Monday, May 15, 2017

Wingshooting Clinic for Youth and Women at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA on June 10-11

Capitol Outdoors covered this event last year.  Kids and adults had a great time learning about gun safety, hunting techniques and much more.  If you've been pondering taking this class. DON"T!  You'll learn a great deal and be ready for the upland game or waterfowl season.  Read about the Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 2016.  If you're interested read the post below from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press Office

Wingshooting Clinic for Youth and Women at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA on June 10-11

Opportunity to Learn Shotgun Shooting Safety and Skills


CHANDLERVILLE, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Conservation Foundation are sponsoring a wingshooting clinic for youth, young adults, and women on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11 at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area (JEPC) near Chandlerville, IL in Cass County.

The JEPC Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic is an introductory clinic designed for boys and girls ages 10-15, young adults ages 16-18 and women of all ages interested in learning to shoot or improving their ability to shoot a shotgun at moving targets. The youth/women’s clinic is provided at no cost to participants.

Youth/Women’s wingshooting clinics are about learning to safely shoot a shotgun at moving targets with reasonable reliability. The clinic starts with a shotgun safety presentation at 10:00 a.m., followed by a short small group hands-on shotgun orientation session with each group’s wingshooting instructor. The afternoon is spent in the field shooting clay targets. Shotguns and shotshells are provided. Not only do the participants learn to safely handle and shoot a shotgun, but they learn that being skilled at shooting clay targets is a lot of fun.

This clinic is taught by instructors certified by the IDNR and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA). The participant-to-instructor ratio is four to one. Typically, participants are grouped with others of similar shooting skill ability.

Advanced registration is required. Registration forms for the JEPC Wingshooting Clinic can be accessed at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation/wingshooting/Pages/default.aspx. Once the Wingshooting Website is accessed, click on the “Calendar” button; then click on the date to access the registration forms. Follow the instructions on the forms.

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 ...

Monday, May 8, 2017

IDNR Releases Management Plan for Reintroduction of Alligator Gar in Illinois Waters

IDNR Releases Management Plan for Reintroduction of Alligator Gar in Illinois Waters


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Fisheries has published its Fish Species Management Plan for Alligator Gar in Illinois, which details IDNR’s effort to reintroduce alligator gar to Illinois waters.

A fish native to Illinois, the alligator gar was determined to be extirpated, or extinct from Illinois waters. The last known catch of the fish, prior to the start of the reintroduction effort, was in the Cache River basin in southern Illinois in 1966.

“The plan details our efforts and activities as we attempt to reestablish and manage alligator gar populations in Illinois,” said IDNR Fisheries Chief Dan Stephenson. “They are a large, unique species that we would like to see thriving in Illinois waters again. There has been a lot of interest in our reintroduction efforts already, and we encourage anyone interested in sport fishing and this project to look at the plan.”

The alligator gar is the largest of the gar species and second largest freshwater fish in North America, next to the white sturgeon. The current all-tackle record alligator gar, caught in 1953 in Texas, weighed 302 pounds and measured 7-ft., 6-in. in length. Researchers determined that prior to extirpation, Illinois produced some individual gar measured at more than eight feet in length, with the heaviest weighing 176 pounds.

IDNR Fisheries personnel last fall stocked approximately 1,600 alligator gar as part of the reintroduction program at Powerton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area (Tazewell Co.), Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area (Cass Co.), Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison Co.), and Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area (St. Clair Co.). Tiny electronic tracking tags were attached to those fish for biologists to monitor their progress.

The success of the plan will be documented through annual progress and achievement reports for each management objective, and the plan will be updated as needed.

The Fish Species Management Plan for Alligator Gar in Illinois is posted online at the link below:
https://www.ifishillinois.org/programs/ALG_Plan_2017.pdf

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 ...



Friday, April 28, 2017

DNR- Ashes in State Parks-100th GA - SB 1586

DNR- Ashes in State Parks-100th GA - SB 1586



Senator Bill Cunningham
Filed: SB 1586 on 2-9-17

Amends the State Parks Act. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources may establish rules for the public to safely and appropriately scatter cremated remains in a State park. Defines "cremated remains."

Senate Committee Amendment No. 1

Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Crematory Regulation Act. Provides that "scattering area" also includes property used for outdoor recreation or natural resource conservation owned by the Department of Natural Resources and designated as a scattering area.

  • Date Chamber Action
    • 2/9/2017 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Bill Cunningham
    • 2/9/2017 Senate First Reading
    • 2/9/2017 Senate Referred to Assignments
    • 2/28/2017 Senate Assigned to Public Health
    • 3/8/2017 Senate Postponed - Public Health
    • 3/15/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Filed with Secretary by Sen. Bill Cunningham
    • 3/15/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Referred to Assignments
    • 3/17/2017 Senate Rule 2-10 Committee Deadline Established As April 7, 2017
    • 3/22/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Assignments Refers to Public Health
    • 3/28/2017 Senate Senate Committee Amendment No. 1 Adopted
    • 3/29/2017 Senate Do Pass as Amended Public Health; 008-000-000
    • 3/29/2017 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 2nd Reading March 30, 2017
    • 4/6/2017 Senate Second Reading
    • 4/6/2017 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 3rd Reading April 25, 2017
    • 4/27/2017 Senate Third Reading - Passed; 056-000-000
    • 4/27/2017 House Arrived in House
    • 4/27/2017 House Chief House Sponsor Rep. Stephanie A. Kifowit
    • 4/27/2017 House First Reading

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 ...

Fish & Aquatic Life Code-100th GA - HB 2028

Fish & Aquatic Life Code-100th GA - HB 2028

Rep. Tony McCombie

Filed: HB 2028 on 2-2-17

Floor Amendment #1:

Amends the Fish & Aquatic Life Code by changing the date when Aquatic Life Dealer Licenses expire to correspond with the expiration date of hunting and fishing licenses.

Latest Action: 
  • 5/30/2017 House Passed Both Houses

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wingshooting Clinic Scheduled for the World Shooting and Recreational Complex on May 13

Wingshooting Clinic Scheduled for the World Shooting and Recreational Complex on May 13


Opportunity to Learn Shotgun Shooting Safety & Skills


SPARTA, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Conservation Foundation are partnering with the Friends of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and the National Wild Turkey Federation – Randolph County Strutters and Cutters Chapter in sponsoring a wingshooting clinic for youth, young adults, and women on Saturday, May 13 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC) in Sparta, IL.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mistaken Identity of Mushrooms can be Dangerous

Mistaken Identity of Mushrooms can be Dangerous

The extent of my knowledge when it comes to mushrooms is ordering a mushroom swiss burger from a restaurant. However, with the lack of a turkey permit, what better way to spend a spring day then walking around the woods looking for these elegant mushrooms.  With family and friends telling me stories about how good these mushrooms are I decided to go out.

The best hunting buddy anyone could ask for. 
This past weekend I found my first morel mushroom.  It was an accident but thankfully there were six total, so I picked'em.  Now I have the mushroom hunting bug.  Just like the fishing or hunting bug, all I can think about are mushrooms.  One night this week, I hit the woods in search of this succulent mushroom.

After about 40 minutes looking I stumbled upon some morels.  It was great.  There was one, two, three, four five, six and seven.  What a find!  You can even ask the wife I was doing my happy dance in the middle of the woods.  Well, at least I thought they were morels.  

After posting a picture on Facebook several of my friends mentioned that these were not morels but Half Free Morels also known as Peckerheads.  After those comments, I started to do some more research and realized just how dangerous mushroom hunting can be.  Not only do you have to pay attention to the kind of mushrooms you're picking but in many parts of the country you have to watch out for snakes.

Half Free Morels or Pecker Heads
Being the first season that I'm actually looking for morels, I'm still learning the basics.  I know a lot about hunting and a lot about fishing, not a pro by any means but I do have a decent amount of knowledge in those areas.  However, I'm not afraid of admitting when I'm wrong or need to learn something and this is very true when it comes to mushroom hunting.

Our first batch of morals
A big thank you to those that helped me learn something about the outdoors.  Now this knowledge will be passed down to not only my family but to our readers as well.  That's what Capitol Outdoor is all about!  Education, learning and sharing information about the great outdoors.

New or a veteran to mushroom hunting?  Here is a good site (Michigan Morels) that I found that might help you out.  There is a saying in mushroom hunting that is relevant to any experience level.

When in doubt throw it out!


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released the follwoing during the April 2017 News Bits.

Mushroom Collecting: No license is required for mushroom collecting in Illinois, but mushroom collectors always need landowner permission. On public sites, mushroom collectors must adhere to approved regulations and hours. Collection of mushrooms is allowed in many IDNR state parks, fish and wildlife, and other recreation areas, 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 turkey season to ensure the safety of all site visitors. Mushroom collectors should call ahead to the IDNR site they intend to visit to learn of any site-specific regulations.

This article is in no way to solely be used in identification of mushrooms. I wanted to show you that even we make mistakes and how when it comes to safety in the outdoors there are no secrets.

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 ...


Monday, April 10, 2017

Meredosia Lake Waterfowl Hunting Open House on May 10


If you or someone you know hunts Meredosia Lake here's your chance to voice your concerns. The Illinois Department of Natural Resouces will be hosting an open house regarding Meredosia Lake and the waterfowl hunting program.  Below you'll see the offical press release.  Please share...

IDNR to Host Public Open House Meeting on Meredosia Lake Waterfowl Hunting Program on May 10


MEREDOSIA, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a public open house meeting to address potential changes to the waterfowl hunting program at Meredosia Lake on Wed., May 10 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Meredosia Wildlife Refuge office.

The IDNR will be soliciting public opinion regarding the number and placement of waterfowl blinds on Meredosia Lake. Attendees will be asked to fill out a survey in which they can suggest blind numbers and placement according to their preference. The meeting will be held in an open house format so that attendees may come and go as they please; there will be no set agenda and no formal presentation by IDNR. Personnel from the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources and IDNR Office of Land Management will be available to answer questions. Information gathered at the meeting will help guide IDNR’s waterfowl hunting program at Meredosia Lake.

The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Meredosia Wildlife Refuge office, located at 2219 Beach Road, Meredosia, IL. The office is located just north of Meredosia along Beach Road (west side of the road). The meeting is open to waterfowl hunters and anyone else interested in the waterfowl program at Meredosia Lake. Alcohol and pets are not allowed on the grounds.


For more information, contact Tim Kelley at 309-543-3262 or Randy Smith at 217-785-2347.

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 ...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Illinois 2017 Waterfowl Blind Sites and Dates Announced

Illinois 2017 Waterfowl Blind Sites and Dates Announced


Feels like the season just ended and for those snow goose hunters it did.  However, it's already time to start thinking about the next season.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has released the 2017 Waterfowl Blind Sites and Dates.   Hopefully this will be my lucky year and I will win a blind.


Like so many of you we grill out, share some stories and have some laughs.  Duck blind Drawings have become a Family Affair  for us.  Best of luck to all participants this year.  Please make sure you read this.  There have been some changes.  Most importantly there is a new rule requiring a photo ID.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Illinois Youth Turkey Hunters Harvest Preliminary Record

Looks like the youngsters this year did really well during the youth turkey season.  Below you'll find preliminary harvest report from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Here is a link to the PDF which is easier to compare counties and last year harvest numbers - https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/IDNR-YouthTurkeyHarvest2017.pdf

2017 Illinois Youth Turkey Season Preliminary Record Harvest Totaled 1,541 Birds

2017 Illinois Youth Turkey Season Preliminary Record Harvest Totaled 1,541 Birds

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Youth turkey hunters harvested a preliminary record total of 1,541 birds during the 2017 Illinois Youth Turkey Season. The dates for this year’s season were March 25-26 and April 1-2. This was the first year two youth turkey hunting weekends were open for the entire state. Previously, there was one weekend dedicated for the north zone and one for the south. In 2016, a total of 1,058 turkeys were harvested, combining both seasons and zones. The previous youth season record harvest was in 2012, when 1,300 birds were taken. This year, a total of 5,601 youth turkey permits were issued, including 106 permits for special hunt areas. Last year, 4,761 permits were issued, including 113 for special hunt areas.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

IDNR Announces 2017 Schedule for Wingshooting Clinics





IDNR Announces 2017 Schedule for Wingshooting Clinics

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

Wingshooting clinics are intended to provide instruction and improve the shooting skills of beginners and experienced hunters. Most clinics are conducted on weekends at IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs and shooting ranges, hunting preserves, and farms.

Can Fish See Fishing Line


Source: Fix.com Blog