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Recent entries


Versatile Hunter

Introducing blogger Shae Birkey

Wed, October 03, 2012

This being my first blog I need to first introduce myself and then I’ll get to the purpose of these things. I’m a central Illinois native living in rural Tazewell County with my wife, baby (due in the next week), and two thoroughbred mutts. I grew up hunting deer, turkey, waterfowl and upland game right here in the Midwest. Still chasing them all today, with the help of a Deutsch Drahthaar, Brahms.

Jack of all trades when it comes to the outdoors, with a love and attention for versatile hunting dog training and testing. I’m involved with NAVHDA, VDD-GNA, the NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen, DU and various youth hunting organizations as a guide, organizer, and advocate. I’ve spent the past 8 years as a biologist surveying and restoring wetlands, prairies, forests, and wildlife throughout the U.S. 

What am I going to write about? Whatever comes to mind involving Illinois outdoors — dog training, hunting events, conservation, hunting tips, a biography or two on Illinois outdoor businesses, and maybe even some questions for and from Heartland website viewers, because I know some things and openly admit not to know others.  Oh well, no one has all the answers. 

I have a lot of respect for my fellow Heartland bloggers and have learned a lot from this website and the magazine — I hope y’all feel the same about my blog. Enough about me.  Now to the reason Jeff let me blog on Heartland…

To start it off — has anyone noticed that the late season counties have changed this year? I hadn’t until a friend of mine at work mentioned it.  Several of our central Illinois counties no longer have a late season. That includes Tazewell, Mason, Cass (which effects me directly) and Morgan, among others.

I’ve attached a map showing the counties in the late-winter hunt.

late winter deer 2012-13

Could IDNR be slowly realizing that not all hunters are happy about the number of deer they’re seeing out there?  Note: I AM an advocate for IDNR and believe the current management is well intentioned but is working with minimum funding.


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