Illinois’ muzzleloader deer hunting: Ordinary harvestContinue reading.
Illinois hunting: Strong deer advocacy group formed & meet Miller
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.–The Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo started Friday at the Prairie Capital Convcention Center, but the big news in Springfield was the meeting of the Illinois Whitetail Alliance with IDNR officials, including director Marc Miller.
I tried to tie together the two in my Sunday column on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
I think it is important to note the IWA is a real group, not just deer hunters bitching in chat rooms. Look at who is behind it and you will see what I mean.
Restoring deer hunting in Illinois and balancing all the competing interests is a tough thing, but I think it is a damm good thing to have a strong group on the hunters’ side.
And I the group seems to have more than the interest of trophy hunters at its core. Though we all dream of a buck such as the one above.
The IWA has a Facebook page started and going here.
Here is the press release from Kevin Chapman:
Alliance forms to tackle deer management issues
A group of Illinois deer hunters formed the “Illinois Whitetail Alliance” to promote proactive deer management in Illinois. This group met with Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) officials and presented a plan for deer management changes on the heels of a record harvest drop during the 2013 deer season and eight consecutive years of decreased deer numbers. The proposed changes would help offset several years of overharvest from liberal seasons and bag limits, and loss of deer due to disease.
Alliance member Brent Manning, a past director of the IDNR, congratulates the current IDNR for their recent announcement of possible future regulation changes. However, Manning adds, “Many other recommendations have been made with the best interest of Illinois’ deer herd in mind. The entire Alliance proposal is well thought out, and deserves serious consideration. We look forward to future meetings with IDNR officials to continue the discussion that was started today.”
Kevin Chapman, a past president and legislative liaison for Illinois Bowhunters Society, said, “Many in the Alliance have been involved with Illinois deer management issues for over 20 years, and have witnessed the rise and fall of Illinois deer hunting. Most hunters are passionate about the future of one of the state’s greatest natural resources. That’s why some of the best deer management ideas in the past have come from the hunting public.”
Members of the Alliance hope to gain support by presenting their ideas at the upcoming Illinois Deer Classic in Springfield on February 22 and 23 (4:30pm and 11:00am, respectively), and the Elmwood All-Outdoors show on March 2 at 12:30pm. Hunters are encouraged to attend. Also, the Alliance requests that hunters call their local legislators in support of the following Alliance proposals to help restore Illinois’ deer herd back to acceptable levels:
- Enact an immediate five year moratorium on any new legislation or administrative rule change that could result in the expansion of any deer hunting season, add any additional weapons, or increase the deer harvest in any way. After five years, an independent review of the deer management program would be performed by a qualified source.
- Reduce the pressure on the overall deer harvest, particularly on female deer, by implementing the following:
- Eliminate the current late winter deer season (LWS)
- Move all future antlerless-only (A-O) seasons to mid-September
- Implement a one-buck and one-doe limit in counties where an additional A-O season is not needed
- Eliminate all over-the-counter (OTC) gun permit sales, and OTC archery sales after November 1st
- Implement a statewide one-buck limit, all seasons combined.
- Implement new regulations on non-resident (NR) permits including an immediate elimination of the OTC A-O permit, unless the NR has purchased a regular combo permit.
- Enact stricter penalties for deer hunting violations that involve “willful intent” which would result in a two-year suspension of hunting privileges for the first offense, five-year suspension for the second offense, and permanent loss upon the 3rd offense.
The Illinois Whitetail Alliance consists of Manning and Chapman listed above, along with Les Davenport, an avid outdoorsman who has hunted whitetails in IL for 51 years and has been a national outdoor writer for 25 years; Don Higgins, a whitetail habitat consultant with experience throughout the Midwest, nationally recognized outdoor writer, and past director of Illinois Bowhunters Society; and Lee Mitchell, a biologist/forester with twenty years of experience in wildlife and habitat management who has bowhunted for 30 years.
The Alliance is dedicated to proactive management ideas based in science; ones that are fair and equitable to all deer hunting stakeholders.