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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Conservation Day at Illinois State Fair

August 20, 2016 - Springfield, Illinois

Today was Conservation Day at the State Fair and there were many activities to enjoy with the entire family.  Forty-five different park districts attended the event with different events lined up throughout the day.  Governor Rauner was also there and signed four bills aimed toward Conservation and Youth Hunting.

"Investing in young hunters and fishers helps implant a great love for the outdoors that will continue through a lifetime," said Governor Rauner. "As an avid hunter and fisherman, I believe in utilizing Illinois' vast natural resources to enhance our quality of life while also protecting them for future generations to enjoy. "

Friday, August 19, 2016

Waterfowl Permits Now Available

Waterfowl Permits Now Available

Did you try and get a waterfowl blind for the 2016 - 2017 season with no luck?  Well, your luck might change?  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has permits available for Duck and Goose hunting across the state.

The below information is directly from the IDNR Waterfowl Site

Good luck to those that choose to apply 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

IRAP has Archery Deer Hunting Sites Available on Private Land

IRAP has Archery Deer Hunting Sites Available on Private Land

Apply by August 30 to hunt in October

Here is a great opportunity for archery deer hunters.  This is from the IDNR Press Office in Springfield.  

Don’t have a place to archery deer hunt but would like to go hunting this October? Look no further than the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP), the popular Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) program linking outdoors enthusiasts with landowners.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lincoln Bass Club Hits Jim Edgar Panther Creek

Lincoln Bass Club Hits Jim Edgar Panther Creek 

This past weekend was spent on the water with my dad at Prairie Lake.  We had a great time catching fish and learning the lake a little better.  While out there we noticed that there was a little extra boat traffic on the water.  Yep... That's right a bass tournament was going on. We chatted with a few guys on the water and then moments later watched them land a nice bass.  While my dad and I fished we watched many of the anglers scatter across the lake and we decided to go watch the weigh-in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Illinois Bait Shop: River's Edge Outdoor Sporting Goods

Illinois Bait Shop: River's Edge Outdoor Sporting Goods 

During the dog days of summer sometimes you just need a break.  It's not the fishing or the outdoors you need a break from, it's the heat.  Capitol Outdoors was able to beat the heat and continue our series on Illinois Bait Shops.

Not going to lie, we found out about this shop by accident.  Our friend and follower Courtland Williams invited us to a seminar that he and Rob Crane were having at there so we decided to check it out.

River's Edge Outdoor Sporting Goods is located in Canton, Illinois just minutes away from Emiquon and Banner Marsh.

They are an outstanding shop. I was stunned and awed, not because of all the fishing and hunting gear they had, but by the size of the place.  They have six 20yard lanes and several 10 meter and 15 meter lanes for the NASP program.  And they also have a classroom where seminars and concealed carry classes can be held.  "We're trying to bring in hunter education classes it's something we're still working on" said Marcus Hale Owner.

River's Edge is deeply rooted in their community.  In fact, Marcus' wife Angela is an Alderwoman in Canton, and both are extremely passionate about  the local youth archery club.

I realized that this wasn't your average baitshop, but as the company name suggests it's a small sporting goods store."When we started, we only had a third of what you see here" said Marcus. I walked around the store looking at all their inventory: crank baits, plastics, livebait, stinkbait and everything else you can think of.  "If we don't have what you are looking for, we can special order it for you" he said.  That's the type of place River's Edge Outdoors is.

It's that great customer service, the good deals, and willingess to go the extra mile to help you out that makes River's Edge.  For only being established for one year and overcoming their own challenges,  River's Edge is on its way to bigger and more prosperous times.   If you are looking for a bait shop along the Illinois rivers edge swing by Canton's Number One Bait Shop, River's Edge Outdoor Sporting Goods.  You won't regret it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Duck Blind Drawing - A Family Affair

Duck Blind Drawing - A Family Affair

Ask my dad or brother and they both can tell you about my first duck.  Since the moment I got out of bed on opening day in 1998, I've been in love with waterfowl hunting.  Like so many other waterfowlers I enjoy every aspect of it.  From decoy preparations to the cold wet November mornings.

In order to go waterfowl hunting you have to have somewhere to go. Throughout Illinois there are Waterfowl Blind Drawings, where each blind is allocated a number and a drawing takes place for ownership of that blind for the season. My first waterfowl drawing was in 1999 at Wolf Lake in Cook County.  Hundreds of people were there, walking around sharing stories in hopes of winning a blind for the upcoming season.  At the time I wasn't old enough to participate but my dad and brother put their names in.  Even though we didn't win a blind that year we were still able to get out and enjoy this state park.    Wolf Lake was good to us, we harvested a lot of birds during our tenure hunting there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

IDNR Announces 2016-2017 Waterfowl Season Dates

IDNR Announces 2016-2017 Waterfowl Season Dates

Are you ready for waterfowl season?  Dates and bag limits have just been released.  
See below for the IDNR's press release. 

Heather with her First Goose

Friday, July 22, 2016

Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources press office:

Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online

Online applications for IDNR-managed sites begin Aug. 1

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Controlled pheasant hunting opportunities will be available at 18 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sites this fall, and the 2016-17 season dates and permit reservation information are now available online.

Fourteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while four other sites continue to be operated in a public/private partnership arrangement between the IDNR and concessionaire T. Miller, Inc.

Monday, July 18, 2016

IWA President Kevin Chapman Talks Deer Changes in 2016

IWA President Kevin Chapman Talks Deer Changes in 2016

Deer Season Changes?
By : Kevin Chapman

Illinois Whitetail Alliance President Kevin Chapman wrote an article about 2016 season changes.  While this article was directed toward a different outdoor resources, Kevin has allowed Capitol Outdoors to post this to spread the IWA (Illinois Whitetail Alliance) message and challenges regarding the Illinois Deer herd. 

The legislative session was pretty quiet for a change. And honestly… I think a lot of people are simply tired of hearing about the same deer management issues over and over.

As the 2016 season gets closer, we still don’t have the deer-vehicle accident (DVA) statistics from last year. Last I heard from IDOT, it would be sometime in August before that data is finalized. This is the main source of data used to estimate deer densities at the county level, and determines county management plans.

With that being said… once again, I don’t anticipate any big changes in terms of managing towards these county-specific DVA goals. Firearm permit quotas have been set, we’ve been through several lotteries, and I’m sure the hunting digest is close to complete.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Historic Reconnection Project at Emiquon Completed

Historic Reconnection Project at Emiquon Completed

It's no secret that we love to fish, hunt, and observe the wetlands, waterfowl and other creatures of the Nature Conservancy's Emiquon.  Today Capitol Outdoors received news coming from this prestige Illinois wetland and conservation area.

About two years ago we were made aware of a project to reconnect this 6,700 acre wetland back to the Illinois River.  Well they've finished and on July 7, 2016 water began flowing back into the Illinois River.  Read the following from the Nature Conservancy and their biologist.  You can learn more about Emiquon and the Nature Conservancy by clicking HERE for their website.

Check out Our Fishing & Hunting adventures, oh and don't forget to read about Eagle Day at Emiquon as well

Friday, July 1, 2016

100,000 and Growing

100,000 and Growing

A little over a year ago we decided to take Capitol Outdoors and make it a full time adventure and like any business adventure it has had its ups and downs.  However, every achievement is worth celebrating and we just hit over a 100,000 views on our webpage.  We are glad that people around Illinois are reading about our adventures, Legislation, Conservation and Education.

Here at Capitol Outdoors we pride ourselves on making quality entertaining videos, factual posts and much more to share with you.

During this time we've seen some interesting developments.   Not only in the policy front but, businesses, organizations and nonprofits have asked us for help to share their message and educate them on current happenings in Washington, D.C. and Springfield.  As we grow we'll make sure to keep you informed from the Legislative Floors to the Great Outdoors.

With our newest addition, Baby Autumn`s arrival we weren't able to hit all the lakes that we wanted to this year, however we will continue to travel Illinois hunting and fishing, sharing our tips and our adventures with all of you.

We wanted to take this opportunity and thank all of you for your support.

Please drop us a line and let us know what you enjoy reading.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Illinois Bait Shop - Flyway Outdoors

Illinois Bait Shop - Flyway Outdoors

For awhile now we've been writing about bait shops across Illinois.  This series has been enjoyed by many of our readers because it focuses, not only on the small business of bait shops, but outdoor shops in general.  We came across Flyway Outdoors online and with incentive by a friend we decided to check them out.

Flyway Outdoors is an outdoor resale shop of sorts. We have all been there, you walk into a store to buy new decoys and are astounded by the price.  Maybe you can't afford it, or just refuse to pay that much, well Flyway Outdoors has your answer. 

"We sell gently used decoys" said Colton, owner of Flyway Outdoors.  "We have people from all the surrounding states that come and buy our decoys."  Its easy to see why.  As we looked around the shop there was an abundance of duck, GHG, Bigfoot and countless other species of waterfowl decoys for sale.

Open for less than a year in Hanna City, Illinois,  Flyway Outdoors doesn't just offer hunting decoys, they sell minnows, as well as other fishing & hunting accessories. Need to make those beat up decoys look like new? They have a flocking service that can help you with that.  If you would rather do it yourself they have the materials you'll need to help start your decoy project.

Flyway Outdoors is the perfect place to go if your on a budget, just starting off or have been waterfowl hunting for years.  They're always getting decoys in so, make sure to check them out often to make sure you're not missing anything.

If you can't make it to their shop check out their website: flywayoutdoors.org.  There you can shop and get things shipped directly to you. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

IDNR Announces Schedule of Waterfowl Blind Site Drawings

IDNR Announces Schedule of Waterfowl Blind Site Drawings

Drawings to be held for public hunting area waterfowl blind sites

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press Office

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Waterfowl hunters are encouraged to mark their calendars for upcoming waterfowl hunting blind site random drawings to be held at several public hunting areas in Illinois this summer. 

Duck and goose hunters must register in person for waterfowl blind site drawings and must be present at the drawing – held at each location designated below immediately after the registration period – to claim their blind sites. Mail-in registrations are not accepted. Unless otherwise stated, blind allocations for these sites are good for one year. To participate in a drawing, applicants must present a 2015 or 2016 regular Illinois hunting license (no apprentice or youth license) and a 2015 or 2016 Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp at the time they register, unless exempted by law. Applicants must be at least 16 years old by the date of the drawing.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Jim Edgar Panther Creek WIngshooting Clinic 2016

Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 2016

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) working with a variety of volunteers, partners, sponsors and organizations offer wingshooting clinics at different sites throughout Illinois.  This past weekend there was a Youth/Women's Clinic at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.

2016 Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Legislative Wrap Up

Legislative Wrap Up

That’s it ladies and gentleman, the Illinois General Assembly ended the 2016 legislative session without a budget. Which means for the second year in a row the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be operating without appropriations. Legislative members will be called back throughout the summer to continue discussions.

However, that doesn’t mean that fishing and hunting season will be closed. But, we could see more state parks closing due to lack of operating funding. Like all states, Illinois receives millions of dollars a year from the federal government for certain programs so those programs are safe without a budget.

Below you will see just some of the hunting and fishing related bills that were up this session. Included is a brief description of each proposed bill along with the last action taken as of May 31st.