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

Friday, February 15, 2019

Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing the Right to Hunt & Fish Filed in Illinois

Each year thousands of bills and resolutions get filed in Illinois to become law.  Most of these bills get stuck in committee and never really gain any traction.  Bills, however, that have legislator support, constituent support or are overall popular, usually end up seeing movement.  However, popularity doesn't always stem from within the state and outside influence can also start the avalanche of support for a particular bill.  Let's take a look at one of the most recent House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Governor Pritzker Announces $28.9 Million in Grants for 89 Local Park Projects Throughout Illinois

Governor Pritzker Announces $28.9 Million in Grants for 89 Local Park Projects Throughout Illinois

OSLAD Grants Will Support Park Development and Open Space Land Acquisition in 29 Counties


SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker today announced $28.9 million in grants for 89 local projects that will help communities acquire open space and develop and improve recreational facilities throughout Illinois.

“Investments in Illinois’ local parks makes it easier for families and recreation enthusiasts to enjoy our state’s beauty and help their communities thrive,” Governor Pritzker said. “Parks projects will also create jobs, providing a boost to local economic development efforts in dozens of communities and spurring additional investment throughout the state.”

Monday, January 28, 2019

Over 150,000 Harvested Deer during 2018-2019 Seasons

That's a wrap for the 2018 - 2019 deer season.  Below you'll see the preliminary harvest numbers and information provided by the IDNR.  I would like to thank all those that contributed their pictures of their harvest.  

Illinois 2018-19 Deer Hunting Seasons Result in Preliminary Harvest of 151,577 Deer




SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 151,577 deer during all 2018-19 archery and firearm seasons, which concluded on Jan. 20. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 147,695 deer in 2017-18.

During the 2018-19 deer seasons, hunters took 45 percent does and 55 percent males.

Illinois Conservation Foundation Scholarships Now Available

Attention high school seniors, here is a great opportunity for scholarships.  If you hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors you need to apply.  Applications are due March 15, 2019.  See below for links and more information.
Image result for Illinois conservation foundation
Logo copied from Illinois Conservation Foundation 

High School Seniors Can Apply Now for an ICF Conservation Achievement Scholarship

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Applications are now being accepted by the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) for the 2019 Conservation Achievement Scholarship program. The ICF annually awards scholarships to outstanding high school seniors in Illinois who demonstrate effective, voluntary, long-term dedication to the preservation, protection or enhancement of the state’s natural resources. Up to three scholarships of $2,000 each are available for the current school year.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Fulton-Mason Eagle Day Saturday, February 2, 2019

Fulton-Mason Eagle Day

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 9:00am to 4:00pm

Free, donations accepted

Join us for the annual Fulton-Mason Eagle Day event. Activities include live raptor programs, hands-on activities and crafts for kids, and bird watching in various locations in Lewistown and Havana, Illinois. The event is free and for all ages.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Late Season Archery Harvest Numbers

Deer harvest totals stayed up the majority of the 2018 - 2019 season with 60% of the 57,237 taken by compound bow and 39% harvested by crossbows.  While there is still a time to fill those tags, hunters during last weeks harvest shot 75% does.  

Kellie with her mature buck from Macoupin County.  It scored 160 7/9.  Big congrats to Kellie on her harvest!
ARCHERY DEER SEASON
Through Tuesday, January 1, 2019, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 57,237 deer, compared to 55,599 for the same period in the 2017-18 season.

New Years Newsbits January 2019

Illinois DNR Newsbits – January 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Hunting Days Added to the Controlled Pheasant Season at Four IDNR Sites


Hunting Days Added to the Controlled Pheasant Season at Four IDNR Sites



SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is extending Controlled Pheasant Hunting seasons at four IDNR sites. Hunters can make reservations now for additional hunting opportunities.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

IDNR Announces 2018 Habitat Fund Project Grant Recipients

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the approval of more than $2.1 million in grants for 17 wildlife habitat projects through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program.

The program provides for enhancing game and non-game wildlife habitat through projects developed by not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities. Funding for the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program comes from the sale of Habitat Stamps to sportsmen.

The Illinois Habitat Fund Advisory Committee this fall approved $2,160,000 in funding for the 17 projects, which are outlined below. 
• National Wild Turkey Federation – A project to do habitat restoration work at Kincaid Lake, Little Cache River and Oakwood Bottoms in the Shawnee National Forest in partnership with U.S. Forest Service. $50,000 in state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $99,913 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project that funds a Wildlife Biologist position to provide consulting with local landowners in these counties: Jackson, Perry, Washington, Randolph, and Franklin with a focus on the Burning Star Quail Focus Area. $190,813 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $20,000 in matching funds.  
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A partnership project with the USDA to fund a one-time incentive payment to local landowners for their voluntary enrollment in the federal State Acres for Wildlife (SAFE) program as part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in these counties: Mercer, Henry, Bureau ,Stark, Marshall, Knox, Warren, Henderson, McDonough, Fulton, Peoria, Sangamon, Coles, Cumberland, Jasper, Richland, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Marion, Bond, Clinton, Washington, and Perry. $99,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $30,000 in matching funds. 
• Pleasure Drive Peoria Park District - The Peoria Park District (PPD) along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW), the Illinois River Valley Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter, and Illinois Farm Bureau are working to restore and enhance prairies and woodlands in Peoria County to improve habitat diversity for the federally endangered rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis, RPBB). In addition to the RPBB, this project will benefit the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and other native pollinator species, grassland songbirds, forest dwelling bird species, and overall ecosystem health. This partnership was awarded $60,945.10 in state Habitat funds to restore 43 acres of high diversity native prairie and enhance an additional 17.2 acres of existing prairie and woodland in Peoria County, with $63,8230 in grantee matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project designed for providing habitat restoration assistance for local landowners in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) affecting potentially 2,000 acres statewide. $105,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $40,000 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to fund a Habitat Specialist over several years to advise and consult with private landowners on habitat-friendly practices in a game bird habitat region of southern Illinois south of I-70. $60,500 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $210,000 in matching funds. 
• Winnebago Forest Preserve – The Winnebago County Forest Preserve District (WCFPD) along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW), local Pheasants Forever (PF) and Trout Unlimited (TU) chapters, and Illinois Farm Bureau are working to restore and enhance prairies and woodlands in Winnebago County to improve habitat diversity for the federally endangered rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis, RPBB). In addition to the RPBB, these projects will benefit the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and other native pollinator species, grassland songbirds, forest dwelling bird species, and overall ecosystem health. This is a project to restore 84.5 acres of high diversity native prairie and enhance an additional 299.5 acres of existing prairie and woodland in Winnebago County. Winnebago County has one of the highest concentrations of known RPBB populations in Illinois outside the Chicagoland collar counties. Grant project locations of these habitat restoration activities are at Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve, Severson Dells Forest Preserve, Stone Bridge Forest Preserve, Four Lakes Forest Preserve, and Kieselburg Forest Preserve. $90,860 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $114,521.53 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to fund Bonus Incentive Payments to local landowners for completing wildlife-friendly work on CPR and Non-CRP acreage in 20 Illinois counties that are game bird range areas. $121,220 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $40,800 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project designed for funding Farm Bill biologist positions providing consultative habitat restoration assistance for local landowners in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) affecting potentially 20,000 acres in these counties: Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Henderson, Warren, Knox, McLean, Livingston, DeWitt, Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell, Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Vermillion, Douglas, Moultrie, Shelby, Coles, Cumberland, Effingham, Jasper, Clay, Marion, Jefferson, Richland, Wayne, Hamilton, Lawrence, Edwards, Wabash and White. $180,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $540,000 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to fund habitat restoration work to set back woody succession adjacent to grasslands in the Grand Prairie and Southern Till plains of Illinois on both public and private lands. $28,908 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $9,720 in matching funds. 
• Winnebago Forest Preserve – A project to create Ferguson Prairie Pothole, a 1.3-acre seasonal pond attractive to waterfowl near the parking trailhead at the Calvin and Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve, a 529-acre property with 1.9 miles of Sugar River shoreline at the confluence with the Pecatonica River. A wetland reserve easement for 457 acres of the site is held by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS). According to local bird enthusiasts, the site is a major migratory bird stopover. The project goals are to create the wetland habitat close to parking for public enjoyment and exposure, especially for those with limited mobility, and to raise awareness and education of wetlands. $10,880 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $11,585 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project of buying habitat restoration equipment for volunteer chapters with habitat restoration workers in Winnebago, Stephenson, Brown, Piatt, Ford, McDonough, Kane, Coles, Cumberland, and Macon counties. $98,839 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $47,110 in matching funds.  
• Forest Preserve District of Will County (FPDWC) Braidwood Sands Area – This project will fund non-native invasive species control on 1,063 acres of the Braidwood Sands Area. The project reduces sassafras and oak tree and grub density in the savanna and removal of unwanted native trees from mesic prairie areas, removing excessive native shrubs from wet prairie/sedge meadow and marsh, and converts agricultural fields to prairie. The project proposes to over-seed prairie re-creations with local seed and perform butterfly surveys on Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve, Sand Ridge Savanna Nature Preserve, Kankakee Sands Forest Preserve and Wilmington Shrub Prairie State Nature Preserve. $112,200 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $244,850 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A project of habitat restoration of seasonal wetlands in Northeast Illinois to improve wildlife habitat diversity, water quality and flood protection in 20 wetland basins and 100 acres in these counties: Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Livingston, Kankakee, and Will. $195,305.25 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $120,824 in matching funds. 
• Quail and Upland Game Alliance – A project to buy a prescribed burn wildland fire water pump for assisting crews with prescribed burn areas in Logan County. $5,924 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $1,609 in matching funds. 
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – A partnership project with the IDNR for funding a five-person mobile Habitat Strike Team work crew for habitat restoration projects in west central Illinois. $695,942.59 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $649,000 in matching funds.  
• Pheasants and Quail Forever – a partnership project with the IDNR for funding the equipment and hauling trailer for a five-person mobile Habitat Strike Team work crew for habitat restoration projects in west central Illinois. $46,799.59 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $5,000 in matching funds. 

The grants through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program are competitive and are evaluated for their merit. Eligible recipients are limited to any appropriate not-for-profit organization or government agency that has the expertise, equipment and permission from the landowner (if applicable) to develop and/or manage wildlife habitat. “Appropriate Not-For-Profit Organization” means a not-for-profit corporation that is organized pursuant to the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 [805 ILCS 105], is in good standing as a not-for-profit corporation and is authorized to conduct affairs in Illinois with one of its purposes as stated in its Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws being the support, development, conservation or management of habitat for future generations, or wildlife rehabilitation.

Applications for the next round of grants through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program will be accepted beginning on January 1, 2019. Check the IDNR webpage at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/grants/Pages/Special-Wildlife-Funds-Grant-Program.aspx for more information.

This Information was provided by the Department of Natural Resources.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Illinois Receives Money From Michigan To Help Combat Asian Carp Problem

The Asian Carp problem is not just an Illinois problem.   Our neighboring states, like Michigan, Minnesota and Kentucky all fear these invasive species and the problem that they cause.   It's great seeing other states step up and look at the bigger picture, seeing that this problem affects them too. Governor Rauner needs to appreciate the support and take any help we can get at this time.  Yes, the issue is real and the problem can potentially be combated, but it is going to take a lot of work and other states cooperation to get this done.

 Below you'll see a a press release from Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois to Michigan: Put your money where the carp is

Michigan’s $8 million offer welcome, but should be put toward immediate efforts, not 10 years from now

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner said today that Illinois is happy to accept $8 million from the State of Michigan to put toward the fight to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes — provided the funds can be used now to advance the effort. Unfortunately, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s current offer of financial assistance isn’t applicable until 2028.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pheasant Hunters Will See Quotas Increase at Jim Edgar Panther Creek

It was just last week that I was fortunate enough to take a friend out hunting for his first pheasant hunt.  The action was great and of course there were a lot of laughs.  

Below you'll see a press release that a Illinois Department of Natural Resources State Wildlife Site will be increasing their quotas.  

Hurry spots will fill up fast.

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

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources today announced that the daily hunter quotas have been increased on the Controlled Pheasant Hunting Unit at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass Co. through the close of the hunting season on Sunday, January 13, 2019. Additional pheasants will be released at the site because of the hunter quota increase.

Linc on his last pheasant hunt spooked up all four of our birds.  

Hunters are encouraged to use the online Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation System at www.dnr.illinois.gov to secure permits. Reserved Permits ensure hunters will have the opportunity to hunt and further, ensure that the correct number of pheasants are released for each hunter trip. Standby Permits are also available for each hunt date, although standby hunting opportunities are limited.

To access the reservation system:

Click on "Hunt/Trap" on the IDNR Home Page
Then click on "Upland Game"
Then click on "Controlled Pheasant Hunting Permits, Hunting Areas, Regs, etc."

Hunters are reminded that the daily permit fee for the controlled pheasant program is $30 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters. The daily permit fee applies to each hunter. Daily permit fees are collected during the on-line application process for Reserved Permits or at the site hunter check station for Standby Permit hunters.

Completing a permit reservation online takes less than five minutes.

For complete details, check the controlled pheasant hunting website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Young Hunters Can Register Now for Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt

Young Hunters Can Register Now for Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt

Annual Youth Hunt is January 20-21, 2019 in Fulton County

Tyler and his dog Kimber on a successful early season goose hunt.
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Youth interested in participating in the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), may register now for the hunt scheduled for January 20-21, 2019.

December 2018 IDNR Newsbits

Here is the list of event dates and reminders from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

IDNR Newsbits - December 2018


Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits: Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 20, 2019. Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Monday, November 5, 2018

5th Round of Archery Season Harvest Shows Buck Increase

The preliminary numbers for the archery harvest totals are out and they are still above from last year, the difference of 682.  The rut is right around the corner, or in some of the circles I've been talking to their seeing bucks chase.  I can believe it, 61% of the harvest in the last 7 days were bucks.   Over all, more does have been harvested but, I think you'll see those numbers change here in the coming weeks.  Also, the orange army is coming.  Below you'll the report from the IDNR along with the county by county numbers. 
Here you can see two proud Illinois hunters.  Congrats to Gavin and Chase for their harvest! 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Claims Over 400 Illinois deer in 2018

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released the following information that EHD claimed more then 400 deer this year in Illinois.  The 432 cases from 49 different counties are at "EHD appears to be at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River, extending from Schuyler County to the southwest through Bureau County to the northeast".  If this rings a bell, Capitol Outdoors brought you a story about a potential EHD case at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.

EHD Outbreak in Illinois Claims More than 400 Deer

432 EHD reported cases from 49 counties so far in 2018


SPRINGFIELD, IL – As of October 29, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has received reports of 432 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in white-tailed deer so far in 2018.


EHD appears to be at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River, extending from Schuyler County to the southwest through Bureau County to the northeast. Peoria County has had the worst of it with 77 cases, followed closely by Fulton County with 71 cases.

Illinois Archery Turkey Harvest Numbers See Slight Increase

In the hunting, fishing and outdoor community there are so many niches.  Many of those cross, such has hunting and fishing in general.  However, there are those that specifically only hunt deer or in this case turkey.  While some of these may have been harvested through a deer hunt, it's great to see a healthy turkey population.  One of America's most successful conservation stories.

The preliminary numbers are out for the fall turkey.  Below you'll see that the numbers are up slightly but, the number that has me smiling is the consistency of the numbers over the five year average.  If you're interested you can check the county by county numbers HERE.


Through Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Illinois archery turkey hunters harvested a preliminary total of 348 turkeys, compared to 325 for the same period in 2017. The 5-year average harvest total for this time period is 316. 
The top counties for harvest were Cass (12), Jefferson (11), Pike (10), Macoupin (10), Lasalle (10), and Jackson (10). 
Harvest has consisted of 62% hens and 38% toms (205:127) 
(The Fall Archery Turkey Season opened on Oct. 1, 2018 and continues through Jan. 20, 2019)



November Reminders and Dates - IDNR Newsbits

IDNR Newsbits – Nov. 2018

November is a great time for hunting, fishing, leaf peeping, and just plan enjoying the outdoors

  • Remaining Firearm Deer Permits: A limited number of Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors through Dec. 2, or until quotas are exhausted. Find a vendor near you at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.aspx

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Loyola and Glenbrook South September Tournament Results

Seven boats took off in late September in a high school tournament on Liberty Lake in Libertyville, IL.  Loyola and Glenbrook South High School hit this private lake owned by the Hick's Family. John Hicks is one of the assistant coaches and parents of a senior at GBS. They provide student anglers with the opportunity to practice and compete against each other and other schools.


Seven boats total, four from GBS and three from Loyola participated in the 4 hour competition. Six boats weighed in fish at the end with some decent weight.  GBS finished 1st, 2nd and 4th while Loyola took 3rd place but also had the Big Bass at 3.68 lbs.  At this level every fish matters even if it's not a bass, anglers from Loyola caught  a 42" northern pike.


NICE GOING ANGLERS!!!
Top Three teams were:
1. Nick Schaefer, Aiden Osakada and Riley Racana - GBS Boat 1: 2.31 lbs BB and 10.14 lbs total
2. Joe Winandy, Tommy Gebien and Evan Hartshorne - GBS Boat 2: 1.87 lbs BB and 7.65 lbs total
3. Patrick Gunnison, John Daguinsin and Nick Lovcik - Loyola Boat 2: 3.68 lbs BB and 7.25 lbs total

  • Total Tournament Results 
    • GBS Boat 1: 2.31 lbs BB and 10.14 lbs total
    • GBS Boat 2: 1.87 lbs BB and 7.65 lbs total
    • Loyola Boat 2: 3.68 lbs BB and 7.25 lbs total
    • GBS Boat 3: 1.82 lbs BB and 7.12 lbs total
    • Loyola Boat 1: 1.54 lbs BB and 4.65 lbs total
    • Loyola Boat 3: 2.62 lbs BB and 4.6 lbs total

Story submitted by: Justin Zummo, Coach for Glenbrook South High School

Monday, October 29, 2018

4th Round of Archery Deer Hunting Harvest Numbers above Last Year

The preliminary numbers for the 4th week of the archery deer harvest are out and the numbers are still ahead of last years numbers.   Bucks are on the move, 47% of the deer shot in the last week were bucks.  Also, 60% of the deer harvested this year have been by compound, 39% by crossbows and 1% by traditional bows.   You can read the full report from the IDNR as well as the county by county comparison below. 

This buck was shot last year here here in Illinois by our friend Jason. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bobcat Hunters and Trappers Can Check Permit Application Status Online

Bobcat Hunters and Trappers Can Check Permit Application Status Online


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The results of the 2018-19 Illinois Bobcat Hunting and Trapping permit lottery are now available online through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) website. Applicants can check the status of their application at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/furbearer/Pages/BobcatPermitLookup.aspx.

More than 5,000 hunters/trappers applied for bobcat permits, and 1,000 permits will be issued.