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OUT OF STATE HUNTERS AND RICHEY RICH TAKING OVER
Posted: 08 December 2016 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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When I started deer hunting in 1991 you could find private land to hunt without much trouble. Today hunting in Illinois is very different. Where I live in the southern part of the state all you have to do is take a drive around public hunting areas and prime private land. You will see license plates from southern and eastern states everywhere. Most farmers now realize they can charge huge amounts of money for hunting privilege’s. Outfitters are controlling more and more land every year leaving residents with fewer and fewer opportunities to hunt prime land. In my opinion deer hunting in Illinois is becoming a rich mans game. Almost all the farms I used to hunt are leased by outfitters or out of state hunters now. We are losing hunters every year because people are frustrated by a lack of access to quality land. Forget about public hunt areas unless you have the time to get WAY back from parking areas because the out of state army is everywhere. The IDNR has to realize that our deer hunting future is in jeopardy. Who are all these outfitters catering too? Out of state hunters that’s who. While we have no control over the town doctor who has the money to lease 1000 acres for himself the dnr can limit the number of non-resident hunters. If the trend of few hunters on large tracts of private land who only shoot large bucks continues we are headed down a dark road in Illinois. Oh how I wish deer hunting was still like it was 20 years ago but it is sad to say the best days for your average Illinois resident hunter are gone. Probably FOREVER

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Posted: 08 December 2016 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I agree that land is very difficult to access, but much of it has to do with lack of respect hunters have for accessing land.  I ma very fortunate to hunt 3 very good pieces of property in three excellent counties.  I have developed these relationships with the landowners over the last 20 years.  At the start the landowners had other hunters on their property, however all but one I have exclusive access to.  This has been obtained from taking on work for the land owners, not just your casual fly by night help, but actually help: Painting of their homes and family members homes, cutting and splitting of fire wood, mowing acreage, utmost respect for the PRIVILEGE granted by landowner. Holiday gifts.  I now consider these landowners more than friends, they treat my small children as family members and encourage me to have them out fishing and hunting as much as often. None of thew landowners expect or ask for any work to be done - you need to be actively looking and listening, and take it upon yourself to get things done.  One farmer has made it clear that he is the one that now feels guilty about the work I do, however my enthusiasm   and desire to do it comes across as respectful and not grudgingly, I don’t do near the work as I used to, but will never stop nurturing these relationships.  I also do not take lots of people out hunting on their proprieties. Believe it or not it is difficult to find people willing to work, and treat landowners better than family members.  I have one person i take deer hunting and he was kicked off all proprieties for a few years for lack of effort put into fostering the relationships I have built. most people hear thanks, but you don’t need to do all this and fail to realize that neither do they.  One needs to be willing to do more than is expected in order to have access today.  I spent plenty of time hunting public, I still do on occasions to give proprieties a rest,  hunt with other people, and just a change. My problem with hunting public is not spending the time to learn the proprieties like i used to, the respect the average person on public has forth their fellow hunter, and the fact so many shot animals without regard to herd size. Many of our public lands have been suffering the most - and unfortunately it will continue until people stop the over harvesting for particular areas.  On one piece of private property, I saw 27 different deer(most anyways that I could tell based on location and pattern of travel) on the sat evening of the first shotgun season.  Started at 1:00 and saw deer until i got out. Even though I saw so many and my buddy saw 9 different deer - we only took one doe of the propriety. Prior to blue lounge it was not uncommon to see 40 deer in one particular field ever night, 15 to 20 is now considered excellent, and it has taken 5 years to get back to that. So my point is one needs to look at the heard in relation to geographical areas, public verses private, and the ways surrounding property owners hunt their land and adjust your practices based on that.  Every single hunter has an impact rather public or private in helping the area reestablish a robust deer heard.  If you our unhappy with you current situation - one might need to knock on a few hundred doors, i still believe land is available, just need to put in enough work and have the correct attitude.

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Posted: 08 December 2016 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Did you say treat landowners better than your family? Your priorities are WAY off track. If you paid attention to my post I said I lost my spots to outfitters and out of state hunters who PAY to hunt. Also I work at least 50 hours a week and rotate all 3 shifts every 2 weeks. With a wife and three children no I can not afford to PAY to hunt. That is why I say it is becoming a RICH MAN sport.

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Posted: 08 December 2016 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I am sorry you take offense to my reply. I made no ill remarks to you or attempted to disrespect you in manner. Have you ever heard of a metaphor? or the saying if you borrow something, treat it better than you would if it is yours.  Obviously, family comes first. If i was wealthy, I would own my own property, and I also work and have two small children.  I have lost hunting rights to family owned property, that leased to very wealth people.  I hunt on family owned land, and also respect and appreciate the privilege, however I DO GO OUT OF MY WAY MORE FOR ACCESSES NON-FAMILY PROPERTY.  Just gained access to a new piece of property in Pike County, 13 miles North of a great piece of property we hunt in a neighboring county, and 30 miles south of a piece we have in the same county.  It took us “3” years before we were given the green light to deer hunt, however in the three years leading up to that opportunity, we did work, made visits, and built a relationship. We have gained access by starting with access for say mushroom hunting, looking for arrow heads, small game hunting, and fishing.  Once we have our foot in the door, we do our best to build a solid relationship and over time hope we have broader access rights.  I wish you luck and hope your present situation changes.  Nothing more frustrating than not being able to do something you love, angry and people with more than you, and making accuses for not having a place to hunt.

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Posted: 08 December 2016 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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May a thousand hunters from Georgia invade your hunting areas. But have a nice day.

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Posted: 09 December 2016 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It’s not 1991, it is almost 2017.  If you are looking for free when it comes to hunting I would sell your stuff and pick a new hobby.

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Posted: 10 December 2016 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Its a money game now and for those who dont have it…....Hunt hard or go home. Hell will freeze over when i pay 3,000 to hunt anywhere…You have to put more time into the public land hunts but it can be done….Guess it depends on how much you want to fill that tag.

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Posted: 13 December 2016 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m a NR who has no problem finding places to hunt for “free” each year in Illinois. AND the NR hunters are down in visiting your state. They never sell all the combo tags each year, and it has been selling less in last three years. Basically you have to hunt to find areas not flooded with people and find deer to harvest. We, my son, son-n-law, and myself, generally fill our combo tags each year, and that’s not taking young deer. I see in general so much animosity toward NR hunters in most Illinois web sites, I guess there are some NR who are unethical. Our group respect your state, its law’s, and its hunters. Actually we very seldom see anyone hunting around us. And I know and understand I have no right to say, but your unlimited doe tags, EHD/blue tongue, and preditors, are what is reducing your deer herd. Of course, I did read the article about the insurance companies basically running your DNR. As far as “pay to play”, it is in every state, money is the driver. You have a fine state to hunt in, great properties that are “free”, and we look forward each year in returning. And WhitetailFreak, I agree, I will not pay to play anywhere, except for the license & tags.

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Posted: 13 December 2016 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t see an issue for people that consider deer hunting their #1 recreation priority.  If you want it, you will make it work.

The issue with today’s deer hunting situation is for the people that enjoy deer hunting, but it isn’t #1 on their list.  I’m a duck hunter.  I’ve spent lots of dollars and lots of days chasing ducks.  While I would like to hunt deer in Illinois, I don’t have an easy and cheap place to go, so I don’t hunt deer.  It is easier and cheaper for me to hunt my uncles ranch in Montana for mule deer than it would be for me to lease land here in Illinois for whitetail.

There are a lot more folks like me then there are #1 priority folks.  And deer hunting in general needs folks like me.  For political support, for conservation organization dollars, and to raise future outdoors folks.

So my message to all you hard core deer hunters is to remember that you need us.  Think about out things from our point of view when you are trying to educate.  I completely admit, most of the “if its brown its down” folks come from my group.  But calling us names and belittling us isn’t helping the big picture.

Just my two cents.

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Posted: 13 December 2016 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hunt, I was hoping too raise my boy to be a deer killing machine…Not..He would rather waterfowl hunt than be in a stand. He does deer hunt but his true passion is ducks and geese.

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Posted: 14 December 2016 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I use to do nothing but traditional bow hunt - however I have became a duck hunting junkie!!  I still enjoy deer hunting - but duck hunt more - I was never intending to offend or call names, however i still think it possible to do both with out paying huge sums of money.  With the money spent on waterfowl - I could probably buy a piece of property and afford the monthly payment. Will be in the little snowy mt. of Mt. next year for a elk/whitetail hunt. love MT. best friends father in law has an 8,000 acre ranch - he puts up the wall tent and serves as my guide - paid for his deer tag to come to IL = he could have shot numerous deer but was noting going to just shot a deer to kill one - saw a few nice ones that did not present shots - but we had a blast - he will repay me when I head out West.

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Posted: 14 December 2016 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I am IL resident I have hunted in Pike county IL since I was 7 years old with my dad and uncle. When I was 23 years my uncle talk me into buying 425 acres of land 225 is tillable and rest is timber back then for 1750.00 a acre. I thought he was crazy but with his help I did. Now 27 years later. I still own it and my uncle still enjoy coming and hunting at the age of 79 along with couple of his buddies and they are all out of state hunters.They all buy bow and gun tags and they are very very respectful to hunting my land and don t just shot anything. 20 years ago I was approached by Gentlemen from Missouri looking for a place to hunt and was willing to pay for him and his 2 young kids. After talking with him over the next few months and getting to know him better I invited him and his 2 boys to come open weekend to bow hunt with me and my son. He was very excited to come up and ask how much I said its on me. It was the best thing I have ever done, now 20 years later I have never charged him a dime. they respect my land as it is there own and have never ask to bring some else to hunt with them, all 3 of them always shot a doe first before they will shot a buck and the smallest buck to date they have shot is a 130. This year his oldest son now 33 brought his 10 year old son for his first time. His first night out he sat with me in a double stand and after about a hr in the stand we had a nice 8 pointer 130 class come out and was less than 20 yards giving him a perfect shot but he did not shot after he walked away i ask why he didn’t shoot and he said that he was told he had to shoot a doe first. when we got down I told him thanks for respecting my land but I want you to shoot what ever he wants for his first IL deer. 2 days later with him and his dad sitting in the same stand we were in a couple days early he shot that 8 pointer. I don’t know who was more excited him,his dad or me for him. I have been approached many times since then by outfitters and other people wanting to lease my land to hunt and have been offer big money to do so but its not about money its about friendship and family to me. He and his 2 boys and his 2 grand kids spend about 2 weeks over the spring and summer helping me do thing on the land and the cabin. I do have some friends from IL that gun hunt there and when i ask them if they can come give me some help for weekend its like pulling teethe. I believe in paying it forward and it has came back to me and my family a thousand times over by doing this.

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Posted: 14 December 2016 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Big John…Thank-u for your story. There are still afew good guys left like yourself….Very few but some!!!!!!!

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Posted: 14 December 2016 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Good on you John.  You sound too far away or I’d be looking to be your friend.

I figure the easiest and cheapest way for me to get a decent deer hunting situation is to meet someone who is a die hard deer hunter that likes to hunt ducks.

This magical future friend would let me sit in one of there stands for a weekend in exchange for sitting in my boat blind for a weekend or two.  I already have pulled this off once.  Pretty sure both of us had a good time with the exchange

I took a quick count and I’ve had at least 2 dozen different people in my boat blind so you’d think I’d be more successful with this approach.  Apparently I need to find better duck hunting partners smile

In all honesty, I really shouldn’t complain.  Pretty much nobody has enough time and money to do everything they would like to do.  I have been lucky enough to chase ducks in multiple states, and I’ve taken an elk, mule deer and antelope out west.  A lot of people just find it strange that for as big of an outdoorsman/hunter as I am, my sister has killed more whitetails with her minivan than I have have with a gun.

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Posted: 14 December 2016 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Theres something special about being in a duckblind with good friends. Hot breakfeast, coffee, and tons of laughs and jokes…..

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Posted: 16 December 2016 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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WhitetailFreak - 14 December 2016 10:11 PM

Theres something special about being in a duckblind with good friends. Hot breakfeast, coffee, and tons of laughs and jokes…..

If deer hunting was a movie, it would be Jeremiah Johnson, hopefully without the Indian attacks.  Aloneness and solitude.
If waterfowling was a movie, it would be Animal House, without the drinking till after the hunt.  Camaraderie, joking and cooking in the blind/pit.

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