Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Education. Show all posts

Sunday, September 20, 2015

National Hunting and Fishing Day - Enjoy Hunting and Fishing in Illinois

National Hunting and Fishing Day - Enjoy Hunting and Fishing in Illinois 

Illinoisans can celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day this weekend by either going to Northern or Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days or by attending their local state park.

What is National Hunting and Fishing Day? 

Does the date May 2, 1972 ring a bell for you?  No, well it should.   "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations" wrote President Richard Nixon while signing the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Days.

Friday, September 18, 2015

IDNR to Hold Public Meetings on Chronic Wasting Disease - Deer hunters urge to go

IDNR to Hold Public Meetings on Chronic Wasting Disease - Deer Hunters Urge to Go

Capitol Outdoors urges Illinois deer hunters and outdoor enthusiast to attend a 40 minute presentation being held by the Illinois Department of Natural Resource staff. IDNR has scheduled a series of public meetings to provide information about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The CWD debate is widely known in Illinois and surrounding states.  As of July 1, 2015 Illinois has already seen 538 cases of CWD with 71 in 2015 alone.  
CWD is an always fatal neurological disease that is threatening the long-term health of white-tailed deer in Illinois. First documented in Illinois in 2002 near Roscoe, IL, CWD has spread across the northern edge and northeastern portions of Illinois as far south as the Illinois River Valley. CWD has become established in areas near the Fox and Illinois rivers, including portions of Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, and Will counties. Last year, CWD-positive deer were detected for the first time in Kankakee and Livingston counties. CWD was also detected in new areas in Stephenson and western Ogle counties in northern Illinois.

Illinois Hunters and Landowners Encouraged by Illinois Department of Natural Resources to Report Suspected Cases of EHD

Illinois Hunters and Landowners Encouraged by Illinois Department of Natural Resources to Report Suspected Cases of EHD

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters, landowners and everyone else to report suspected cases of Epizotic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). While EHD is always present each year in Illinois it has become mainstream in the hunting community over the last few years. You'll probably remember cases back in 2012 where over 2,000 cases in 76 out of 102 counties were reported having EHD die offs.
According to the IDNR press release there havr been 47 suspected cases of EHD in white-tail in 2015 and has been most prevalent in western counties.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Illinois' First Week of Hunting Brings Disappointments

Illinois' First Week of Hunting Brings Disappointments

Illinois' first week of hunting is over and with it comes great disappointments.  The state facilities saw lower numbers for dove harvested and Dale Bowman from the Chicago Sun-Times wrote an excellent article about these numbers.  We highly recommend you read Illinois hunting: Dove opener, updated, still down.  However, these disappointments are not what the hunting community is talking about.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Illinois Fish & Feather Expo 2015

Today, Capitol Outdoors attended the Illinois Fish & Feather expo in Bloomington.  There are many different bait shops in attendance and good deals are all around.

This year's expo runs until Sunday at the Interstate Center.  If you are around the Bloomington area and are into fishing, you should check it out.

Tickets are $7.00
Children 5 and under are free
There are plenty of things to do for the kids.

There are seminars that occur throughout the day.
 You might even find something interesting that you have not seen before. 

This year's show seemed to be smaller than last year's however, there were still some great companies that we met and talked with.

It's nice to see like-minded individuals getting out to support our local companies.  No matter what, we attend shows to learn new things and meet new people.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors Good Luck and Stay Safe -
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Get more involved in Illinois Outdoor Recreation: Hunting // Fishing // Camping

As you know Capitol Outdoors focuses on Legislation, Conservation, and Education regarding the outdoors throughout the state of Illinois. In today’s world, the internet and social media outlets such as; Facebook and Twitter throw information at us at such a fast speed. We all read articles about new fishing and hunting techniques, or the latest product, but what about pending legislation or research on new topics. The U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife and Illinois Department of Natural Resources have studies and research papers that have recently been published. These contain vital information for all those who enjoy the outdoors.

The Illinois Department Natural Resources and The Illinois Natural History Survey last week published the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and the 2013 – 2014 Illinois Waterfowl Hunter Report: Harvest, Season Preferences, and Digest Use. Capitol Outdoors recommends that you read both of these reports. Both are a hefty read but are worth your time and contain educational information.

SCORP isn’t the most exciting read but it “is an examination of Illinois’ outdoor recreation resources and needs”. “The purpose of the plan is to evaluate the outdoor recreation needs of Illinois citizens and determine how best to meet those needs”. SCORP breaks down information into various chapters regarding the natural resources, demographics, outdoor recreation supply and demand, priorities for outdoor recreation, and plan implementation. Earlier this year Capitol Outdoors attended Conservation Congress, which “was a valuable source of input for the DNR”. SCORP used the input from those that attended Conservation Congress for research purposes. It is important that outdoorsmen and women begin attending events and seminars like this to not only become more engaged, but to voice your opinions.
Now, as far as the 2013 – 2014 Illinois Waterfowl Hunter Report: Harvest, Season Preferences, and Digest Use goes; it seems like it is more geared toward waterfowl hunting and research obtained for that purpose. If you hunt waterfowl in Illinois we highly recommend reading this study. The objective was to “survey waterfowl hunters annually to determine their activities, harvest, characteristics, attitudes, and opinion”. This study is jammed packed full of information that will make you a more productive waterfowl hunter.

These are just two examples in the past week that a lot of outdoorsmen and women overlook. Part of being an outdoorsman/woman is to be involved. You hear it all the time, its not about how many geese you get or how big that buck was, but it’s about sitting in your boat enjoying the great outdoors. The most troubling part in both of these reads is the lack of involvement by the outdoor community.
A 46% response rate from waterfowlers in the annual survey is just unacceptable. We can and we must do better! Remember, there are organizations out there that want our way of life to cease to exist. If we can’t get half of our people to send in a survey that was mailed to their homes; how do we ever expect to be strong enough to stand and fight for our right to hunt and fish?

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors Good Luck and Stay Safe -
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Get the Kids Outdoors

Anyone I talk to remembers always playing outside as a kid.  "Come home when the street lights come on" or "Come home when it gets dark" is what I remember from growing up. Today's generation of children do not play outside as much as generations that came before them.  Recently, while driving home from a fishing trip we spotted two little boys playing in the mud at their home.  It was a great site to see as unfortunately, you never see children playing outside anymore.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Illinois Conservation Congress 2014

Illinois Conservation Congress 2014

This past weekend Capitol Outdoors attended Conservation Congress with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

"The mission of the Illinois Conservation Congress is to give the Illinois Department of Natural Resources constituencies a formal process to propose and advocate actions that can be taken by elected and appointed officials to protect and conserve the natural resources of the State of Illinois. The goal of Conservation Congress is to ensure through professional management that sustainable use, recreational opportunities and enjoyment of these resources is available for this and future generations. Conservation Congress began in 1993 and was modeled after the General Assembly to include representatives from various state interest groups. The process was discontinued in 2003, and then reconstituted in 2009. During the last convening of Conservation Congress in April of 2010, Governor Pat Quinn signed an executive order directing IDNR and Conservation Congress participants to develop proposals for funding clean water, land acquisition, and department operations and create programs to increase public recreational access. That direction served as the basis for the IDNR’s new sustainability package which passed out of the General Assembly and was signed by the governor in late 2012. The sustainability package will generate between $30-33 million per year in new revenue for the IDNR." (

Capitol Outdoors wanted to write a post about Conservation Congress to inform you all how important and educational it was. Over the past year the IDNR has had several regional meetings to discuss priorities to interested parties. They also have hosted several webinars in-which we have participated in. You can still watch these webinars by clicking here. The topics of concern were; Habitat Restoration & Protection, Land & Water Management, Outdoor Recreation, Partnerships to Promote Education & Volunteerism, and Communications.

On April 12 - 13, 2014 the Director of the IDNR Marc Miller hosted organizations from across the state; these organizations are wide ranging from environmental groups to outdoor recreational organizations. During these few days we worked together to help the IDNR prioritize their agenda.

That is why we write this today. Capitol Outdoors noticed the lack of involvement and numbers from outdoors men and women. This is another example of how we are being beaten at a grassroots level. During the Conservation Congress we voted on top priorities. For example in one of the breakdown units that Capitol Outdoors attended we listed where Conservation Police should spend most of their investigative time. Capitol Outdoors voted for Wildlife/Fish Investigations however, Environmental Investigations gained a larger percentage of the vote.  Now, I'm not saying that environmental protection is not important, but I just feel investigating those crimes regarding wildlife and fish are more important. Someone somewhere will say if we had more Conservation Officers in the field they would be able to cover more ground and do more investigating. It goes hand in hand, more Conservation Officers, more Investigating and More funding. The entire group voted on this as well and we overwhelming decided that the IDNR needs to hire more Conservation Officers. 

There you have it. Just one issue and it greatly affects us all.

All Capitol Outdoors is trying to say is next year outdoors men and women need to come to this event. You need to stay informed and let your voice be heard. Once we get more information, we will make sure to send it to all of our subscribers as well as our Facebook and twitter friends.

Remember to Enjoy the Outdoors, Good luck and stay safe.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hunting and Fishing Expos // Why attend?

Hunting and Fishing Expos // Why attend? 

We are always trying to learn new things and are trying to keep up to date on the new information coming into the hunting and fishing industry.  This is a great time to attend the many hunting and fishing expos that are happening all over the place. We have put together a list of the ones that are happening in the State of Illinois...check out the list here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Illinois Trumpeter Swans: Identify then Shoot

Illinois Trumpeter Swans: Identify then Shoot

The Illinois Waterfowl Digest booklet contains the rules and regulations for harvesting waterfowl. For example, page 7 contains the image below.  It is pretty self explanatory.

Illinois Waterfowl Digest

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2014 Illinois Outdoor, Hunting & Fishing Expos

2014 Illinois Outdoor, Hunting & Fishing Expos

Expo season is right around the corner and we will be attending many of the expos around the State of Illinois.

Here is a list of some of the expos we know that are coming up. We will be attending the ones that are starred**. Let us know if you have an expo that you would like us to add to the list:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Getting more people Involved

Getting more people Involved

Hunting season is here and Opening day of Waterfowl is right around the corner. It is this time that many of you are anticipating that first shot and watching the look in your dogs eyes as they go out for that retrieve.  But, what got you into hunting in the first place?  Was it your love for the outdoors, a tradition passed on through generations or something else?  It doesn't matter why you joined in on the sport of hunting, but now is the time that you should look back on how the sport is changing and what we as hunters and outdoorsmen and women can do about it.