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

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:

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:

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.

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Gov. Rauner announces $1.5 million in Recreational Trails Program grants

Gov. Rauner announces $1.5 million in Recreational Trails Program grants

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced nearly $1.6 million dollars has been awarded for recreational trail development projects in 11 Illinois communities, helping them meet the growing demand for improved trails and outdoor recreation facilities.

“These projects will help provide safe places for children and families, hikers, bike riders and horseback riders to enjoy the outdoors,” Rauner said.

Funding for the grants is supported by the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which provides up to 80 percent reimbursement to local grant recipients for the cost of the trail projects. Grant recipients provide the balance of the funding for the projects.

The RTP grant program in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

“We are pleased to partner with the local government sponsors of these trail construction, improvement, and maintenance projects that will benefit trail users in communities throughout the state,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal.

“These projects are going to add to the state’s impressive collection of trails and strengthen multimodal connections in several of our great communities,” said IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Not only will they improve transportation, but they will also enhance the quality of life for residents and families.”

Grants may be awarded for the acquisition of land from willing sellers, trail construction and rehabilitation, purchase of equipment for trail development and maintenance, restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail use, construction of trail-related support facilities (such as parking and restrooms), and educational programs.

The projects were recommended for funding by the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council, composed of representatives of statewide motorized and nonmotorized trail user organizations, statewide agency organizations, organizations involved in greenways and trails, and metro-area greenways and trails coalitions.

Recreational Trails Program grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are listed below.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants

City of Aurora (Kane County), $140,000 for replacement of a crumbling concrete staircase which connects the south end of the East Branch of the Fox River Trail with New York Street in downtown Aurora. The Fox River Trail extends nearly 60 miles from Oswego north to near the Wisconsin border. The city will install a metal stairway to replace the concrete steps.

City of Charleston (Coles County), $76,100 for trailhead improvements related to the existing 12-mile Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail. Includes the development of new concrete parking with an accessible parking area at Country Club Road, new concrete parking with accessible parking at Decker Springs Road, and new concrete parking with accessible space at the TGM elevator entrance.

Cook County Forest Preserve District, $200,000 for repairs to the underpass at 119th and LaGrange Road and repair of the adjacent trail in Palos Hills. The underpass is on an 8.1-mile trail loop and has a stone aggregate surface. This loop connects to the 20-mile Sag Valley Trail System, which also connects to the 40-mile Palos Trail.

DuPage County Forest Preserve District, $200,000 to construct .6 miles of equestrian/multi-use trail along the northern boundary of St. James Farm. The trail will expand the preserve’s equestrian recreational opportunities and provide links to an existing carriage walk along Winfield Road and to a future trail through Cantigny Park.

Macon County Conservation District, $180,800 to repair three bridges spanning the Sangamon River and Stevens Creek. Wood material used in bridge construction is reaching the end of its useful life and is in need of replacement, while embankment settling and scour erosion require regrading and riprap replacement. The project will replace deteriorated wood and fencing and reshape the bridge embankment.

Village of Mahomet (Champaign County), $98,000 for a concrete trail south from the parking lot through 120 yards of bottomland forest. The launch site will include a small overlook with a bench, interpretive signage, and a turnaround to accommodate visitors with disabilities. The launch will create a concrete ramp with an incline to water level for kayak and canoe launching.

Prairie State College District 515, (Cook County), $135,800 for a 1-mile walking trail. The trail loop will be located in a 30-acre nature preserve.

Rockford Park District, (Winnebago County), $104,000 to develop a 1.2-mile trail at Alpine Hills Adventure Park to provide a unique year-round “gateway” trail for beginner level mountain biking.

Shabbona Township, (DeKalb County), $72,000 for acquisition of approximately 5.7 acres of dedicated right-of-way through purchase, land donations or through intergovernmental agreements between the applicant and four other public bodies. This strip of land will be used to provide 2.5 miles of new paved path connecting the Village of Shabbona to other outdoor recreational opportunities.

Southern Illinois University – Touch of Nature Center, (Jackson/Williamson counties), $200,000 to construct a 5-mile multi-use mountain bike trail that will eventually be part of a 30-mile park. These trails will be natural surface and primarily built by removing the top layer of soil. They will be easily accessible to mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners, but built with mountain biking as the intended primary use.

Village of Tinley Park (Cook County), $192,000 to address the maintenance needs of the existing 2.5-mile multi-use trail which will include patching, resurfacing and restriping the path. Maintenance activities also include minor drainage improvements, small culvert replacement, ditch regrading and landscape restoration.

Application forms for the next round of grants are available by contacting the IDNR Division of Grant Administration, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, or by calling 217-782-7481, TDD 217-782-9175, Ameritech Relay 800-526-0844, or on the IDNR website at The annual deadline to submit an RTP application is March 1.

Waterfowl Hunters Wanted for Macoupin County IRAP Location

Capitol Outdoors received the information below from the IDNR and had to share it. Earlier this year we attended a press conference where we had the privilege of talking to participants of IRAP.  This is a great program, with a great success rate, so if you are interested you better get your applications in!

IDNR Seeks Waterfowl Hunters for Macoupin County Public Access Site

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Looking for a place to duck hunt? Look no further than the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP). Through an agreement with a private landowner, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has secured a waterfowl hunting site through IRAP and is making it available to licensed hunters for the months of November and December.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fall Wrap-up of the Illinois High School Bass Fishing League

Earlier this summer Capitol Outdoors was informed about a bass tournament league that was formed to give high school anglers a true series to compete in. This isn't your average bass fishing league.  In it's second year, it has seen some major sticks compete in the series.  Below you'll see a wrap up by John Whelan on this fall season.  


Fall Wrap-up

The Illinois High School Bass Fishing League, closed out its fall series this past Sunday (September 30, 2018) on Clinton Lake, the fall series consisted of three tournaments, that teams fished accumulating points to determine a overall series Champion, the series brought together some of the very best High School teams in the state, several State Champion teams and anglers with National level experience battled it out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October 2018 IDNR Newsbits and Happenings

As leaves begin to change and winter being right around the corner, October is the perfect month to get outside with the family.  What is happening this month?  Well, check out this month's Newsbits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. While there are several reminders in regards to season dates, etc. there are some family fun filled adventures planned this month as well.  One event that is not listed is the Fall Inland Trout Release on October 20th.  This is a perfect adventure to introduce kids and adults to fishing.  Also, make sure to read this month message form Director Rosenthal.  

Waterfowl season starts this month learn more about it here.

IDNR Newsbits – October 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Special Firearm Deer Hunt for Persons with Disabilities at Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area on Nov. 8 and 9

Special Firearm Deer Hunt for Persons with Disabilities at Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area on Nov. 8 and 9

Hunters can apply through October 19

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host a new firearm deer hunt for persons with disabilities on November 8 and 9 at Johnson-Sauk Trail State Recreation Area in Henry Co.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Applications Available for Special Firearm Deer Hunt for Persons with Disabilities at Spoon River State Forest on Oct. 13-14

Applications Available for Special Firearm Deer Hunt for Persons with Disabilities at Spoon River State Forest on Oct. 13-14

Deadline to apply via email is October 6

VICTORIA, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will host a firearm deer hunt for persons with disabilities on October 13 and 14 at Spoon River State Wildlife Area in Knox Co.

Prospective hunters may apply for the hunt by submitting an application via email to no later than October 6, 2018. The application is available at this link:

Sunday, September 23, 2018

U.S. Department of Commerce Report Shows the Outdoor Industry has a $731 Billion Impact on Economy

Hunters and anglers on Capitol Hill are welcoming the release of the first government statistics on the outdoor industry as a contributor to the U.S. Economy.  This may sound familiar to you, we reported about the passing of Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act back in 2016.

A federally funded report by the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce was released on September 20, 2018 by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  In this report  the BEA published that the outdoor industry has a U.S. GDP contribution of 2.2 percent and a economic impact of $731 billion.  

Capitol Outdoors has said it before along with countless other organizations, hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts are a huge part of the economy in the United States.  Shopping, hotels the list goes on and on.  Outdoors people now have federal numbers to back up our statements.  

"This economic contribution level is greater than other key economic sectors, including the mining, utilities and chemical products manufacturing industries. In addition, with 4.55 million jobs, the outdoor recreation sector generates similar employment as other major job creators in the United States, including hospitals, transportation and warehousing and educational services." ASA

According to the BEA report boating and fishing contribute over $36 million of gross output and is the largest of all the outdoor activities. Hunting, shooting and other activities contribute nearly $14 million.

The full report issued by BEA can be found here.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Archery Harvest Restrictions for Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt Counties for First 15 Days

Reported first on Capitol Outdoors back in January at the 1st Quarter NRAB meeting, the IDNR is prohibiting the archery harvesting of antlerless deer for the 2018 - 2019 season.  "Antlered deer; are deer that have at least one antler that is three or more inches in length."  During the first 15 days of the season archery hunters in Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties will not be allowed to harvest anterless deer.  This regulation is being implemented to grow the deer herd in these counties since numbers have dropped below current adopted goals for those counties.  Please see below for the official press release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  

IDNR Prohibiting Archery Harvest of Antlerless Deer Oct. 1-15 in Five East-Central Illinois Counties

Intended to Help Boost Deer Herd in Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt Counties

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

IDNR Wants You to Report Suspected Cases of EHD in Deer

Many of you may have seen my post on Instagram where while fishing I came across a deer floating in the water.  I wasn't sure if it died by drowning or by EHD.  I remembered each year that these reports come out regarding Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.  I did what we all should do, I emailed the IDNR about a possible case and I've yet to be contacted.  As of today (9-19-2018)  the deer carcus is still in the water.  

This is the deer I came across at Jim Edgar Panther Creek. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pittman-Robertson Fund Modernization Bill Passes U.S. House

Since 1937 an excise tax has been placed on outdoor related products in regards to hunting.  Hunters may know it as the Pittman-Robertson Act and this program was so successful in the 1950s Congress enacted the Dingell–Johnson Act.  Regardless of what you call it now, this is hunting and fishing conservation at it's best.  Money collected is given to the Secretary of the Interior and then divided among the states using a formula that takes into account both a state's size and number of licensed hunters. In 2018, Illinois received over $22.9 million from these funds. 

United States Capitol Building
United States Capitol Building 
Photo Credit: Capitol Outdoors

On September 12, 2018 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2591, the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow's Needs Act of 2017, on a voice vote.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area WIngshooting Clinic Sept. 22 - 23

Hunters Wingshooting Clinic at the Des Plaines SFWA
Sept. 22-23

WILMINGTON, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the IllinoisConservation Foundation are sponsoring a Hunters Wingshooting Clinic on Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23 at the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area near Wilmington.

The Hunters Wingshooting Clinic at the Des Plaines SFWA in Will County consists of two 4- hour wingshooting sessions each day. Morning sessions run from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, and afternoon sessions run from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The clinic sessions are taught by instructors certified by both the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) and the IDNR. The clinics are designed primarily to improve the wingshooting skills of hunters. Hunters interested in improving their ability to hit moving targets with a shotgun are encouraged to attend. However, these wingshooting clinics are not limited only to hunters. Adults who want to learn to shoot a shotgun, or who want to improve their shotgun shooting ability, can attend. Young hunters and young clay target shooters that are at least at the novice shotgun shooting skill level will benefit by attending as well. Shotgun shooters who just want to experience shooting an interesting sporting clays course can also attend. In addition, participants will have a fun time shooting with friends or new acquaintances with similar shooting abilities.

Hunters Wingshooting Clinics are hands-on and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on a specially-designed sporting clays course. For the two-day clinic, the sporting clays course will be set up on that part of the Des Plaines SFWA east of Interstate 55. The clay target presentations represent typical hunting scenarios. From ducks and doves to pheasants, quail and rabbits, hunters will find clay target presentations that resemble their favorite, as well as their most troublesome, shots. Since upland game, woodcock and waterfowl seasons will be right around the corner, there will be presentations typical of upland game and waterfowl hunting, as well as the elusive woodcock, to provide an opportunity for hunters to tune-up their shooting skills.

The participant-to-instructor ratio is four to one. Typically, participants are matched with others of similar shooting ability. There will be a short (approximately 10-15 minute) briefing about shotgun safety, shotgun handling and on-range safety protocols at the start of each session. Advanced registration is required, and the fee for a session is $30 per person. Registration forms for the IDNR/Des Plaines SFWA Hunters Wingshooting Clinic can be accessed at: . Click on the dates for the clinic to access the appropriate forms. Follow the instructions on the forms.