In 2008, the DNR formed what was called Joint Legislative Task Force on Deer Population Control. That group made a final recommendation that the Illinois deer herd should be reduced by 13 percent, with the main measuring tool the number of deer-vehicle crashes. |
With that goal now mostly met statewide, the DNR is now looking at revisiting management of deer herd numbers.
"We want to get a gauge on where we're now at with the 2008 goal of deer-vehicle crash reduction met statewide," said Jim Herkert, director of the Office of Resource Conservation. "Some county numbers are up and some are down, but statewide, the goal has been met.
"So the big question is: how many deer do we want in Illinois? The main management tool we have is the number and kind of deer hunting permits to be issued. And we're looking for consensus among interested parties. Right now we're in the process of determining how to get the public involved and going through those details. As soon as we come up with a plan, we'll be letting folks know how we propose to do that."
- Morels and gobblers: Folks who hunt morel mushrooms (now in full swing) and folks who hunt turkey (starts next Monday) often do their thing in the same places. Problem can arise when both are there at the same time. I smile while recalling a turkey hunt several years ago that, just as I was starting to aim at an approaching gobbler ,a dog came bounding through the woods which caused the gobbler to make a hasty retreat. The happy dog was accompanying a mushroomer—who was trespassing.
My recommendation to morel hunters is to wear a blaze orange hat if heading to the woods before 1 p.m. — the close of turkey hunt hours in Illinois. And always keep in mind a rule at DNR facilities where hunting both are allowed — mushroomers cannot enter facilities until 1 p.m. until turkey hunting concludes, May 17.
2011 Hunting & fishing licenses: Last year's Illinois licenses expired March 31 -- 2012 licenses are available both on-line and at over the counter vendors.
- Hennipin Canal cleanup: The Friends of the Hennepin, the Illinois DNR and Rock River Development Authority will hold a canal cleanup on the afternoon of Saturday, April 22. These efforts have been ongoing since 1995. Canal Friends representatives will be at Lock 24, Geneseo. Lock 23, Atkinson and Lock 22, Mineral at 12:30 to get things going for the two-hour event. For complete information, call or email Cathy Foes (309) 751-7209 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2012 Deer permits: Illinois residents have until April 30 to apply online for firearm and muzzleloader season deer tags. Season dates are: Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 for firearm and Dec. 7-9 for smoke poles.
- NWTF scholarships: The Mississippi Valley Gobblers North chapter of the NWTF presented four $500 college scholarships to high school seniors at their recent fundraising banquet. Austin Ortiz of East Moline will be attending Black Hawk College to study business, Daltin Klavon of Port Byron will attend St. Ambrose University to study business, Amber Berge of Port Byron will attend Monmouth College to study public relations and Allison Smith of Port Byron is heading to Clark College in Dubuque to study business.
- Rabies and deer: An article in an outdoor publication spoke of a hunter in New York being treated for rabies due to contact with a harvested deer that was later diagnosed with rabies. I checked with a learned Illinois DNR biologist friend who in turned checked with additional Illinois departments who found no rabies cases involving deer ever reported in the Land of Lincoln.
Bob Groene is outdoors writer for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, he can be reached at email@example.com
East moline, IL Details
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