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Heartland Outdoors Forum | IWA + New DNR Director = 1st good thing to affect IL whitetails in a LONG time
 
   
 
IWA + New DNR Director = 1st good thing to affect IL whitetails in a LONG time
Posted: 04 March 2015 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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As the title of this topic points out, the hard work of the IWA in combination with a new DNR director who appears to care about the declining whitetail herd has the potential to be the first positive changes and effects on the IL whitetails in a long long time.  The following was posted on the IWA facebook account:

“Last week, IWA had a very positive meeting with IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. For the first time in a long while, we had a Director’s full, undivided attention for nearly two hours. He listened. And he came to us with ideas. It was nice to be able to just sit and talk about deer hunting with a Director who understands regular hunters. Jeff, Lee, and Kevin represented a diverse group from IWA, and were able to offer a lot of different perspectives on the status of deer hunting in IL. We had the chance to talk about different parts of the IWA proposal, and Director Rosenthal was interested in learning more about our ideas. At the end of the meeting, the last thing the Director said was, “We’ll do something to turn it around.” You can’t ask for anything more at this point.

At the top of our priority list is IWA’s concept of “Zone Management.” This plan would put counties into 3 different management zones based on where each county is compared to its population goal. The GROWTH ZONE (10% or more below the population goal) would be limited to 1 doe and 1 buck all weapons/seasons combined, with no additional antlerless-only season. The MAINTENANCE ZONE would have a limit of 2 bucks and 2 does across all weapons and no antlerless-only season. The REDUCTION ZONE (10% or more above the population goal) would also have a 2 buck limit, and would have extra antlerless-only permits available for purchase, as well as an additional antlerless-only season. This concept brings together many of the points of the original IWA plan, and has the benefit of having a wider range for county population goals before additional measures are taken to reduce or grow the herd in those areas.

Stay tuned for updates as we continue to work with IDNR and Director Rosenthal to push for some meaningful changes to IL’s deer management program”.

I am sure there will be a few that weigh in on this and disagree with some part of these comments, but that is human nature.  I will guarantee 95% of the IL hunters will be OK with this.

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Posted: 04 March 2015 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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CC, I have a good feeling on this guy…He sure as hell cant do any worse than what miller did…..

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Posted: 04 March 2015 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Totally good with this here in pike . Hope we are a growth zone . Awesome news

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Posted: 04 March 2015 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This is great to hear. I was hoping for a positive reception when IWA met with DNR under a new director. These sound like common sense proposals well worth implementing.

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Posted: 05 March 2015 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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CC   Any news of the deer herd being rebuilt is great news.  One thing to take into consideration on ZONES.  Nothing will matter unless permit numbers are regulated in the zones.  They will have to be managed based on permit numbers or the 2 buck zones will be flooded with the game hogs.  The 1 buck zones in time will turn into the trophy zones and outfitters will target these for high dollar leases.  There will be all kinds of things like this to look into if something like this is implemented.  I’m am all for change and I personally hope it is in permit numbers!  Thanks for the update..

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Posted: 05 March 2015 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Any hint from the Director that he is going to bring somebody new in for a fresh look and new approach?  Just can’t see Shelton and crew changing things around.

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Posted: 05 March 2015 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Great news.  How is the “population goal” determined?  Just curious because I believe the IDNR feels that Knox County is in good shape, but it’s actually in pretty bad shape.

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Posted: 05 March 2015 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Guys, I am in no way connected to the IWA and I do not have answers to questions.  I just read these comments on their FB page and thought the message was worth sharing.  If you have questions, you should contact them directly throught their website or FB page, which I have noticed, they are very good at responding.

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Posted: 05 March 2015 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sorry guys, I haven’t posted many IWA updates on Heartland Outdoors lately. People get tired of all the deer talk sometimes, so I’ve laid off for a while.  I could literally fill up HO’s pages with updates, but it gets to be a bit of overkill at that point.

Treehugger, we’d still be somewhat reliant on using DVA’s as in indicator.  I’m not saying those rates are perfect, because they aren’t.  But most county DVA data is showing exactly what hunters have been saying… that the deer herd is down at least a third of what it was in the peak.  The DVA rates trend down.  Harvest rates trend down.  Hunters are seeing fewer deer.  All of those things are trending the same for the most part.  You can even look at a CWD county and see how hard IDNR has hit them for harvest and their DVA rates have taken a nosedive… most times with a 60-70% decrease in the herd.  You can see the EHD trend (2012 & 2013) in the DVA data as well.

Then there’s a handful of counties that don’t add up.  I told Director Rosenthal that the biologists HAVE to spend more time analyzing the data, if the DVA data doesn’t look right.  At the Deer Classic last weekend, we had a guy from a specific county who wanted to see the history of his county.  When we looked at it, there were distinct trends in specific years.  It took all of 5 seconds for him to identify WHY the DVA rate went up drastically, and remained up since then.  That’s the kind of work that needs to be done by the IDNR biologists instead of just looking at the data and taking it at face value without digging into WHY it’s different than other counties.  I would put Knox County into that same category, although the harvest has trended up at the same rate as the DVA rate (until EHD impacted the harvest).

The main point to make with DVA rates is that they serve their purpose as a general indicator.  In my opinion, the margin of error is too great to be able to manage to one specific DVA rate in a given county.  One additional accident (over 2 years), or a minute change in the IDOT estimate of miles driven, could put a county into the late-winter season with unlimited permits for two years before IDNR would pull them out.  We need to make those goals into a wider target range (+/- 10%).  And we need to view DVA rates as one tool in the management toolbox.  When you see a big EHD outbreak, you don’t sit back and wait for 2 years to see what the DVA rate does before you make insignificant changes.  A recent INHS study shows that 94% of hunters didn’t report EHD-infected dead deer.  Instead of the ~3,000 reported in 2012, that’s AT LEAST 50,000 dead deer not reported.  That number climbs even higher if you consider that a big percentage of the deer that died from EHD weren’t even FOUND.  That’s something that biologists have to consider as well… in a TIMELY manner.  You can’t wait 2 years for DVA trends to tell you what you should already know… or what hunters are telling you In this case, the DVA rates were right in line with what hunters had observed. Imagine that… we weren’t all lying after all.

muzzyman, the “growth zones” would only be temporary.  As numbers rebound in those counties, they move up into the maintenance zones where you can take 2 bucks.  I don’t see how this would impact outfitting since the goal is to move the deer population in the right direction.  If the one buck counties start growing bigger deer… then I would assume the population is also back to a manageable level, which would put them in the maintenance zone.  The goal would be to get every county into that “sweet spot” and have reasonable doe limits as well as the normal 2 buck limit.

Mattg, based on 2013 data, Pike County would be in a growth zone.  But you have to get the biologists to look at their very own data!  In my opinion, it’s downright disgraceful what they’ve done to Pike County… more than doubling the agree-to population/DVA reduction goals.  They’ve been below theirpopulation/DVA goal for 4 straight years, yet IDNR won’t remove them from the late winter season… or slow down on the nuisance permits.  Pike is another great example of why DVA statistics do work sometimes.  It shows that Pike’s DVA rate (population) is down 46%.  Their harvest is down 43%.  Someone needs to ask the biologists if the number of nuisance permits they’ve issued is also at a 40%+ reduction!

Look us up at the Elmwood All-Outdoors Show this weekend.  I probably won’t be there until Sunday, but our booth will be staffed both days.  We’ll be glad to answer any questions we can.

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Posted: 07 March 2015 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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No matter who is running things, there is going to be a lot less money to go around, so having biologists “biologists HAVE to spend more time analyzing the data”  probably isn’t going to happen.

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May fortune smile on the foolish.

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Posted: 08 March 2015 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Rumor has it that Rauner has taken a page out of blago’s playbook and is sweeping ‘dedicated funds’ such as fish and wildlife funds, to put in the general fund.  blago and his cohorts did this not only with F & W funds, but a myriad of other funds, such as the highway funds, which ended up costing the state $millions in the long run.  If this is true, don’t look for any help coming in the way of added field biologists or number crunchers in Springfield.

On a side note, I noticed that according to payroll records, IDNR has 2255 employees.  This puts it only a few hundred shy of it’s all-time high headcount, pre-blago.  With the exception of Asian carp biologists and an outstanding selection for heading the waterfowl program, it has been rare to hire a biologist in either the fish or wildlife areas.  The forestry division is sadly almost non-existent.  Parks and wildlife areas are struggling along with site superintendents now covering multiple wide-spread sites, a logistical nightmare, still with less than skeleton staffs.  Where are all these employees?  Could it be that former governor quinn loaded the IDNR with a whole herd of ghost employees?  Well, of course, todd loyd-the fishing deputy director- and his Cook county successor are prime examples of that.
As Miller exited, touting the accomplishments of the quinn/Miller regime, I could think of two.  1) Reopening the half dozen or so closed sites.  2)  Getting rid of former acting director sam flood’s brat, scott, whose resume included sleeping in the office and making microwave popcorn.  I sincerely hope that when Rosenthal leaves, he has a longer list of accomplishments. 

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Posted: 09 March 2015 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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The latest copy of Outdoor News has an article stating that Rauner’s budget removes $5million from the DNR compared to the previous budget.

-Update: I guess depending on what you read, the budget cut could be 8 million.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-illinois-hunters-outdoorsmen-hope-for-ally-in-rauner-20150301-story.html

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