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

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

Deutsch: Facebook ist ein ...      Twitter Bird, Twitter Button, ...      Open ...      File:Youtube icon.svg      Instagram, Symbol, Logo, Photo ...

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

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

Inside Illinois' DNR January 2018

Below is a message from Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal.  As the Director states January 2018 is still a great time to enjoy the outdoors.  Unfortunately, he forgets to mention the remaining days of hunting season, ice fishing season and outdoor shows throughout Illinois which all contribute greatly to our economy and small businesses.

A Message from Director Wayne Rosenthal -

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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Illinois Outdoor Legislation Regarding Hunting and Fishing effective January 1, 2018

During the first year of the 100th General Assembly talks were mostly about the budget, however there were some hunting and fishing related bills that passed.   Below you will find those that are effective January 1, 2018.  One of the major bills that passed this General Assembly was the Crossbow bill, however that became effective immediately, so we did not include that and others that had an immediate effective date.  If you would like to learn more about these, click here.

The second year of this General Assembly might be slow going until after the March primary then you may see things start picking up again.  However, as in every election year there may be hot button issues brought up to get that recorded vote or both chambers will be quiet and contend to only issues of less controversy, only time will tell.  Be sure and follow us as we keep you informed from the Legislative Floors to the Great Outdoors.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tracker Releases New boat for 40th Anniversary

If you have a Facebook account it was hard not to see the sponsored ads by Tracker Boats for their 40th Anniversary boat. Each day they had a new post dropping the price a little each day until December 15th.  On that day they revealed the final price, along with the specs and what the boat included.  In front of a large crowd legend Johnny Morris, Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Jimmy Houston revealed the 40th Heritage Edition Tracker Boat.

Tracker Boats' staple to fame is to have an angler be able to purchase a boat with an electronic, a trolling motor and outboard at an easy to afford price.  Johnny Morris along with the team at Tracker Boats did just that!  For $9,995 including the trailer, this unique retro looking boat will have anglers across the country hitting the water in no time.  Coming with a 40 hp four stroke Mercury engine, a 12 volt 45 lb thrust MinnKota trolling motor and so much more, this boat is priced for anyone to enjoy some time on the water.  If you are a new angler or looking to get to onto some of those smaller waters here in Illinois then you really need to look at this boat!

Image may contain: text
Picture provided by

Monday, December 18, 2017

Same Ole Same Ole for Round 9 - That's a Good Thing

Round 9 of the Illinois archery harvest numbers show more of the same.  For pretty much the entire deer season, excluding firearm and muzzleloader, the harvest has been up compared to 2016.  The question is, why this year?  Could it be the lack of blue tongue this year, which had more deer in the field?  Could it be the crossbows?  Or could it be a rebound of the deer herd or just the weather in general?  It's hard to say what played a part in the increase, but by the end of the late winter season we'll sure find out.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Illinois CPOs Hard at Work Issuing Over 1,800 Citations and Warnings

While we're out in the field waterfowl hunting, deer hunting or just doing a little fishing, Illinois CPOs are hard at work enforcing Illinois wildlife laws.  It's easy to forget about law enforcement officers when you obey the law.  However, just because you and I are responsible doesn't mean accidents or negligence in the field doesn't happen.  Below you'll read about how our CPOs issued over 1,800 citations and warnings in less than a month.  While reading this don't forget about the last big bust in regards to fishing, CPOs cited a father and son who were in possession of over 115 perch!  

Our CPOs are doing the best job the can, especially being understaffed. (IDNR is Seeking Applicants for Conservation Police Officer Training).  But, they can't do it by themselves.  Poaching and those in violations of the law need to be reported and that's where you can help.  Make sure to take out your cell phones and add this number.  Call 1-877-2DNRLAW (236-7529) to report anyone you see who is doing something they shouldn't be!

IDNR Conservation Police Issue More Than 1,800 Citations and Warnings to Violators During Illinois’ Busiest Hunting Season

SPRINGFIELD, IL – While firearm deer hunters in Illinois took more than 80,000 deer during the state’s busiest hunting season, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police report just four hunting-related accidents were reported, three of them involving injuries resulting from tree stand falls.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Muzzleloader and Archery Deer Harvest Numbers up for Round 8

The recent cold snap had some of us heading to Milwaukee for the Ice Show or just talking about ice fishing.  However, deer season is still going strong here in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Divison of Wildlife released last weekends muzzleloader and archery numbers and they are up.

No automatic alt text available.
Our pro-staffer Rick working on his euro-mount from a buck he harvested this year. 

During the 3-day Muzzleloader Deer Season (Dec. 8-10), Illinois deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 3,700 deer, compared to 3,308 in 2016. 
Harvest sex ratios were 55% does and 45% males (2040:1660). 
Top five counties were Pike (168), Adams (120), Jefferson (112), Randolph (103), and Fulton (102). 
Through Sunday, Dec.10, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 52,650 deer, compared to 48,228 for the same period in 2016. 
Top five counties were Pike (1852), Fulton (1474), Jefferson (1236), Adams (1155), and Williamson (1040).
Total harvest to date has consisted of 44% does and 56% males (23322:29328). During the past 7 days, harvest sex ratios have been 54% female and 46% male.

Interested in comparing County by County? 

Up-to-date archery harvest figures (for either deer or turkey) by county/state sites can be tracked on the web at

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Illinois DNR Newsbits for December 2017

The Illinois DNR Newsbits is a great way to see what is up and coming for the IDNR Events.  

Illinois DNR Newsbits - December 2017

Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits:  Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 14, 2018.  Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link:        

Increase in Hunter Quota for Jim Edgar Panther Creek Pheasant Program

Get your permit while you can!  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced that they will increase hunter quotas for the controlled pheasant program at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.  The IDNR has said that they'll release more pheasants to help make up for the increase in hunters.  Take advantage of this opportunity because permits sell out quickly.  We just got ours!

Watch our last Controlled Pheasant Hunt at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

Controlled Pheasant Hunting Hunter Quotas Increased at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced that the daily hunter quotas will be increased on the Controlled Pheasant Hunting Unit at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass Co. beginning Wednesday, December 6 through the close of the hunting season on Sunday, January 14. Additional pheasants will be released at the site as a result of the hunter quota increase.