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Heartland Outdoors July 2017 cover catfish flathead rend  lake


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Heartland Outdoors

Free Workshops

Sat, July 29, 2017

A new program developed by the Illinois Natural History Survey with support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources aims to encourage more adults to hunt. The Hunter Recruitment Program is offering a series of free workshops around the state, giving new hunters an opportunity to learn from experienced mentors and to get hands-on experience hunting for deer, turkey, squirrels, pheasants, ducks, geese and other game.

Hunting is important to both the economy and ecosystems of Illinois. INHS human dimensions scientist Craig Miller found that, during the 2012 season, waterfowl hunting alone generated $261 million in spending in Illinois, created 2,556 jobs, and contributed more than $20 million in state and local taxes. Hunting also is a critical tool in the effective management and maintenance of healthy wildlife populations and habitat.

“Hunting is a great way to obtain your own natural meat while getting exercise and sharing time with friends and family in the outdoors,” said Jared Duquette, hunter and trapper recruitment scientist at INHS and coordinator of the Hunter Recruitment Program. “It also provides critical revenue the Illinois DNR relies on to support conservation of game and non-game species and maintenance of wildlife areas that many hunters and non-hunters use for recreation.”

Unfortunately, the number of active hunters has declined in recent years. Fewer people are learning to hunt when they are young, and some who do hunt in their youth don’t maintain the habit as adults.

The new INHS program aims to reverse that decline by offering free workshops for adults across Illinois. The two-day workshops will include presentations and hands-on activities covering:

·      Hunting history and ethics
·      Game animal behavior and ecology
·      Safely using firearms and archery equipment
·      Purchasing and using proper clothing and gear
·      Hunting laws and licenses
·      Butchering, storing and cooking harvested game
·      Scouting and accessing land
·      Target shooting exercise
·      Live hunt with an experienced hunting mentor

Workshops are scheduled for residents around Bloomington, Blue Island, Central/Northside Chicago, Danville, East St. Louis, Effingham, Freeport, Havana, Libertyville/Waukegan, Mount Vernon, Marion/Murphysboro/West Frankfort, Moline, O’Fallon, Peoria, Springfield and St. Charles. There will also be workshops at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and Western Illinois University (Macomb) that are restricted to university students. Note that there are separate workshops for terrestrial game and waterfowl open to any adults who have not previously hunted these species.

ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. To see a list of all upcoming workshop locations and dates, and to register online, visit

Experienced hunters are needed to help with the target shooting and live hunting activities (five hours total); email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you are interested.
For more information, visit the program’s website ( or contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Mark Twain Lake fishing report

Fri, July 28, 2017

Lake level is 605.2. Water temps near 90. We received almost 3” of rain this week, but it was spread out nicely so a lot of it soaked in rather than run off. Water should be fairly clear.

CRAPPIE: The bite has been pretty steady. Typical summer fishing here. Once you locate some fish you can go back day after day and find them in the same area. Usually a jig in pink/white or pink/black will do the job. Of course anything chartreuse usually does ok. The most fish seem to be coming from deep water- 20 to 30 feet, but anywhere from 6 to 12 feet down, and even sometimes much deeper. If you are marking something way down don’t be afraid to drop down and try to entice a bite. It could well be crappie.

BASS: The bite has been ok on rocky points casting jigs. We have heard of a few whites but not in great numbers. That bite has been off most of the summer it seems.

CATFISH: We have only heard of the occasional blue or flathead this week but that should be ready to change as they should all be about ready to come off their nests. You know they will be hungry when that happens.


Summer Hunting Opportunities

Fri, July 28, 2017

/Users/graphicsimac/Library/Containers/ Downloads/BEFC4C1E-A1E3-4B0E-A0BA-2B4399F2C798/NR 17-40 Summer Hunting

Opportunities.docx/Users/graphicsimac/Library/Containers/ Downloads/4FC8A46B-466B-4684-B9EC-87671EB47B4B/NR 17-41 Weekend Activities.docx


ARTICLE: Handheld Thermal Imagers

Fri, July 21, 2017


Night Vision goggles (left) are useless against a camouflaged, motionless suspect hiding in vegetation, but a thermal imaging device easily finds the bad guy.

Deployment Strategies for
Handheld Thermal Imagers

Thermal imaging is no longer just “the eye in the sky”

By Brent T. Wheat

The assistance of an airborne unit equipped with thermal imaging cameras is a wonderful thing for public safety professionals, whether involved in a SWAT operation, a fugitive search or manning a fixed guard post. In many smaller municipalities and rural areas, however, such a resource can be hard to come by.

Fortunately, more affordable handheld thermal imaging devices are not only filling the gaps, but are becoming a vital part of public safety – even for the smallest agencies. Day or night, fair or foul weather, private security or public safety, handheld thermal imagers like those in FLIR’s Scout and LS Series’ are quickly becoming science fact for those on the front lines of public safety.

The FLIR LS-Series thermal handheld is designed with public safety professionals in mind.

The Needs: Deployment Strategies

Even if a group or organization can only field a single shared handheld thermal imaging device, users will undoubtedly find a growing number of unique uses with each deployment. Whether finding an armed fugitive hiding in the park or a missing Alzheimer’s patient on a cold night, thermal imaging saves lives.

Thermal imagers can improve safety and security in several ways:

Perimeter team - Whenever a perimeter is established to contain fugitives after a crime, handheld thermal imagers become a massive force multiplier. With the ability to see through total darkness, light foliage, smoke or haze and the ability to separate camouflaged, motionless humans from the background clutter, a thermal device make finding hidden bad guys far easier than night vision devices (NVD). Plus, they work 24-hours a day.

Missing persons - With the ability to quickly cover ground by highlighting all warm objects, a visual sweep of a search area is easy using thermal imaging. Even if the person is hiding (a common event with missing children), unconscious or uncooperative, a thermal device can highlight their heat signature and help rescuers pinpoint their location.

Building security - Thermal imaging isn’t the sole province of law enforcement. Security teams use thermal imagers to detect intruders at great distances along fence lines, and to quickly search grounds and buildings for trespassers without disclosing their own position. In addition, thermal imagers can detect overheated equipment that presents an imminent fire risk.

The FLIR Scout III is a great example of an affordable, round-the-clock handheld thermal imaging unit that is simple to use and a true game-changer for public safety officials.

Warrant teams - The well-equipped warrant team should have at least one thermal imager at hand to detect booby traps, hidden guard dogs and escaping fugitives. In the infamous Boston Marathon Bomber case, terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was located with a FLIR thermal imaging camera that detected his heat body heat as he hid inside a boat covered by a thin plastic tarp.

Natural resources crime - For officers who work the outdoor beat, thermal imaging devices are on par with a detection canine for finding hidden firearms, discarded game, or poachers operating under the cover of darkness. Furthermore, thermal imagers can often find the source of chemical leaks or other environmental contamination due to the differing thermal signatures.

Urban patrol - Alleys and other dark areas are the natural habitat of criminals. For the cost of an inferior NVD, a patrol officer can be equipped with a handheld thermal imaging device that works night or day and clearly distinguishes people lurking in the shadows by revealing them in vivid color.

Highway Interdiction units - Hidden compartments in vehicles often have a different thermal signature than non-modified areas. Use of a thermal imaging camera can quickly, easily and non-destructively point out areas that require further investigation.
Surveillance teams - Aside from finding people who are trying to remain hidden, thermal imagers can be used to determine if vehicles have been recently driven. Rather than sneaking up to a vehicle to determine if it was recently used, a quick drive-by using a thermal imager can show a hot engine and confirm that the target has recently been on the move.

Pursuits - Suspects commonly toss weapons or drugs during foot or vehicle pursuits. An officer can easily find discarded evidence, especially firearms – even in tall grass or shrubs – using a thermal imager. If the Perpetrators bail out and run into a field or woods, a thermal imager is the perfect tool to find them wherever they are attempting to hide.

Drug units - With sufficient probable cause or a judicial warrant, thermal imaging devices are the gold standard to detect illegal drug labs or clandestine growing operations without tipping off the occupants. Later, when a warrant is being served, the thermal device can help find hidden occupants, discarded drugs or equipment and booby traps for the warrant team.

A FLIR Scout III or LS-Series thermal imager is easily carried on an officer’s utility belt, ready for instant deployment.

Conclusion: Get them on the street!

For years, experts have been predicting that thermal imaging will become as ubiquitous to public safety as GPS and digital radios. In 2017, we are now seeing the start of that trend as handheld thermal cameras become smaller, lighter and less expensive. For example, the FLIR Scout TK has a suggested retail price of around $600 and puts an incredible amount of sensor technology into the hands of the front-line man or woman.

Higher resolution Scout models and longer range LSX/R law enforcement models start at $1,999 and $2,599, respectively. FLIR’s H-Series law enforcement thermal handheld cameras provide even greater capability and start at $5,249.

Forward-thinking agency heads and even individual officers or agents are no longer waiting for someday, because they realize the needs are great and the cost of handheld thermal technology is now within reach of nearly any group or professional.

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Humminbird® Wins “Best of Electronics” for Seventh Consecutive Year at ICAST

Thu, July 20, 2017

Humminbird Brand Manager, Ray Schaffart, with the SOLIX display at ICAST.

Humminbird® Wins “Best of Electronics” for
Seventh Consecutive Year at ICAST

RACINE, Wis., July 14, 2017 – For the seventh consecutive year Humminbird® has earned top honors at the industry’s most prestigious trade show, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST). The Humminbird SOLIX®was voted “Best of Electronics” by attending media and buyers during the American Sportfishing Association’s 2017 ICAST New Product Showcase.

“SOLIX is the combination of decades of dedicated development in everything from the transducer to the touchscreen. It’s the best of the best from Humminbird and we’re humbled to be recognized as a leader in the industry by buyers and media,” said Ray Schaffart, Humminbird Brand Manager.

Humminbird combined its best features and placed them into one fishfinder, the SOLIX. Offering the biggest display in the brand’s history – at more than 15 inches – the SOLIX boasts technologies designed to make locating fish easier – including MEGA Imaging™, CHIRP Digital Sonar, Humminbird’s Cross Touch® Interface, and AUTOCHART® Live.

SOLIX offers two display size options – a 12.1- and 15.4-inch screen model. Both come standard with Humminbird’s Cross Touch® Interface, letting anglers operate the unit via touchscreen or keypad, all while customizing the screen with up to four independent viewing panes. Cross Touch allows anglers to use the SOLIX either as a touchscreen or with the keypad for easier control in rough water conditions. Individual panes can be zoomed or moved to different screen locations based on angler preference or fishing situation.

Anglers can select from two SOLIX units – one is equipped with GPS and CHIRP Digital Sonar, the other adds Humminbird’s game-changing MEGA Imaging. This is the first Down and Side Imaging technology to enter the megahertz range with performance that’s nearly three times greater than traditional 455 kHz frequencies. It results in the clearest, sharpest imaging returns ever.

Also standard on all SOLIX models is Humminbird’s expanded AUTOCHART® Live technology that creates and saves structure maps on any body of water. AUTOCHART Live identifies and maps depth, bottom hardness and vegetation.

In addition, Bluetooth® is built into every unit, allowing anglers to sync smartphones to the on-board SOLIX. Text messages, missed calls, signal strength and other notifications appear right on the Humminbird display, so phones can stay safely in pockets where they belong for hands-free fishing. It creates a flawless on-board network of electronics and connectivity.

For plug-and-fish networking, high-speed ethernet provides easy connectivity to Humminbird 360 Imaging®, Minn Kota® i-Pilot® Link™, Humminbird CHIRP Radar, and additional SOLIX or select HELIX® units. The new units are fully compatible with Humminbird LakeMaster® charts, SmartStrike™ and Navionics® Gold/HotMaps™.

2011: Humminbird 1158c DI Combo
2012: Humminbird 360 Imaging
2013: Humminbird Bow-mount 360
2014: Humminbird ONIX® Series
2015: Humminbird HELIX 7 SI
2016: Humminbird HELIX 10 SI
2017: Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS
For more information call Humminbird at 800-633-1468 or visit

About Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc.
Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors and consists of the Humminbird®, Minn Kota® and Cannon® brands. Humminbird® is a leading global innovator and manufacturer of marine electronics products including fishfinders, multifunction displays, autopilots, ice flashers and premium cartography products. Minn Kota® is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric trolling motors, as well as a complete line of Talon® shallow-water anchors, battery chargers and marine accessories. Cannon® is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories.

About Johnson Outdoors
JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products.  The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Gear.  Johnson Outdoors’ familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak™ and Necky® kayaks; Carlisle®paddles; Extrasport® personal flotation devices; Minn Kota® fishing motors, batteries and anchors; Cannon® downriggers; Humminbird® marine electronics and digital charts; SCUBAPRO® dive equipment; Jetboil® outdoor cooking systems; and Eureka!®camping and hiking equipment.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc.


Media Contacts:
Heather Miller, 864-607-7922, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
JC Maldonado, 414-510-7243, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Crappie, Bass,Catfish, and High Temperature.

Wed, July 19, 2017

Lake level is 606.7 and dropping about 6” per day. Looks like they are generating from 9 am to 9 pm. Water is reasonably clear with temps hovering near 90. Whew, that’s some warm water.

CRAPPIE: Summer pattern fishing is the name of the game. Depending on where you are and when you are there, the crappie can be anywhere from 6 feet down to 30 feet down. Watch your electronics, and yes, some of those deep marks could be crappie. Pull them up slow or you will kill every single one you catch. If you see shad busting the surface around you try about 6 feet down as they should be right below the shad. Slow trolling from tree to tree can be quite productive right now. Trolling a crank bait that matches the depth you mark fish is also pretty good. Bright colors seem to be best. As usual, 20% of the fishermen are catching 80% of the fish. They are out there and they are biting so if you are not in that 20% figure out what that 20% are doing different and try it.

BASS: I still am hearing some good things about the bass bite. Not a lot of info about the where and how, but people are saying good things. White bass seems to be sporadic at best. Now that the island is in full view maybe there will be some improvement there.

CATFISH: It seems the blues have started back up. We have heard some good reports of blues between 10 and 20 pounds with a few in the 30# range. The flatheads are still slow, but there are a few coming in that are obviously just off the nests.

South Fork Resort
36765 Hwy 154
Stoutsville, MO 65283

Phone: 573.206.3839
Toll-free: 866.382.0033
Fax: 573.565.2883
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Illinois e-News Release

Wed, July 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     CONTACT:  Bill Iseminger
July 18, 2017                                                         OFFICE:      (618) 346-5160
                                                                        .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Archaeology Day at Cahokia Mounds on August 5

COLLINSVILLE, IL – Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois will host its annual Archaeology Day on Saturday, August 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features ancient craft demonstrations, archaeological techniques and artifact processing, tours of excavations, and several hands-on activities. The popular event is free and open to the public.

Archaeology Day allows visitors to learn more about archaeology from excavations to analyzing artifacts to experimental archaeology.  Skilled craftpersons will demonstrate bow and arrow making, flintknapping and tool use, pottery making, stone carving, fingerweaving and fiber spinning, and more.  Visitors can also try their hand at playing the chunkey game or throwing spears with an atlatl spearthrower.  A professional storyteller will tell stories that will appeal to all age groups.

Visitors can tour the excavations and help sift soils from the digs, and they can help wash artifacts found during this summer’s excavations.  Archaeologists and specialists will demonstrate the identification of animal bones; using instruments for remote sensing to detect subsurface features; the uses of various plants for food and medicine; and, the various types of Indian rock art.

Displays with representatives from other archeological sites and institutions will be set up.  Food and refreshment stands will be available, including kettle “maize.”  The event will be held outside under shelters.  In case of rain, most of the activities will move inside the InterpretiveCenter.

Archaeology Day is sponsored by the Cahokia Archaeological Society and the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society with cooperation from the Cahokia Mounds staff and volunteers, and the Powell Archaeological Research Center.  For more information, call 618-346-5160 or visit

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is just eight miles from St. Louis, in Collinsville, Illinois, off Interstates 55/70 (Exit 6) and Interstate 255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road. There is no admission fee, but a suggested donation of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students, and $15 for families is welcomed.



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