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Heartland Outdoors

Yet Another Version of SB2493 – (Deer Feeding Bill)  Emerges

Wed, May 23, 2018

Springfield - Today the House Agricultural and Conservation Committee moved out a third version of SB 2493 as House Floor Amendment #2, with only one committee member voting no.

The PDF of the SB2493 HFA2 can be found here.

The hearing initially was held on Tuesday, May 23, but the new house floor amendment #2 had not been made available at the time of the hearing so a robust discussion was held regarding its content and the history and reasoning behind the changes made. No formal action was taken, and the hearing was recessed and rescheduled for today.  There are some important and noteworthy changes from House Amendment 1 that was initially filed:

• U of I Prairie Research Institute is now lead on the research study,  to act in consultation with IDNR and The U of I College of Veterinary Medicine.

• Study length shall be for a minimum of five years.

• Study parameters shall be: health and social effects of supplemental feeding deer feeding on the wild deer population outside of any deer hunting season and whether
      supplemental deer feeding affects the risk of disease transmission in the deer population

• Private landowners will not be allowed to offer supplemental feed during the first year of the study. The first year will be used as baseline setting period.

• Supplemental feeding may not occur on private lands during the first year of the study.

• Supplemental feeding in the remaining years may only occur February 1 – August 15.

• The study must be conducted statewide.

• For the purpose of the study shall include any supplemental food source (not limited to just minerals or commercial feed supplements).

• Supplemental deer feeding is permitted on private lands through voluntary participation.

• Public lands may NOT be utilized as supplemental deer feeding areas and must be utilized to obtain non-supplemental feeding specimens throughout the study.

It’s also worth noting that IDNR was neutral on the Senate Amendment, but the position changed to proponent to support the study in HFA # 1 and HFA#2.  During the hearing it was stressed that IDNR remains opposed to baiting, and further remains opposed to supplemental feeding, but was a proponent of the study to facilitate the gathering of additional data to be used going forward in regulation development.

At multiple times it was expressed during the hearing that IDNR could halt the study at any time during its course if an increase in disease spread was noted, or otherwise it was determined that the study and supplemental feeding could be detrimental to the health of the herd. This is not however noted in the language of the amendment.

The bill now heads to the House floor.



Still no word on who will fund all this research ???

You know some people are claiming their deer supplements can prevent the spread of CWD, then why has CWD run rampant in high fence farms where the deer have been feed the best food & supplements money could buy for years ??

Just more lies & false claims, by money hungry businessmen looking for more ways to profit off IL deerhunters and our money hungry IL politicians are more then gullible enough to believe their sales pitches. They only see dollar signs too !!

Our IDNR is also failing to do their job of protecting our IL deerherd first & foremost….

Posted by Lynn on May 23

Lynn, I haven’t been able to get any answers on the funding portion. This bill has been like chasing a moving target the past week or so.

Posted by G on May 24

My bet is Pittman-Robertson money.  As that is federal money distributed to the state DNRs, so they will claim that taxpayers aren’t paying for this…But, in reality, WE ARE.  Just a variation of the old shell game.

Posted by riverrat47 on May 24

River Rat I have a feeling you may be right….frustrating.

Posted by G on May 24

If you can’t use it on private land and public is not to be utilized then where are they going to try this out at and I agree we are going to pay for it

Posted by herman on May 24

Lynn, you just love trying to fan the flames and stir up BS! Lol! Higgins had a great article the other day but I knew because he’s in the business, that you would try to discredit any of his points. Truth is, CWD hasn’t been anywhere near this disaterous epidemic…. even after decades. Why is it that the Midwest States that have become THE destinations and standards for exceptionally well managed and healthy herds…. IA, KS and OH…. ALL allow minerals and supplemental feeding during the critical Winter and Summer stress periods? I think the empty can rattled the most! Blah, blah, blah!

Posted by Cornfed on May 24

Lynn, the first thing everyone loves to blame when a disease shows up in any population of animals is the feed. Point in case lets look at hogs. PRRS has been giving hog producers fits dating back to the 1980’s, and when first diagnosed many accused contaminated feed as the problem. Over the years they found that PRRS is a virus, and may be spread in many ways, but that didn’t keep hog producers from seeking legal action from feed producers.

When Illinois put a ban on feeding I thought it a knee jerk reaction to give an image of the DNR doing something about a problem they knew nothing about. Deer hunters were wanting action, and that was the easy way out for the DNR at the time, but it should have been followed up with research, sad to say we know it wasn’t.  I have no problem with a study, as long as it is a study done properly by professional biologist, that should be something all sportsmen/women should expect from our DNR. Everyone is worried about who will pay for this study, well I hope sportsmen/women of Illinois would be willing to toss in the coin on this project. Pittman/ Robertson funds I think would an appropriate source of funding the study. Good, bad , or in different let the science of the study speak for itself, and make any changes if needed based upon the research that’s put forward, and tested. What would be wrong with that ?? The power of knowledge is incredible !! 


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on May 24

I hope someone gets a handle on all this. I’m knee deep in 30#-40# cobia at the time, and red snapper are just around the corner. Living the salt life is great, and I love deer hunting, but the ocean calls folks. Good luck.


Posted by Ringtailtrapper on May 24

Trapper, I don’t disagree that this would be a legitimate use of P-R money.  I do object to politicians playing the shell game, saying it isn’t costing the taxpayer.  The money for this study will come at the expense of other wildlife programs/studies. Also,I would think that after decades of the CWD issue being in the forefront, that this topic hasn’t already been studied…probably extensively. Why spend money to reinvent the wheel?
In looking at the witness list of those opposed to the supplemental feeding bill I find numerous wildlife biologists, many who dedicated their careers to the deer herds of the Midwest. I don’t see that on the proponent list.

Posted by riverrat47 on May 25

Waste of money, they will interpret the study as they see fit, just as they did with the DVA data.

Posted by BIGPOND on May 25

Pretty sad state of affairs when the biologists who have the educational background to make sound management choices and have spent their careers dedicated to conservation are ignored and yet the profiteers whose goal is to monetarily maximize on the states wildlife are the only voices our legislatures hear.

Posted by buckbull on May 25

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