the day. However, what really made this weekend was not the weather or the fish or the idea of open water fishing in February, it was sharing a memory that will last a lifetime.  They say to start people young in the outdoors so that they grow up loving it.

Autumn has been surrounded by the outdoors for the last 10 months of her short life.  As I landed my fish I called Heather  over so that I could get a picture with Autumn.  My little girl was so fascinated by the fish that I wanted her to hold it, not thinking that she would actually do it.  With little hesitation, she grabbed in awe of the texture of the teeth and slime of the fish. Could this be the start of something bigger? First Female Bassmaster Champion in Training?  Only time will tell. 

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DNR-CONVEY REAL ESTATE -100th GA - HB 770

DNR-CONVEY REAL ESTATE -100th GA - HB 770


Senator:  Barbara Wheeler (R)

Filed: HB 770 on 2-10-17

Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to convey, in exchange for $1, certain real estate in McHenry County to the Fox Waterway Agency. Provides that the conveyance is subject to: (1) existing public utilities, existing public roads, and any and all reservations, easements, encumbrances, covenants, and restrictions of record; and (2) the express condition that any proceeds from the sale of the real property shall be utilized for the purchase and development of an alternate dredge material disposal site or sites. Authorizes the Director of Natural Resources to exchange described parcels of real estate in Lake County for another parcel of described real estate in Lake County. Effective immediately.

Governor Rauner Releases 2018 Illinois Department of Natural Resource Budget

Governor Rauner Releases 2018 Illinois Department of Natural Resource Budget


Images property of IDNR and
Office of Management and Budget
A majority of Illinois hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts would agree with the statement that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has seen better days.  Today Governor Rauner released his 2018 proposed budget for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  While the state and the IDNR have been without a budget for 20 months, the lack of financial resources for the IDNR goes back over a decade.

Illinois has 1.31 million hunters and anglers, about 1/12 th of the population of Illinois or over 100,000 people per county.  You're talking about billions of dollars and thousands of jobs hunters and anglers are responsible for each year. More focus needs to be put on our natural resources so that our kids and grandchildren can experience what Illinois has to offer.


The Governor's proposed budget is broken down by agency and line item.On page 280 of the Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget you'll see line items for the entire Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  
The recommended fiscal year 2018 budget of $290.7 million will support DNR operations at all state parks, the Illinois state museums in Springfield, Lockport and Dickson Mounds, and the World Shooting Complex in Sparta (pg 286). Hunting and fishing license fees will remain at fiscal year 2017 levels and Illinois will continue multi-state efforts to conserve the monarch butterfly from its federally threatened or endangered species status. 
The fiscal year 2018 budget also recommends the Historic Preservation Agency (HPA) merge with DNR to consolidate the administration of state historic sites and monuments within one agency. By positioning HPA administration within DNR, core competencies will be centralized. The merger, which includes $9.2 million in new appropriation authority for DNR, is anticipated to result in $3.2 million in savings to ensure the continued collection and preservation of state historic resources. 
We are reviewing this further and will keep you up to date as more budget information comes through. Also, the most important thing to remember is that this just a proposal. Nothing has been approved by the legislature or enacted yet.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hunting Sales Tax Holiday-100th GA - HB 3878

Hunting Sales Tax Holiday-100th GA - HB 3878


Representative Daniel V. Beiser(D)

Filed: HB 3878 on 2-10-17

Amends the Use Tax Act and the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act. Provides a hunting sales tax holiday on specified dates for firearms and firearm ammunition that may be used for lawful hunting under the Wildlife Code. Provides for administration of the hunting sales tax holiday by the Department of Revenue. Provides the Department of Revenue with rulemaking authority, including emergency rulemaking authority. Amends the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act to allow emergency rulemaking. Effective immediately.

Hearings: None Scheduled at this time

HB 2685 Action

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Illinois 100th General Assembly Outdoor Legislation Filed

Illinois 100th General Assembly Outdoor Legislation Filed

The Illinois General Assembly bill filing deadline was February 10, 2017.  Looks like you have some catching up to do.  With all the bills that were filed, it's easy to get lost in the mayhem.  Capitol Outdoors has gathered a list of hunting and fishing related bills to keep you as informed as possible.  You may notice that there are House Bills that correspond with Senate Bills, this is done to ensure that if one chamber does not move a bill, the other chamber will pick it up.

The following are all of the substantive bills that have been filed in both the House and Senate.  Each chamber also has the opportunity to file "Shell Bills".  These are basically empty bills within the wildlife code that either the House or Senate can file an amendment onto to make it a substantive bill.  Essentially these are place holders until language is written for the legislation.

We will be updating each bill as it moves through committee.  Remember not all of these bills will be heard in committee.  Make sure to follow us to stay as informed as possible this General Assembly!

House Bills:

HB0271  - CRIM CD-HANDGUN AMMO-SERIALIZE 

HB0308 - CRIM CD-FIREARM TRANSPORT 

HB0406 - HUNTING-CARRYING HANDGUNS

HB0427 - WILDLIFE-CROSSBOW DRAW WEIGHT 

HB0480 - WILDLIFE-IN-LAW FARM HUNT

Senate Bills:


If you have any questions on any of these bills please contact us and we will get you the information you need.  

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Wildlife CD Management Plan-100th GA - SB 1983

Wildlife CD Management Plan-100th GA - SB 1983


Senator Don Harmon (D)

Filed: SB 1983 on 2-10-17

Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that prior to the opening of a new hunting season for an animal that was listed on the endangered or threatened species list in the past 15 years, the Department of Natural Resources shall develop a management plan including: (1) an overall goal for the continued growth of the animal's population and return of a stable population in all prime habitat areas throughout the State for that animal; (2) an analysis demonstrating the impact of hunting in different regions of the State and the impact on different take limits on statewide animal populations; (3) identification of biological indicators that would indicate vulnerability in animal populations in particular counties or regions of the State and a plan for immediately suspending a hunting season in those areas based on those biological indicators; (4) a summary of any scientific data considered and a list of scientific and academic literature consulted; (5) identification of the steps that will be taken to enforce the management plan, to inform hunters and the public, and the financial resources needed by the Department; and (6) an emergency plan to cancel a hunting season if the Department finds that the proposed season conflicts with the management plan, staffing or resource constraints that fail to provide adequate enforcement of the management plan, or new scientific findings or research indicate the closing of the hunting season is appropriate. Provides that if the Department opens a hunting season for a new animal, it shall set a fee for hunting permits for the animal. Provides that it shall be unlawful for any person to take an animal in this State that was added to the list of hunting seasons on or after January 1, 2017, and prior to the development of a management plan by the Department. Effective July 1, 2017.

Hearings: None Scheduled at this time

SB 1983 Action
  • Date - Chamber -  Action
    • 2/10/2017 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Don Harmon
    • 2/10/2017 Senate First Reading
    • 2/10/2017 Senate Referred to Assignments

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Hunting & Fishing License Fees-100th GA - HB 635

Hunting & Fishing License Fees-100th GA - HB 635



Representative John Cabello (R)
Filed: HB 635 on 1-24-17


Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. Provides that the fee for all sport fishing licenses shall be waived for resident veterans of the United States Armed Forces that have been honorably discharged. Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that the fee for a hunting license to hunt all species shall be waived for resident veterans of the United States Armed Forces that have been honorably discharged. Effective immediately.

Hearings: None Scheduled at this time

HB 2685 Action

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Wildlife -Disabled Person Hunt-100th GA - HB 3204

Wildlife -Disabled Person Hunt-100th GA - HB 3204

Representative Daniel Swanson (R)

Filed: HB 3204 on 2-9-17



Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources shall, on an annual basis, establish one deer hunting weekend for persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with the provisions of the Code. Provides that the Department may adopt administrative rules to implement the provision. Defines "person with a disability."


Hearings: None Scheduled at this time.

Previous Actions:

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Wildlife CD- Deer Bait-100th GA - SB 2039

Wildlife CD- Deer Bait-100th GA - SB 2039

Senator Chapin Rose (R)

Filed: SB 2039 on 2-10-17


Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that a person may supplementally feed deer with items otherwise prohibited by the Code when not in active deer hunting season which shall be implemented by the Department of Natural Resources by rule.

Hearings:  None Scheduled at this time.

Previous Actions:
  • Date - Chamber - Action

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Fish & Hunt License- Police-100th GA - HB 3750

Fish & Hunt License- Police-100th GA - HB 3750

Representative Katie Stuart (D)

Filed: HB 3750 on 2-10-17



Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code and the Wildlife Code. Provides that the respective fees for resident fishing, combination sportsmen, and hunting licenses are waived for current and retired State, municipal, and local law enforcement officers.

Hearings:  None Scheduled at this time.

Previous Actions:

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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