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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Illinois Waterfowl Groups and Hunters Meet to Discuss Unified Message to JCAR and IDNR

Waterfowl organizations along with the President of the Illinois Federation Outdoor Resources (IFOR) and other members met at the Migratory Waterfowl Hunters Inc. (MWH) building in Alton, Illinois to discuss the proposed rule changes regarding waterfowl blind material. This proposed rule is currently in front of JCAR with the possibility of a vote being taken on August 14th. JCAR is ‘a bipartisan legislative oversight committee authorized to conduct systematic reviews of administrative rules for state agencies.’ To fully understand the gravity of the issue at hand, you should know about the JCAR process.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Illinois Recreational Access Program Announces Applications for Archery Deer Hunting

Does the acronym IRAP sounds familiar? There has been a lot of talk this year from Illinois Recreational Access Program administrators (IRAP).  IRAP provides grounds that allows youth and adults to hunt deer, waterfowl, turkey and more.  Below you'll see information on IRAP, as well as the process for applying for archery deer hunting on IRAP grounds.  If you would like to know more about IRAP,  Capitol Outdoors attended a press conference where Congressman Rodney Davis, Director Wayne Rosenthal and many others discuss the funding of the Farm Bill and the importance of CRP and the IRAP program.  Watch it here!

IDNR IRAP Program Accepting Applications for Archery Deer Hunting on Private Property

IDNR Events and Permit Deadlines - August 2018 Newsbits

Here is a list of events, permits deadlines and more from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Illinois DNR Newsbits – August 2018

Firearm Deer Permits: Permit applications will be accepted until Aug. 17 for the third lottery drawing for 2018 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits. For details, check the IDNR website at

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IDNR Fails to Address Waterfowl Hunters Regarding Proposed Rule Changes at Blind Drawings Across the State

This past weekend thousands of waterfowl hunters and enthusiasts attended waterfowl blind drawings across Illinois and how many of them received information from the DNR related to this new proposed rule regarding waterfowl blinds?  Most likely, very few people received any information about this.    If you recall we informed you of this when it was first introduced as legislation and it has since been filed as an administrative rule that is going through the JCAR process.  During the first notice period, public comments are sent to the DNR related to the new rule.  From the DNR 2nd Notice report you can see how many comments were sent in. 
How many comments were received?
Following this proposal going on first notice, the Department received 382 comments regarding the proposed change. 380 comments were in opposition to the original proposed change, one comment in support of the change, and one commenter’s position was unknown.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservations Open August 6th

Controlled pheasant hunting is right around the corner and starting August 6th at 8:30 a.m. upland hunters will be able to apply for a permit.  There will be 18 sites throughout Illinois this year where you can put your wingshooting and dog handling skills to the test.  

Below you'll see all the information regarding one of Illinois' most popular outdoor activities. 

Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online

Online application period for IDNR-managed sites begins Aug. 6

Last year our family headed out to Jim Edgar Panther Creek and did some Upland Hunting

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Information Regarding Youth Firearm Deer Season at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

You hear it all the time from non-profits, agencies and others, we need to get youth involved in hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.  Here is another good event.  A total of 75 youth hunters will have the privilege of shotgun hunting Jim Edgar Panther Creek October 6 - 8.  Not only is it a good opportunity for youth to get involved, but it's on some of the best public hunting in Illinois.  If you have a youth that is interested, make sure to follow the instructions below.  Since, this weekend is also the first weekend of the archery season, hunters may have to rearrange a few things as archery hunters will NOT be allowed to hunt in the Open Units. 

Apply Now for Youth Firearm Deer Season at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area

Youth season is a great opportunity to get youth the experience in the outdoors.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Gives FYI to Lake DePue Waterfowl Hunters

The unofficial start to waterfowl season is just around the corner and whether you'll be shooting clays, hitting the fields for some dove or just getting the grill ready for a long day at blind drawings, it's coming.  Are you attending the drawing at Lake DePue?  If so, this post is for you!  The IDNR is passing along an FYI to those of you who are hunting or plan to hunt Lake DePue State Fish and Wildife Area.  "Due to infrastructure damage at the site, boat access to waterfowl blinds cannot be guaranteed for the 2018 - 2019 waterfowl season".   Interested in attending another drawing?  Check out the 2018 Waterfowl Blind Drawings across the state.

IDNR Alerts Hunters to Ongoing Maintenance Issues at Lake DePue

Access to waterfowl blind sites may not be possible

There's nothing like enjoying a sunrise in the waterfowl blind with some coffee.

Friday, June 22, 2018

QUACK QUACK... IDNR Releases Dates for and Locations for Waterfowl Blind Drawings

North cool breeze is on the horizon.  It may not seem like it now but, to a public land waterfowl hunter this is the time of year where the blood starts to pump.  It's the first step to those cooler days and waterfowl locked up in your face.  Each year the IDNR draws blinds for  public waterfowl hunting.  There are a few days, so try your luck at multiple locations.  Bring the family it's a good time to cook out have some laugh and hope the odds are in your favor.  In bold you'll see some of the crucial information you'll need in order to qualify for the drawings.  

IDNR Announces Schedule of Waterfowl Blind Site Drawings

Drawings to be held for public hunting area waterfowl blind sites

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Auction of Confiscated and Abandoned Property hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

As hunters and anglers we're always looking for a good deal.  Many times those deals are found in the off season or in discount sections at various online and other retailers.  What if I told you, you could find a good discount and that the money you pay for your item goes into the State Fish and Wildlife Fund?

We've all heard stories about the poachers that have had their equipment confiscated because of their crimes and other equipment is just left in the field.  Have you ever wondered what happens to that equipment?  This weekend the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is hosting an auction in regards to confiscated and abandoned property.

The last time an auction was held was back in 2013 and it raised $53,145.00.  If you're looking for a good time with food and good deals make sure to put this on your calendar for the weekend.

Read below to read the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press release and the items up for auction.

IDNR to Conduct Auction of Confiscated and Abandoned Property

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