Showing posts with label Outdoor News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outdoor News. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2018

Attention Anglers: A Message from the IDNR Division of Fisheries

From the IDNR Division of Fisheries…

Attention Anglers: Mussels May Not Be Used as Bait in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois fishing regulations prohibit the use of mussels of any species from any waters of the state as fish bait.

An error regarding use of mussels appears in printed copies of the 2018 Illinois Fishing Information booklet (the online version of the booklet reflects the correct regulation).

Illinois fishing regulations now allow persons with a fishing license to possess up to 50 relic (dead) mussel shells by those who collect shells, or by those collecting relic mussel shells for educational purposes.

To review the 2018 Illinois Fishing Information booklet online, go to the I Fish Illinois website link at

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 13, 2018

IDNR Newsbits and Dates March 2018

As hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts we always look forward to being outside and enjoying what natures has to offer.  However, there are two seasons that we look forward to more than any other, Spring and Fall.  Over the next few months weather will make it the prime time to be outside, whether you'll be enjoying a boat ride, fishing, hiking or looking for those elusive moral mushrooms. Below are some dates that you will want to pay attention to. 

IDNR Newsbits & Dates – March 2018

Spring Turkey Applications: 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits still available after the lottery drawings will be sold over the counter by DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning on March 13. Go to the IDNR website for more information:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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

Spring Trout Fishing Season Right around Corner

For years here at Capitol Outdoors we've told you, informed and participated in the Spring Trout Fishing.  This year it takes a little different meaning as our daughter hits 2 years old. This is the perfect way to get her and other kids involved in fishing.  Below you'll see locations that have a Fly Fishing Season which starts March 24th and those sites that have regular season which starts April 7th. 

Hit one of the lakes during opening week.  Crowds are light and the bite can be just as good!

 The most important thing to remember is "Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces."

Make sure to check out some of our tips and tactics articles and one of our YouTube Videos at South Wind Park in Springfield . 

Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 7

Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season Opens March 24 at select sites

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2018 Illinois Spring Trout fishing season is just a few weeks away. Anglers will need both a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp to participate, unless they are under the age of 16, blind, disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.

Licenses and trout stamps will be available for purchase on the Illinois Department of Resources (IDNR) website and at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets, starting Thursday, March 1.

The Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing season opens at nine sites on March 24. Anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch trout at that time, but they cannot keep the fish. All trout must be released until after the opening of the regular spring trout season, which begins at 5 a.m. on April 7. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year, with 54 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state being stocked for the spring season, and an additional 80,000 trout stocked for the fall season.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at

For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the opening date.

The 54 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:

2018 Illinois Spring Trout Locations
(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)

North --- Boone County --- Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
North --- Bureau County --- Hennepin Canal Parkway
North --- Cook County --- Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago
North --- Cook County --- Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Sag Quarry East, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- Cook County --- Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County --- Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County --- Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- DuPage County--- Grove Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District
North --- Jo Daviess County --- Apple River, Apple River State Park **
North --- Kankakee County --- Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
North --- Kankakee County --- Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park **
North --- Kendall County --- Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
North --- Lake County --- Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
North --- Lake County --- Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
North --- LaSalle County --- Illinois and Michigan Canal, LaSalle
North --- LaSalle County --- Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
North --- McHenry County --- Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
North --- McHenry County --- Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
North --- Ogle County --- Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park **
North--- Rock Island County--- Prospect Park, Moline
North --- Stephenson --- Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area
North --- Stephenson --- Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
North --- Whiteside County --- Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
North --- Will County --- Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation Area
North --- Winnebago County --- Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

Central --- Adams County --- Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
Central --- Cass County --- Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
Central --- Champaign County --- Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
Central --- Christian County --- Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
Central --- Coles County --- Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
Central --- Hancock County --- Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
Central --- Macon County --- Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
Central --- McLean County --- Miller Park Lake, Bloomington
Central --- Morgan County --- Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
Central --- Moultrie County --- Wyman Lake, Sullivan
Central --- Pike County --- Kings Park Pond, Pittsfield
Central --- Sangamon County --- Southwind Park, Springfield
Central --- Sangamon County --- IDOT Lake, Springfield **
Central --- Sangamon County --- Washington Park Pond, Springfield
Central --- Shelby County --- Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
Central --- Vermilion County --- Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

South --- Jefferson County --- Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
South --- Johnson County --- Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
South --- Marion County --- Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
South --- Massac County --- Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
South --- Randolph County --- Derby Lake, Sparta (World Shooting and Recreational Complex)
South --- St. Clair County --- Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
South --- St. Clair County --- Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
South --- St. Claire County --- Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **
South --- Wabash County --- Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
South --- Wayne County --- Sam Dale Trout Pond, Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Governor Rauner Releases Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Illinois Department of Natural Resource Budget

Governor Rauner Releases Proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Illinois Department of Natural Resource Budget

Photos from the Office of Management & Budget & the DNR 

Today Governor Rauner released his FY19 proposed operating budget for the DNR.  You can find it on page 262 of the Proposed Operating Budget.  An operating budget is where 'appropriations are for consumable goods and services such as salaries and benefits, commodities, utilities, and professional services that are purchased and used during any one fiscal year.' 

The Governor is proposing a 1.5% increase from FY18 that would support a Conservation Officer Trainee class which will be required due to retirement and other similar situations. This proposed budget also maintains a fully funded historic preservation department which the IDNR acquired during 2017.  Hunting and fishing licenses will remain the same price for FY19 while maintaining operations of all state parks and campgrounds.

If this is your first time looking at the DNR budget, it can be overwhelming due to the fact that there are many different programs, departments and funds associated with the agency.  You can find this breakdown on page 263 of the Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget.

The Governor also proposed a Capital Budget for the IDNR.  A Capital Budget is when 'appropriations are for assets that have a long-term useful life, such as buildings, highways, underground or surface infrastructure, durable equipment and land. Capital appropriations may span multiple fiscal years.' You can find the DNR Capital Appropriations beginning on page 56 of the Governor Proposed FY19 Capital Budget.

Over several years, the DNR has gone without capital appropriations and with that came deterioration of many DNR properties.  A fully funded capital budget in FY19 will allow the agency to do the over $24 million improvements that they have identified. These projects are highlighted on page 57 of this budget.

The fiscal year 2019 proposed budget provides funding for a complete DNR capital program. This includes: 
  • The continuation of prior year outdoor grant projects, flood hazard mitigation buyouts, mined lands reclamation, recreational trail and water resources programming; 
  • Additional spending authority to finish previously awarded projects; and 
  • Pay-as-you-go appropriations allowing the department to carry out projects and programming that are both core to its mission and can allow for federal match or reimbursement. 
The recommended fiscal year 2019 capital budget continues to fund grants and programs that were included in the fiscal year 2018 budget. 
  • Additional spending authority to finish out prior year obligations is included, such as: 
    •  $25 million in authority to fund previous years’ awards for the Museum Grant Program; and  
    • $64 million to continue prior year grants from the Park and Recreational Facilities (PARC) program. 
  • $30.5 million is included for Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) projects, including $15.0 million for new projects in fiscal year 2019.
As hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts we understand how bad the DNR needs this capital appropriation to just maintain our state parks and make them more enjoyable for all visitors.

As a reminder, this is the Governor's Proposed budget, it has not been enacted or approved.  This begins the long negotiations of a budget in Illinois, so continue to check back with Capitol Outdoors throughout this process. 

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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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

Illinois Legislator Pledge for the Outdoors

Share this with your legislator, friends, family and #BeAVoicefortheOutdoors.  The change starts now!

*Scroll down for pledge.  Just right click and save as and let's get this pledge passed around! 

To all Illinois Legislators, 
For far too long hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts have been put on the back burner by our legislators. The lack of funding within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has put a strain on our state parks, conservation efforts and our ability to grow as an industry.

We are not going to point fingers at who is to blame. Why? Because Illinois' Natural Resources are enjoyed by all of Illinois' constitutes; Republicans and Democrats; all races, all genders and all religions. If we sit here and blame each other, nothing will be solved. We are taking a stand to inform you, our legislators, during this election cycle, that we are no longer sitting idly by. We are sick of the excuses that we have heard for over a decade and we want action!
We understand that our state is in the red when it comes to finances and there is no easy solution to get us out of it. We have heard over and over again that there is no funding available to the IDNR and we understand the politics that come into play when allocating funds. For example, Agriculture, Human Services, Pensions, Transportation and the list goes on. There is no easy fix to this budget crisis, however your constitutes that hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors are apprehensive about the future of our state's natural resources.

Legislators need to look at the IDNR as an investment decision, not an overnight solution. Just look at these two areas in Illinois; Lake Shelbyville and Rend Lake. These are two areas that have an abundance of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities that are not living up to their potential. Don't just take our word for it, talk to the legislators that represent these areas to see what our state is missing out on.

Current and past Directors of the IDNR can only do some much with the inadequate funding that you as legislators give them. Doing more with less only gets you so far.

It's time to capitalize on what Illinois can offer the nation. We are home to Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River, the Illinois River and hundreds of lakes and other tributaries, you as legislators don't take advantage of. By investing in our state parks, our fisheries and our wildlife management you can increase tourism and economic development by bringing hunters, anglers, bird watchers and the like from other states. These are hunters that will hunt on our land, anglers who will fish our lakes, bird watchers who will enjoy our state parks. All of these people will buy gas at our gas stations, stay at hotels in our cities and go out to dinner at our local restaurants.

We write this letter to inform you that there are options available, you just have to be willing to work with those that utilize the natural resources. Be open minded about sitting down with groups, organizations and those that hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors in this state to see what solutions they have. These are your boots on the ground, they know the issues affecting their region or area just as well as those working within the agency.

We understand that your job is a difficult one and that there is no quick or easy solution, however the days of excuses from our legislators and those of power will no longer be accepted by the outdoor community.

Enclosed, is a pledge that we are asking, you, as a legislator, to sign to show your constitutes; the hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts of this state, that you are serious about dedicating time, energy and resources into improving the quality of state parks, conservation efforts and more within the IDNR. By signing this pledge, you are showing a willingness to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Friday, February 2, 2018

HB 4279-DNR-RECREATIONAL BOAT FUNDING - Illinois 100th General Assembly

House Sponsors
Rep. Jerry Costello, II

Filed: HB 4279 on 1/18/2018

Synopsis As Introduced:Amends the Department of Natural Resources Act. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources has the authority to accept, receive, and administer on behalf of the State, federal grant funds associated with the development or preservation of recreational boating infrastructure on this State's waterways and distribute those funds as prescribed by the appropriate federal agency. Provides that funds received by the Department shall be deposited into the Natural Resources Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant Dollars Fund and used for these purposes. Makes conforming changes in the State Finance Act.

Last Actions:

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

January 2018 Illinois DNR Newsbits

Lots happening during the month of January 2018. 

Illinois DNR Newsbits – January 2018

Spring Turkey Applications: There is still time for hunters to apply for the second lottery for 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits. The application deadline for the second lottery is Jan. 11. Go to the IDNR website for more information at