Monday, March 13, 2017

IDNR to Test-Launch New White-tailed Deer Website

Deer Hunting Illinois
There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel for a project that has been in the making.  We have all heard rumors regarding this new whitetail website.  Well, it looks like it will be LIVE April 1st, 2017.  However, some hunters and landowners will get a sneak peak at the website before it goes live and give feedback to the IDNR in regards to last minute changes.  Below you'll read the official press release of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  

IDNR to Test-Launch New White-tailed Deer Website

SPRINGFIELD, IL – White-tailed deer are an integral part of the Illinois landscape, and a new website will provide up-to-date information on deer biology, management, research and regulations. A random set of Illinois deer hunters and landowners will receive an e-mail invitation this week to assist with finalizing the new White-Tailed Deer Illinois website.

White-tailed Deer Illinois is a collaborative effort led by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. Funding for the White-tailed Deer Illinois website was made available through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project W-147-T.

Youth to Compete in Illinois State Archery Tournament

After watching a S3DA Tournament a few weeks ago I have all the respect in the world for these young champions.  Due to movies like the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and even Marvel characters, the younger generation has become fascinated with archery.  It takes a lot of skill, determination and strength to compete in these competitions.

If you are interested in learning more about this sport or would just like to watch, head out the the state fairgrounds for some great competition and great shooting.  Below you'll read a press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding this event.  Capitol Outdoors wishes all the participants a safe and happy shoot.  Good Luck!



More Than 1,000 Youth to Compete in Illinois State Archery Tournament March 24 and 25

Top Finishers will Advance to National Tournament

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Illinois State Tournament on Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Participation remains strong as 1,120 archers from 38 schools have registered to compete. Participation in the State Tournament has climbed steadily from 400 in 2012 to 1,120 this year.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Movement in House Committee Expected this Week

Movement in House Committee Expected this Week


There will be movement this week in the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.  Chairman Costello will most likely be calling several bills and some of those will be hunting or fishing related.  Some may be a clarification of law while others may add new devices for deer hunting.  The only question that remains is which bill will be called upon.  Below you'll see a list of bills that may be called in committee on Tuesday.



Bourne, Avery WILDLIFE-CROSSBOW DRAW WEIGHT

Bourne, Avery WILDLIFE-IN-LAW FARM HUNT 

Wheeler, Barbara DNR-CONVEY REAL ESTATE 

 Costello II, Jerry CROSSBOW HUNTING-ARCHERY SEAS

Bryant, Terri WILDLIFE-DUCK BLIND OR PIT 

Phelps, Brandon W. DEER HUNTING-AIR GUNS 

 Costello II, Jerry WILDLIFE-TRAPPING-GREEN HIDES 

Butler, Tim DNR-CONSULTATION FEES 

Bourne, Avery WILDLIFE-HUNTING LICENSE 

Swanson, Daniel WILDLIFE-DISABLED PERSON-HUNT 

Jesiel, Sheri COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATION 

Jesiel, Sheri FISH-LAKE MICHIGAN COMMERC LIC 

 Beiser, Daniel V. 5 YR HUNTING & FISHING LICENSE 

 Sosnowski, Joe CROSSBOW HUNTING-COYOTES 

 Spain, Ryan DNR-VOLUNTEERS-TRAIL PROGRAM 

 Halbrook, Brad WILDLIFE-DEER BAIT 

 Stuart, Katie FISH & HUNT LICENSE-POLICE


Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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WILDLIFE-DEER BAIT-100th GA - HB 3583

WILDLIFE-DEER BAIT-100th GA - HB 3583

Representative Brad Halbrook


Filed: HB 3583 on 2-10-17

Amends the Wildlife Code. Provides that a person may place or scatter deer bait otherwise prohibited when not in active deer hunting season. Provides that person who unlawfully baits deer is guilty of a petty offense subject to a mandatory fine of not less than $500 and shall lose hunting privileges in this State for a period of not less than a year.


Previous Actions:

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DNR-VOLUNTEERS-TRAIL PROGRAM-100th GA - HB 3455

DNR-VOLUNTEERS-TRAIL PROGRAM-100th GA - HB 3455

Representative Ryan Spain

Filed: HB 3455 on 2-10-17

Amends the Department of Natural Resources Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Provides in the Department of Natural Resource's Adopt-A-Park program that volunteers may assist with vegetation management, providing building and facility repair, or other appropriate services. Creates the Adopt-A-Trail Program. Provides that the Department shall establish and maintain Adopt-A-Trail programs with individual or group volunteers, if requested by an individual or group volunteers, in an effort to reduce and remove litter from trails and to provide other services. Provides that the Department shall retain the ability to approve or deny an individual or group volunteer's request; however, the Department must state the reason for the request denial. Provides that by engaging in volunteer activities under the Act, volunteers fully acknowledge and understand that there shall be neither a (1) promise or expectation of compensation of any type, including benefits, nor (2) creation of an employer-employee relationship. Makes other changes.

Latest Actions: House Do Pass / Short Debate Agriculture & Conservation Committee; 012-000-000

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FISH-LAKE MICHIGAN COMMERC LIC-100th GA - HB 3273

FISH-LAKE MICHIGAN COMMERC LIC-100th GA - HB 3273

Representative  Sheri Jesiel

Filed: HB 3273 on 2-9-17



Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may issue a maximum of 5 commercial fishing licenses for taking from the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan yellow perch, bloater chub, and other commercial fish species designated by Department rule. Provides that, at times determined by the Director, the Department shall advertise a public drawing to accept new qualified commercial fishing candidates and establish a ranking order for these new candidates to fill open Lake Michigan commercial fishing licenses. Provides that the ranking order shall continue to be used until the list of eligible candidates is exhausted. Removes provisions concerning the issuing of commercial licenses.

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COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATION-100th GA - HB 3272

COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATION-100th GA - HB 3272

Representative  Sheri Jesiel

Filed: HB 3272 on 2-9-17



Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code. Provides that all trout, including lake trout, salmon, and lake whitefish may not be taken by commercial fishing devices, including gill or pound nets. Provides that any incidental catch of trout, including lake trout, salmon, and lake whitefish taken in legal sized gill or pound nets must be returned immediately to the water. Provides that the methods of taking are subject to modification by administrative rule based upon lake-wide scientific assessment data or fishery management need. Repeals a Section concerning commercial fishing.


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DNR-CONSULTATION FEES-100th GA - HB 3033

 DNR-CONSULTATION FEES-100th GA - HB 3033

Representative  Tim Butler

Filed: HB 3033 on 2-9-17



Amends the Department of Natural Resources (Conservation) Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may assess specified consultation fees up to $500 (rather than assess a $500 fee). Deletes language providing that the Department shall not assess any fee for consultations requested by a State agency or federal agency.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Springfield Archery Host Scholastic 3-D Archery Tournament

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Springfield Archery Host Scholastic 3-D Archery Tournament


I was shocked by how many vehicles were in the parking lot, honestly I was only expecting a few kids and a few parents.  Boy was I wrong, it was jammed packed with room for only one more car. Everyone was there for the same reason, the Scholastic 3-D Archery Tournament or S3DA.  We heard about this event through Facebook and decided to check it out.  I'm glad we stopped by.


Inside Springfield Archery bleachers were full of people there to support the youth of tomorrow. They were shooting arrows down range in a friendly competition.   Don't fool yourself, though. These six to 18 year olds are the Robbin Hoods and Katniss Everdeens of the day.  Their shots are ridiculous.  I'm talking arrow grouping that professional and Olympic athletes strive to shoot.

I was amazed at the archery culture.  A serious, lively and friendly atmosphere had parents rooting their kids on.  "It's growing all over"  said Kim Rigney Illinois Regional Coordinator for the Rigney's School of Archery.

Kyle McDowell reiterated what Kim said about archery shooting growing all over.    I knew there was something bigger here than just some archery competition.  Kyle laid it on me, giving me the 411 on S3DA including a pamphlet with rules and regulations.  I had no idea that it was like this.

Shooting six rounds of five arrows would leave anyone fatigued but these kids do it with dedication.  Mr. McDowell had a son in the competition who ended up taking third.  This subculture is growing at outstanding rates.

After being thrown off guard by the size, commitment, and sportsmanship of S3DA competitors I found myself thinking about Autumn and her possibly wanting to get into archery when she is older.

It is great to see that there are organizations and groups supporting youth and helping them strive to achieve things both in the field and on the range.

A big congratulations to all those that participated and well done for those that placed. Here are your winners from the Springfield Archer S3DA Tournament.


Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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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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