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Recent entries



Reporting glitch for youth deer hunt

Tue, October 12, 2010

Hot weather didn’t help youngsters last weekend during the Illinois youth deer hunt.

The weekend wasn’t very kind to the DNR’s harvesting reporting system, either.

Here’s a note from top deer biologist Paul Shelton explaining the situation.

“We had a glitch in the harvest reporting system during part of the weekend that affected youth hunters trying to report harvest (it didn’t affect archers). Could you do a post telling them we had the problem; that it has been corrected; and if they were unable to register their deer they can go ahead and do so now.  It’s our problem - they don’t have to worry about not getting it reported during the specified time.  We just want to get the data if we missed anyone because of the problem.”

Shelton said he will try to provide preliminary results as soon as possible.

Based strictly on anecdotal evidence from area youngsters, there were not a lot of deer shot in central Illinois. Movement was down due to the heat and, though there were some big bucks spotted, activity was well behind last year’s youth hunt.


“Even Shelby went to hunter safety”

Sun, October 10, 2010

Some days you are the boy’s hero. Some days, not so much.

Lately, the hero stuff hasn’t been so common. To me it all stems back to hunter safety. See, my oldest son is 9. He thinks he was ready to take a hunter safety class last summer. He thinks that in part because he saw a picture of a 6-year-old in the NWTF magazine. The kid was holding a huge gobbler.

“Dad, even 6-year-olds can go hunting,” he noted.

Somehow we survived that one.

But when numerous classmates attended a hunter safety class this year in Elmwood, well, that didn’t go over so well. I held my son out. Didn’t think he was ready yet. That didn’t go over too well.

“Even Shelby went to hunter safety,” he said after word of the class filtered through the fourth grade.

That was a few months ago. I could handle that. But what I’m really dreading is this week. Somebody from his class will shoot a deer this weekend. Understand, I’ll be happy for those kids. But I will be second-guessing myself.

Was the boy ready? Maybe. Gotta live with the decision, though. Right or wrong, I decided to wait until he’s 10 to start him hunting. That means next spring during turkey season will be his first chance. That seems OK to me. Him? I’m not so sure he agrees.

The upshot is, his younger brother will probably be hunting at age 9, if he’s ready. And youngest son Boo Boo? Who knows, he might have a gun in hand before he potty trains.


How tough are alligator gar?

Thu, October 07, 2010

The state is undergoing a project to attempt to restock alligator gar in Illinois. They are a threatened species in Illinois.

As part of that effort, little alligator gar are being raised in various locations. That includes the rearing ponds at Banner Marsh, where this little rascal bit off more than he could chew.



Photos are courtesy of my buddy Flathead, who once upon a time submitted pictures to another Website. Hmmm. Wonder how that old Website is doing?


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