Showing posts with label Hunting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hunting. Show all posts

Monday, May 7, 2018

Outdoor Events During the Month of May 2018

A variety of outdoor and cultural experiences are listed in this months IDNR Newsbits.

IDNR Newbits – May 2018

Firearm Deer Permit Applications: Resident and non-resident deer hunters can apply for the second lottery drawing for 2018 Illinois Firearm Deer and Muzzleloader-only Deer permits. The deadline to apply for the second lottery is June 30. For more information, check the IDNR website at

Mushroom Collecting: Reminder to mushroom collectors – no license is required, but mushroom collectors must have landowner permission and, on public sites, must adhere to approved collecting regulations and hours. Collection of mushrooms is allowed at many IDNR sites, but it is prohibited in any area designated as a dedicated nature preserve. Areas under the jurisdiction of the IDNR that offer spring turkey hunting are not open to mushroom collecting until after 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season to ensure the safety of all site visitors. Be sure to call ahead to the state site you intend to visit to learn of any site-specific regulations regarding mushroom collecting.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Week of April 9th 2018 - Illinois 100th General Assembly Legislative Wrap-up

Capitol Outdoors

Both the House and Senate were busy with committees this week.  Below you will find a breakdown of some of the action taken on outdoor related bills.  Click on each link to read more about each bill.


Agriculture Committee Action on April 9, 2018:
  • HB 4231 - Blaze Pink Clothing (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Authorizes certain hunters to wear solid blaze pink colored clothing (in addition to blaze orange colored clothing).
  • HB 5293 - Endangered Species (Passed 11-1-2)
    • States that 2 members of the Endangered Species Board shall be landowners representing the State's largest general farm organization.
  • HB 5317 - Poached Deer Restitution Value  (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Increases the restitution that the DNR will receive when someone illegally takes wildlife.  
      • For example: 
        • Whitetail Deer- increase from $250 to $1000
        • Trumpeter Swan - increase from $250 to $1000
        • Eagle - increase from $500 to $1000
        • Wild Turkey - increase from $250 to $500
  • HB 5440 - Youth Hunting (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Provides the the fee for resident and non-resident youth archery deer permit shall be the same. 
      • For example, out of state family under the age of 18 would be able to hunt for the same cost as a resident youth of the State of Illinois. 
  • HB 5692 - River Otter Limit (Passed 17-0-0)
    • By deleting the provision that states that the River Otter limit should not exceed five per season, the DNR is able to better manage the population and change the River Otter limit according to the biologists data. 
  • HB 5693 - Trapping Tags  (Passed 17-0-0)
    • Currently trappers are required to put their name and address on their traps.  This bill would allow trappers to use their DNR Customer # instead for privacy reasons. 

Revenue Committee Action from April 11, 2018:
Passed the HOUSE
  • HB 4783 - Youth Hunt/Trap (Passed 113-0-0)
    • Amends the Wildlife Code to provide a universal definition of youth to be "under 18" for consistency when it comes to youth hunting programs.
Capitol Outdoors

Agriculture Committee Action on April 12, 2018 
  • SB 2493 - Deer Feed (Passed 10-0-0)
    • Provides that a person may supplementally feed deer with items otherwise prohibited by the Code when not in active deer hunting season
    • This bill is being held on Second Reading so that Senator Rose can file an amendment 
  • SB 2962 - River Otter Limit (Passed 8-1-0)
    • By deleting the provision that states that the River Otter limit should not exceed five per season, the DNR is able to better manage the population and change the River Otter limit according to the biologists data.
  • SB 2963 - Trapping Tags (Passed 9-0-0)
    • Currently trappers are required to put their name and address on their traps.  This bill would allow trappers to use their DNR Customer # instead for privacy reasons. 
Both the House and Senate are back next week.  We will likely see some action on the floor regarding these bills that passed out of committee.  Be sure to check back often so that you can stay informed from the Legislative Floors to the Great Outdoors! 

Monday, April 9, 2018

2018 Illinois Youth Spring Turkey Season Recap Shows Decline

Not much else to say, the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources sums it up! 

A brief summary of the 2018 Illinois Youth Spring Turkey Season from the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources:

Youth turkey hunters harvested a preliminary total of 1,156 birds during the 2018 Illinois Youth Turkey Season. In 2017, a total of 1,531 turkeys were taken, marking a record harvest. Weather undoubtedly was a factor in this year’s decline in harvest as youth hunters experienced unseasonably cold temperatures throughout the four-day season.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Illinois General Assembly Back in Springfield After Spring Break

With the primary election in their rear view mirror and the general election around the bend, Illinois legislators are back in Session this week (April 9 - 13th).

Capitol Outdoors

Both the House and Senate are holding committee hearings where some outdoor related bills may be heard.  We will be following along and keeping you up to date as things happen, so be sure to "Like" our Facebook page to get the latest information.

Below you will find each committee broken down with links to more information related to each bill.  The following bills are listed to be heard on that day, but that is not always the case.  We will do a wrap-up at the end of the week to inform you of what happened. 


Agriculture Committee
April 9, 2018 1:00pm

Revenue Committee
April 11, 2018 3:00pm 

On the House Floor to be voted on: 

Capitol Outdoors
Agriculture Committee
April 12, 2018 8:00am
April 10, 2018 3:00pm 
On the Senate Floor to be voted on: 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Illinois CPOs Asking for Public's Help in White Pelican Deaths

The Illinois Conservation Police Officers are asking for the public's help in regards to five white pelicans shot at Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Jasper County.  Please see below for the full details provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  

White Pelicans Shot at Newton Lake in Jasper County

Illinois Conservation Police Ask for the Public’s Help in the Investigation

Picture provided by IDNR

Monday, April 2, 2018

First Youth Season Shows Decrease in Turkey Season

While Capitol Outdoors and countless other high school anglers were being knocked around by high winds on Saturday, the woods and fields had youth striving for that elusive turkey.  Below you'll see the numbers for the 2018 first youth turkey season and as you can see there was a decrease which we believe had a lot to do with the weather.

The calendar says Spring, but Winter holds on for First Youth Turkey Season

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Beaver Dam and Horseshoe Lake Archery Application Due at the end of March

While many of us are thinking about trout fishing or hitting the hiking trail, archery deer hunters who wish to hunt at Beaver Dam or Horseshoe Lake need to think about the upcoming season.  Applications are due at the end of March, so don't delay.  This is a great opportunity.  

Archery Deer Applications for Beaver Dam/Horseshoe Lake

PLAINVIEW, IL – Archery deer hunting applications are available through March 30 for the special drawings at Beaver Dam State Park, Carlinville, and through March 31 for the special drawings at Horseshoe Lake State Park, Granite City for the 2018-19 Illinois Archery Deer Hunting Season. Hunters can obtain an application either online or from park offices to apply. Site-specific applications will offer nine weekly intervals at Horseshoe Lake State Park and 11 weekly intervals at Beaver Dam State Park. Applicants must prioritize their hunting weeks and will be selected randomly in a lottery drawing.

Bobcat Harvest Numbers in for 2017 - 2018

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press Office 

Hunters and Trappers Harvested 318 Bobcats During 2017-18 Season

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters and trappers in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 318 bobcats during the 2017-18 Illinois Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Season, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. Permit holders salvaged another 40 roadkill bobcats during the season. 

The National Trappers Association Table from 2017 at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds in Illinois

The 2017-18 Illinois bobcat season was open from Nov. 10, 2017 until Feb. 15, 2018, and 1,000 permits were issued to hunters and trappers for the season.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

IDNR Announces 2018 Wingshooting Schedule

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), in cooperation with its partners and co-sponsors, will conduct wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois from March through mid-November. 

The clinics provide instruction and help improve the shooting skills for both beginners and experienced hunters. Most clinics are conducted on weekends at IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs and shooting ranges, hunting preserves, and farms.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

IDNR to Hold Wingshooting Clinics at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

While many of us are thinking about flipping logs or holding a stringer of crappie the IDNR has will been thinking of ways to get wingshooters outside.  This spring and summer the IDNR will be holding two wingshooting clinics at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.  These two events cover the wide range of shooting skill levels.  Below you'll find some information regarding these two events.

There are two IDNR Wingshooting Clinics scheduled at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek (JEPC) SF&WA this spring and early summer. The first is a Hunters Wingshooting Clinic on Saturday and Sunday, April 7-8th. The registration instructions and forms for this clinic can be accessed on the IDNR Wingshooting Website located on the internet at:

The instructions and forms for both clinics can be accessed on the Wingshooting Website by clicking on the Calendar and then clicking on the underlined dates for the JEPC Hunters Wingshooting Clinic or the JEPC Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic.

Hunters wingshooting clinics are conducted in the area of the hand trap shooting range at JEPC on a sporting clays course with clay target presentations designed to represent actual hunting scenarios. Hunters and clay target shooters with novice thru advanced wingshooting skills are encouraged to attend. After a short safety briefing at the JEPC Hunter Check Station Bldg., each group of participants (typically four) spends the morning or afternoon each day shooting the sporting clays course accompanied by a certified wingshooting instructor. As noted in the attached instructions, bring 6-8 boxes (150-200 shotshells) and spend a session enhancing your wingshooting skills. If you like to shoot a shotgun, hunters wingshooting clinics are really fun!

The second JEPC Wingshooting Clinic will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10th. This clinic is a Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic for participants either just beginning to learn about shotgun shooting or with novice shotgun shooting skills. Registration instructions and forms are attached and can also be accessed on the IDNR Wingshooting Website (see first paragraph above). Shooting students must be at least 10 years old, and shooting students must also be at least 4 feet 6 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds to participate. Boys 16-18 must be in the beginning or novice shooting skill range. Girls 10 and older meeting the minimum height and weight requirements and women of all ages are eligible to attend. Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic are free to participants, begin with a thorough firearm safety presentation at the JEPC Hunter Check Station Bldg., and include lunch for participants. Taught by IDNR and National Sporting Clays Assoc. certified wingshooting instructors, youth/women’s wingshooting clinics are a wonderful way for shooting students to learn firearm safety protocols, to learn correct shotgun shooting fundamentals, and to learn how to hit a moving clay target successfully.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Suspected EHD Cases in Deer at Low to Moderate Level in 2017

You may remember that the IDNR ask hunters and landowners to report suspected EHD cases. This year was no exception. Today the IDNR released the following press release.

Suspected EHD Cases in Deer at Low to Moderate Level in 2017

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Suspected EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) cases were reported again in Illinois in 2017, but in low to moderate levels. A total of 66 reports were received from concerned landowners and hunters totaling 169 deer from 32 counties, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). In comparison, 2012 was the worst year for EHD in Illinois with 2,968 dead deer reported to IDNR from 87 counties.
Information in this article has been provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Illinois DNR Newsbits for February 2018

 With the integration of Historic Preservation into the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Newsbits into the future will have a lot of events that may not always interest you.  However, I challenge you all to try and attend some of these events to enjoy all of what the IDNR has to offer here in Illinois.  

Illinois DNR Newsbits for February 2018

Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters can apply for the third lottery for 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits by the application deadline of Feb. 9. Go to the IDNR website for more information:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

HB 4231 - Blaze Pink Clothing - Illinois 100th General Assembly

House Sponsors
Rep. Dave Severin

Filed: HB 4231 on 1/16/2018

Final Action
Passed Both Chambers
Senate:  058-000-000
House: 111-000-000

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Wildlife Code. Authorizes certain hunters to wear solid blaze pink colored clothing (in addition to blaze orange colored clothing).

Last Action:
Bill Passed Both Houses and now moves onto the Governor 

Bill Status:

Friday, February 2, 2018

HB 4487 - Funding State Parks through Lottery Game - Illinois 100th General Assembly

House Sponsor
Rep. John M. Cabello

Filed: HB 4487 on 1/31/2018

Synopsis As Introduced:
Amends the Illinois Lottery Law. Requires the Department of the Lottery, beginning on January 1, 2019 or as soon thereafter as is practical, to offer a special instant scratch-off game for the purposes of upkeep, maintenance, and improvements to Illinois State and local parks. Provides that the net revenue from the special instant scratch-off game must be deposited into the Illinois Parks Scratch-off Fund. Provides that the moneys deposited in the Fund shall be used by the Department of Natural Resources for upkeep, maintenance, and improvements to Illinois State and local parks, including grants for those purposes. Authorizes the Department of the Lottery to adopt rules necessary to implement and administer the game. Defines "net revenue". Amends the State Finance Act to create the Illinois Parks Scratch-off Fund. Effective immediately.

Last Actions:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2017 -2018 Preliminary Numbers for Illinois Deer Season

The Illinois DNR released their preliminary numbers which concludes the 2017 -2018 Illinois Whitetail Season.   This year, hunters harvested 147,535 during ALL of the seasons, an increase in 3,232 from the 2016 - 2017 season.  The only decline in numbers were during the youth season, a drop of about 1,100.

If you're wondering specifics on the crossbow numberswe'll have more information coming to you later.

Illinois’ 2017-18 Deer Seasons Conclude with Preliminary Harvest of 147,535 Deer

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Natural Resources Advisory Board of Illinois

Over the past several years, Capitol Outdoors has been attending NRAB meetings. Now, if you haven't heard of NRAB don't worry, 99% of hunters and anglers haven't. NRAB stands for the Natural Resources Advisory Board and according to the DNR is as follows:

The Advisory Board is statutorily created to advise the agency on long range policies to assist in guiding the protection and conservation of renewable resources of the state and recommend changes in hunting and trapping seasons and bag or possession limits. They also recommend to the Director which projects receive funding in bike, boat, and Open Space Lands Aquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant programs. Members serve six year terms and are appointed by the Governor. The Board holds quarterly meetings with time allotted for public comment on any topic.
In other words, NRAB hears proposals from the DNR and other constituents in order to recommend changes within hunting and fishing seasons, as well as our state parks.

Each quarter NRAB meets to discuss what has happened in the last few months and to discuss any of those possible changes.

Over these past years as we have attended these meetings Capitol Outdoors has realized how there is a gap in how this information travels to the public.  That is why starting at the first 2018 meeting of NRAB we will be broadcasting these meetings live on our Facebook.  This is so that you the hunter, angler and outdoor enthusiast are given the opportunity to be as informed as possible.

2018 Meeting Dates: 

January 22nd - IDNR Headquarters, Springfield, IL - Meeting Agenda

April 30th - IDNR Headquarters, Springfield, IL

July 30th - IDNR Headquarters, Springfield, IL

November 19th - To Be Determined - Whittington, IL - 11:00 a.m.

Want to know who is on the Board?

*Information provided on this website is outdated.  Way to go Illinois!  We've reached out to the IDNR  to get an updated list and roll calls with no response.

Be sure to tune in Monday at 3 p.m. CST to see what NRAB is all about.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Continues with Controlled Pheasant Season Extension.

Hunting for us here at Capitol  Outdoors usually consists of waders, decoys and all the rest of the equipment that is involved in a successful waterfowl hunt.  However, this year we've taken a new course.  Several years ago we got Linc, our red Labrador retriever.  After several waterfowl hunts I began to realize something, Linc is not a waterfowl dog.  His drive and determination pushes him and he is an amazing upland game dog and his personality fits this extremely well.

You could imagine my excitement when the Illinois Department of Natural Resources decided to extend the controlled pheasant season.  Granted this had been done in the past but, each year is a little different and I'm excited that they decided to do it again.  Below you'll see the three parks where they decided to extend this season.  

Controlled Pheasant Seasons Extended at Three IDNR Sites

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is extending controlled pheasant hunting seasons at three IDNR sites. Hunters can make reservations now for additional hunting opportunities.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Farm Bill Forums Being Held for Sportsmen and Women

Keeping you informed from the Legislative Floors to the Great Outdoors means taking advantage of opportunities like this in order to better educate oneself.  Sportsmen and women have been invited to attend a forum on the Farm Bill.  Many of you may know how the Farm Bill plays an important role in conservation here in Illinois.   These forums are being held by the Theodore Reosevelt Conservation Partners and the Illinois Conservation Foundation which they've entitled "Illinois Sportsmen's Guide to the 2018 Farm Bill".

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Deer Harvest Totals Continue into 2018

While many of us were thinking ice fishing, there were those that use the Late Winter and Special CWD Deer Season to harvest one more buck or doe, or in some cases maybe just get one for the season.

In the grand scheme of things total numbers are up for the season but the Late & CWD Season numbers are down.  Most likely due to the frigid temperatures. 

What die-hards put their thermal underwear to a test in the tree stand this past week?  Comment below. 

Below you'll see the updated 2017 - 2018 Illinois Archery Deer Season and 17/18 Illinois Late Winter Anterless-Only and Special CWD deer season.  

CWD winter hunting Illinois

Friday, December 29, 2017

Making Memories- A Family Pheasant Hunt at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

The first hunt I ever went on was with my dad, brother and my first black lab, Bud.  It was a pheasant hunt I will never forget, Bud flushed his first bird and I was able to shoot it.  This was a huge moment for me, not just because I harvested my first pheasant, but because I trained my dog Bud all by myself.  Granted he was no grand champion, but he was my champion.

Three generations enjoying a pheasant hunt at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

This was such a memorable hunt to my dad that he wrote a story about it and sent it to Midwest Outdoors Magazine's Hunt Contest and won.  Today you'll find the prize knife and that story safe in my closet.  During that time and to this day, I've shared great moments and stories with both my dad and brother but as you grow older, life gets in the way and the idea of hunting and fishing together takes on a new meaning.  It's not just saying, let's go hunting, there's traveling involved and family obligations that seem to hinder us making more of these memories.