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Heartland Outdoors

IDNR Considers Changes to Archery Season Regs in 5 Counties

Thu, June 07, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) invites deer hunters, landowners, and others interested in deer management to attend public meetings regarding potential changes in archery deer hunting regulations in five eastern Illinois counties. The proposed changes are limiting the listed five counties to bucks only from October 1 -October 15.

The IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources will host the public open house meetings to provide information about the status of deer populations in the affected counties, and to accept comments on a number of alternative management options intended to boost deer populations in Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties.  Most of these options would require changes to the archery regulations that have been in effect for the past several years.  No formal presentation is planned; attendees can stop by at any time during the open house meetings to view informational materials and talk one-on-one to IDNR biologists.

Two public open house meetings are scheduled:

June 12, 2018, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Forbes Natural History Building (University of Illinois campus) conference room
1816 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

June 14, 2018, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Rock Springs Nature Center auditorium
3939 Nearing Lake
Decatur, IL 62521

Unless there is significant opposition to growing deer herds to currently-adopted county goals, the IDNR would propose changes to the archery deer regulations for the five counties this summer through the State of Illinois’ administrative rules process.  Depending on when any regulation changes are approved by the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), they could go into effect for the upcoming 2018 Archery Deer Season, or they may have to wait until the 2019 season.


Tell me this people, what is the difference between a dead doe on Oct 1st, and a dead doe On Oct. 16th ??  If this is a way to limit the doe harvest, then why no just put doe’s off limits for those counties ?? I think sometimes regulations are created to give the perception to the public that something is acutely being done, but in truth nothing has changed. Mind boggling.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on June 09

RTT said… “I think sometimes regulations are created to give the perception to the public that something is acutely being done, but in truth nothing has changed.”
No, IDNR… there is no “opposition to growing deer herds to currently-adopted county goals.”  Why don’t we try that in every county?  There are currently 17 counties in IL that are 50% or more down from their peak deer populations.  Why not start with those?  Why not actual harvest limits?  Why not counties where it matters?

Posted by Kevin C on June 11

Why are they down in those counties, did the extension of the LWS harvest have an impact on this?

Posted by BIGPOND on June 11

our Life long IDNR deer herd killer never wavers- Kill the hell out of them-business as usual- Ooops- killed too many- gotta back off-kinda-too funny really-
I will say:
he’s been consistent over the last 26 years!

Posted by walmsley on June 11

BIGPOND, we haven’t had the LWS in these counties for quite a while.  IDNR has always thought that was the key to “pulling back”... just cut the LWS and things would bounce back.  Doesn’t work that way all the time.
The last time we had a “5 County Restriction” here they did implement harvest limits at the same time.  Two deer limit in those specific counties.  Amazing that they could do it back then, but they refuse to do it now.  We still have unlimited antlerless permits in place.
I’m still scratching my head over their choice of counties this time around.  There are plenty more counties that are a lot farther below their “goal” than these 5 counties.  These 5 counties in total account for less than 2% of the total statewide deer harvest.

Posted by Kevin C on June 11

Hey Kevin: I just realized that Paul and Don are FINALLY on the same page! will wonders never cease! Paul uses Baiting to exterminate deer in the CWD counties-
Then they don’t come out against Supplemental feeding-“baiting”-
Why? what a PERFECT WAY to up his kill totals!! I thought he’d run out of ideas for that- The Duck Doctor does it again-Ingenious! 

Posted by walmsley on June 11

Years ago when they did this for several years around the same amount of deer were being harvested in these counties.  It doesn’t matter what the dates are to shoot deer guys are going to continue to shoot the same numbers.  Limiting the number of tags in the whole state per hunter is the only way to regulate numbers.  Also getting rid of the call in system will help.  They will just shoot one in one of these counties and call it in under another.  So there you go another DNR flaw in their system like they really care!!

Posted by muzzyman on June 12

Two deer per year limit, and do away with the call in system. The call in system just makes violators out of honest hunters. The number of deer that get tagged in the field, and never called in is ridiculous. In the shed, out of sight, out of mind. Fella’s don’t kill the messenger here, but it’s the truth.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on June 12

I’m not sure going back to check in stations is the answer but the call in system definitely has issues with compliance rates across several states all being in the 20-30% compliance rate.  That’s ridiculous.

Posted by buckbull on June 13

Buckbull, I am about ready to start some crabby old lady “Bring Back the Check Stations!” campaign. There’s a host of reasons why they were a good thing.

Posted by G on June 13

Once the DNR gives the public something, they very seldom take it back, whether be increased bag limits, extending seasons, increased weapons or call in system.  It has become more about less limits and more opportunities in the field than about management.(and not just deer)

Posted by BIGPOND on June 13

Did anyone attend last night meeting ?
Or hear how it was attended & what all IDNR had to say ?
I will be at Thursday meeting look forward to seeing what all research & data has been collected to prompt these new changes here….
Tim Walmsley….I disagree, I do not think this is a ‘new’ idea coming from IDNR. They already tried this here back in late 90’s to early 2000’s, & 4 out of the 5 counties are same ???
I attend those IDNR meetings back in the 90’s about the 5 county archery zone & remember a lot of what they said then AND after it was lifted. Should be interesting to hear their version again, over 2 decades later….
I hope some more concerned deer hunters will also attend !!!!
Hope to see some of you there !

Posted by Lynn on June 13

Hi Lynn, Ya: I remember them doing this well-I know it’s not new- I also know how fricken STUPID it is- put a Ban on shooting DOES for a few years in early Oct. -Then turn around and go right back to unlimited Doe harvest- REALLY??? It’s almost childlike-

Lynn, I give you credit for attending meetings, BUT- None of it matters- Shelton will do what shelton does no matter what.

Posted by walmsley on June 14

There is no one that feels your frustrations with the way our current IDNR heads are managing our IL deerherd AND the laws that govern deer, than me !!!
My 5th Great grandfather came to this county in 1819, where you & live and where tonight’s meeting happens to be held. Most all my family live, work & hunt around here. My roots,my family’s and most of my friends roots run too deep here, to give up on our family farms and let anyone take advantage or mishandle of our resources in this state !!!
Believe me I have tried to step away & give up on protecting our resources some BUT….it is just not in me to do that….
So…. off to ANOTHER meeting with IDNR.
Hope there are people there who feel as passionate about all our states wildlife as me.
Hope they will listen to logic & do what is best for our herd.
It has been a while since we have seen that….but only one way to find out.

Posted by Lynn on June 14

And I heard how that worked out for you guys last night with Doctor Paul.
same as it has for 26 years. His way only.

Posted by walmsley on June 15

Lynn…those of us down here in the hinterlands are waiting with bated breath for your report on the meeting….my biggest question for all of this has been WHY? Thanks!

Posted by G on June 15

Sorry for the late update Gretch. Wanted to think about all info we got the other night. Kevin & I were there for just under 2 hrs.
We did get a lot of encouraging new…
First off I got to hand it to IDNR, for admitting there is a problem & stating they are trying to meet county DVA goals.
They said this is a starting point & they will look at adding other counties in the future.
They did show us some good logical data on why these 5 counties!
I feel pretty luck I happen to be live/hunt in one of these 5 counties, because, they have already eliminated all gun antler less tags in these 5 counties over the last 3 years and are now adding doe restriction to archery.
Now for the rest of the state…were the other ~98.5 of the deer heard lives…..I didn’t hear about much change there, other then the usual “we will continue to manage by adjusting firearm tag”..... 8^(
Kevin & I begged them to not just focus on these 5 counties, where ~1.5% of the total deer harvest comes from.
Tim….we wasted very little time talking to your favorite biologist.
And I do mean wasted….
I do agree with you. He doesn’t listen & he is always right.
The rest of our IDNR people were great. Had some good discussion, they listened and so did we !!!
Gretch…..#2 discussion of the night, by a mile…...deer feeding bill.
AND…we talked about it a lot. No one in that room that we talked to about that, supports it.
In fact, we learned IDNR, has now, reverted back to their neutral stance on the bill
I urged Mark to now try to get his boss to oppose this idiotic bill !!!
Do you guys have any idea how much time our IDNR has had to waste, dealing with these stupid bill that almost nobody at IDNR supports !!!
A LOT of other important wildlife issues are getting ignored, so some people can make more $$$$$$$$ off our our deerherd.

Posted by Lynn on June 16

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