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John
JOHN
SOEHN

The Back 40

2014/15 Deer Season is finally over

Mon, January 19, 2015

Well, it’s finally over.  What’s left of the Illinois deer herd is safe…till next season.

“The sky is falling.  The sky is falling.”  More than once I remember these comments mocking my past blogs about the decline of our deer herd.  I was even called a “hack” by someone when an old blog was reposted by someone on an out-of-state site.  Sadly, I’d bet these same doubters are still around with the same opinion. 

I’m sure there are still some pockets in Illinois, probably many, that have an over abundance of deer.  If you happen to own or hunt one of these pockets, count your Whitetail blessings.  Though you may be tempted to kill a lot of deer on an over-populated property, remember, your property/deer may be what is need to re-populated other farms in your immediate area. 

As my blog title suggests, I am a small property owner/hunter.  Though it’s difficult to have a big impact when only managing very few acres, it is still our duty to do our part.  Maybe even more so since most of us hunt small properties.  With enough of us small-impact people acting as one, we can make a big impact. 

Over the last several years I have spoken with dozens of hunters who all say they’ve noticed a decline in their deer numbers.  This past season, however, it became the only deer topic discussed.  “Big buck” stories were replaced with “Where are the deer?” stories in every local gin mill.  The only people I’ve heard from that are not worried at all about this decline are the few I’ve read comments from on this site.  I’ve now come to the point where I couldn’t care less what those who think our deer herd is in fine shape think.  My guess is that they may be part of the problem…not the solution.  To be a part of the solution, you must first recognize and admit that there is a problem. 

Overhunting and EHD have been the major contributors in my local area.  Sadly, I feel that I can’t control either.  EHD is certainly out of my control, and after talking to some hunters in my area about not shooting anymore does, I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall.  I’m rarely on the side of more government regulations, but this time I am.  If hunters can not control themselves and the amount of deer they shoot, then regulation is needed.  Two either-sex permits per season for resident hunters.  One either-sex permit for non-residents sold through a lottery system.  That’s for all seasons combined.  Gun, bow, slingshot, rocks, whatever.  This ought to satisfy the trophy hunter and meat hunter alike.  And if someone is caught killing beyond their two deer per season, strip them of their hunting privileges in Illinois for five years.  Out-of-season violators get their privileges removed permanently. 

Illinois now has a new Governor.  Hopefully Mr. Rauner will be exactly what this state needs and will make well-advised changes within the DNR.  For those few who haven’t heard of them yet, join the IWA (Illinois Whitetail Alliance)…it’s free.  No other group is more on our side. 

Let’s all hope for a better 2016 season.  Like this year, I plan on shooting only one deer next year.  My herd was in bad shape this year.  Worse than I thought it would be.  Incidentally, my county had a higher kill rate this year.  Go figure.


John Soehn
-Treehugger-

Comments

John, Id love to see a 2deer limit myself…I think alot of H.Oers would be in the same boat….

Posted by WhitetailFreak on January 19

worst year since i bought my 65 acres in tazewell county in 89.when you hunt from october til mid janurary and are just happy to see a deer something is wrong!

Posted by 65 acres on January 19

I live in Knox county obviously by my blogger name. I worked in Peoria before I moved here. Driving home 5 years ago. I always took what I call scenic road home. Which is 2000 North , where hidden lakes farms and lake McMasters is on. I would see no less than 100 deer on that 5 mile stretch of road every night and that is no exaggeration. Now 5 years later coming home. ZERO!. It has gone down so bad I see zero where 5,4,3 years ago I seen no less than 100!.  The last 2 years have been nothing but sickeningly void of deer. I am going to see what happens with this new IDNR director to see if I will even hunt next season.

Posted by knoxcounty on January 19

Well said John, I couldn’t agree more.  A two deer limit would be perfect.  I am sure there will be a few comments to follow with those who disagree, but in reality, it cant be more than 10% who disagree.  Those 10% are the ones who ruined this whole thing, working as a team with the DNR.  2 deer per hunter is plenty, any family who claims to hunt for meat because its cheaper, will still be able to harvest 4-6 deer depending on if there are 2 or 3 hunters in the family.  We will see.

Posted by CCHUNTER2024600 on January 19

I’d be all for a 2 deer limit.  Glad to see the seasons over.  The deer need a break around here.

Posted by Andy Meador on January 19

A buddy of mine finished the last 4 days of the season off with 4 does bringing his total to 18 for the year. I would like to offer congratulations to him for his fantastic feat and thank the state of Illinois for their continued efforts to decimate the deer herd by placing no limits on deer

Posted by yellowstone on January 19

Really!. 18 deer!. Please don’t say it’s all Illinois fault. He is a killer not a hunter!. No self control period!. Use the excuse.  Illinois sells me the tags so its ok to kill them!. No!. It’s not ok. Use fricken self control and start with some morals.

Posted by knoxcounty on January 19

Yea Knox, it was his worst year in 7 years though so it proves the population is down

Posted by yellowstone on January 19

Don’t take that bait, Knox.  Stay clear.

On the other hand, I’m in your same situation, Knox.  I live in Peoria Cnty and hunt in Knox…and planning on moving to Knox.  On my way home from hunting I used to see many deer in my headlights on the way home.  Now it’s picture-worthy when I see one.  I used to have 10-15 in the field next to my house each and every evening.  Now we see 2-3 deer maybe once per week.  Things have certainly gotten worse.  If the killers would lay off for a few years, the herd would rebound easily.

Posted by Treehugger on January 19

Treehugger, what did you mean by don’t take that bait? I am curious. Do you think I am not telling the truth here?

Posted by yellowstone on January 19

Yellowstone, he may not have caught your sarcasm in your congratulating your buddy and the state for their teamwork. It doesn’t always translate well in text.

Posted by goodsoil on January 19

My apologies if I was wrong, seemed a little suspicious to me.

Posted by Treehugger on January 20

I know there was a little sarcasm there. But I have read these same posts on facebook on the IWA page. I think someone on there knows 3 people killing 300 deer in 7 years and another person knows the same 3 people. Just because McDonalds menu is endless in the ability to purchase what you want. Does not mean you SHOULD buy the entire menu and eat it. That is what killing more than 2 deer per person per year to me is like. Just because Illinois sells endless tags for deer does not mean its okay to become a killer and slaughter every deer you see. Its called being a GAME HOG!, UNETHICAL , and a few words I cannot say on here.  Not what my Father and Grandfather taught me. You eat what you kill and no more.

Posted by knoxcounty on January 20

YELLOWSTONE is telling the truth.  What is horrible about that situation is that they are allowed to kill that many deer and where they are hunting are supplying the tags.  That whole situation needs to change and that whole hunt has affected the deer population for miles around.  As for the hunters killing that many deer they are just playing by the rules and the sad thing is if they didn’t shoot that many they used to bring in sharpshooters to shoot them off bait piles to get their target number reached.  I don’t believe this is happening anymore.  As for the hunters there aren’t enough words to describe them!

Posted by muzzyman on January 20

Very well wrote John, and spot on- of course, the outfitters would disagree!

Posted by walmsley on January 20

That whole situation is a terrible trajedy.  That park was almost unbelievable unless you seen it with your own eyes and now it’s just ruined. One of the people that hunts there has wounded 3 to 4 bucks every year along with several does. They hunt almost every day and kill everything in sight.  Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it ok to do.  I don’t see how you could just keep killing.  I had an opportunity to be in that hunt and declined.  That place is ruined and I refuse to hunt with people like that.

Posted by Andy Meador on January 20

Wow!  What can I say?  That’s a terrible story/situation.  Again, my apologies to Yellow.  I didn’t pick up on the sarcasm.  I’m losing my touch. 

Where did this occur?  Seriously?  300 deer in 7 years by 3 guys?  That’s over 14 deer per guy per year.

Posted by Treehugger on January 20

I also hunt in Knox County and agree that our population is down.  I’m lucky that i seem to be in better shape than others in terms of the local herd.  I shot one big mature buck this year and stopped.  Haven’t shot a doe in many years.

Posted by jcurri on January 20

They won’t tell where Treehugger. Yellowstone is telling the truth. I am guessing it south or south west maybe. I have to give him props for not ratting out his scumbag buddies.

Posted by knoxcounty on January 20

Knox giving the location and names doesn’t matter.  It can be right next door and any hunter anywhere in this state.  The fact of the matter that myself and Yellowstone are talking about is look at what happens when there are unlimited tags and ZERO regulations on hunters.  The only thing that keeps the deer herd from completely vanishing is that there is a time from of dates that anyone can shoot a deer.  If it wasn’t for that it would be like coyote hunting and the GAME HOGS would hunt them all year.  Giving a location and names will not help anything.

Posted by muzzyman on January 20

I beleieve the population in Greene County has been cut in half in the last 5 years, I didn’t shoot anything this year. I just don’t understand why people are still paying to hunt around me, they could do a lot better somewhere else. Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin.

I am a river and a few miles away from Pike County and work with several people who live there and own property, they say outfitting has been the ruin of there deer hunting but a lot of the outfitters are going broke, so there may be a litle good come out of this, I have $0.00 love for outfitters. Don’t belive in pimping our natural resources.

Posted by cuttnstrut on January 20

That is true. It does happen everywhere. Time frame?. Maybe a legal time frame by dates. Poachers & disease have no time frame. A herd in good condition can weather that storm much better then the fragile population we have now. We hear some pockets of deer in Illinois are good. How long before they are decimated by killers (legal I can buy as many tags as I want and kill kill kill) / poachers/& disease?. Regulations . Yes sir we need strict regulations / 2 deer a year period/ and check stations back/ more CPO’S and if you get caught poaching you lose the right to hunt in Illinois forever!. That would be a great start.

Posted by knoxcounty on January 20

History has shown that left unchecked; game animals will be hunted into extinction.  Before someone jumps down my throat; I’m not stating the whitetail herd is going extinct; I’m just stating the human behavior left unchecked will kill until there is nothing left to kill.  Whether the solution is 2 tags each or limiting tags by county or region based on population levels, something needs to change.  I personally like managing the deer at the county level based on deer population levels.  The problem I have with a 2 deer limit is that its managing hunters and not the deer.  I’d certainly take the 2 deer limit over doing nothing at all for sure.

Posted by buckbull on January 20

I absolutely love the idea of a 2 either sex deer limit.  It would make everyone who has any clues about the deer herd in Illinois happy.  Then maybe a third deer option with an earn a tag when you shoot 2 coyotes!  (I know, its not going to happen but it would be nice!)  I still am convinced that coyotes are killing far more deer than we think.  I think we have 6 fawns alone on camera in coyotes mouths in the last year.  Its come to the point where we don’t wonder if we’ll get a coyote with a fawn in its mouth but more so when.  Last year during June we had a coyote with a full size doe head in its mouth.  I have a bad feeling she was killed during birth. 

Anyways, Lets hope some changes are made this year.  I hate hearing about people who say, “I need 6 deer to feed my family for the next year” yet they are driving a new suburban.  You don’t “Need” venison, you want it.  These are the same people that are complaining that their are no deer now.

I’m looking forward to pulling my 4 remaining cameras here in March to try and get a count on how many does we have.  I was happy to see in December we had two groups of does (7 and 5) on once camera a long with a few other small groups of 2 and 3.  If everyone of those does can just make it 2 years and reproduce one fawn a year, we can recover pretty quick.  Let’s hope for the best!

Posted by Bigb on January 20

My husband and I are proud owners of all unused tags. We opted on not shooting a single deer this season. First time in my hunting career not hooting a deer. Our neighbors killed enough for both of us. I hope that by us resisting our deer numbers will increase.

I am all for a 2 deer limit.

Posted by outdoorswoman on January 20

On my drive home I pass an area that I would see deer in about everyday,and 5 years ago I stopped with my kids one night and pulled in on the road there and we counted 63 deer moving through the waterway heading for the timber to the west.Now I am lucky if I see 2-3 deer in this same area at any one time.My own property I hunt is small but always held good amounts of deer.The last 3 years have seen it decline to where I would go multiple days without a sighting,I stopped shooting does and took one mature buck this year is all.I mentioned this to a neighbor by me who hunts as well,his answer, well I saw 5 deer standing down in the ditch last summer,there are plenty of deer around,it shows the mind set of some people in my area,I know of several guys in this area that are taking any deer that passes just to say they did and use every tag they buy.Hopefully they all wake up at some point but very doubtful.

Posted by gsphemi on January 21

History has shown that left unchecked; game animals will be hunted into extinction. This was said by Buckbull above, I’ve always said this, and I’ve heard Don Higgins say this a few times.  This truth trumps everything else and is truly the root of our deer herd problems.

Posted by yellowstone on January 21

BIGB - I too believe the coyotes are a big factor.  The past 2-3 years, sightings, pics on trail cams, encounters while hunting and the howling on the farm I’ve hunted for the past 8 years - has increades significantly.  My theory is that with all of the EHD deaths the past 2 years (I found 7 EHD deer on our farm last year and I only walked a third of the farm), the coyotes had an abundant food supply.  With adequate food, healthy coyotes reproduced at a higher than normal rate, resulting in a boom to the coyote population. 

This year, I saved the carcuses of the mine and my son’s deer, froze them and plan to use them for coyote bait in the next few months.

Posted by Gilly1 on January 21

Ok i can agree with part of this blog. “there are some pockets, probably many, with an abundance of deer.” Here in lies the problem you all want the state to impose new regulations on deer hunting because your herd numbers are down. There are more than just pockets in down state illinois where there are abundance of deer. the 2 tag limit for ALL seasons is ludicris. Thats like imposing gun control laws for the whole state because too many people are are getting shot in Chicago. If you have problems in your area then your area should be restricted not mine. I hunt 2 small farms locally, then have a friend who I hunt with 2 hours south of my home, and finally I do gun season in southern illionis. All these places have good herd numbers. To say that every person that takes 4 or 5 deer a year is a killmonger is like saying everyone that lives north of Bloomington is a racist. I take offense to the generalizations in some of these comments and some of the blogs.I have ate many tag sandwiches each year. Have I killed more than 2 deer in a year, YES. Did I this year, NO, and I ate 3 tags. My 13 year old took a buck in youth season and a doe with his bow, and ate 1 tag. My daughter ate 4 tags So my family took three deer this year. I dought that we make it till next season before we run out of meat. So my family ate 8 tags…..Final point…the state will not want to give up the revenue.

Posted by mbrann on January 21

MBRANN you’re lucky. Maybe they can start by giving each county authority over the deer in it. Let the local biologist do field studies and recommend the kill quota per county. Don’t know how long that would take. But I would be willing to sit out a season or two if they needed it to set the quotas. I can eat a cow or a pig or two in the mean time. I don’t need deer meat to live. To me its a privilege not a necessity .

Posted by knoxcounty on January 21

MBRANN, you mention 3 hunters in your family.  Assuming those are the only three that hunt in your immediate family, a 2 deer limit per person would allow your family to kill and eat 6 deer, which sounds like a successful season and plenty to eat.  Just curious, ff limits were set, what would you prefer? 3 deer per hunter so your family could harvest and eat 9 deer in the next year?  I have a hard time believing one household would consume 9 adult deer, assuming none are given away or donated.

Posted by CCHUNTER2024600 on January 21

I have a family of 4 and all we eat is deer.  I kill 3 deer a year but this year my kids both killed a deer so I only killed 1.  We cannot eat more than 3.  We do not eat out and I find it hard to believe a family can eat 6 deer unless they are fawns.  None of my business but last year I seen plenty of deer and this year was terrible.  Some guys that say the had a good season might be a season away from having a terrible season.  I am a land owner and would love to be able to see deer again.  We only harvested bucks this year.  Pass the does so the herd will grow!

Posted by KrisB on January 21

I wonder what percentage of hunters actually shoot 3 or more deer per season? 
Basically putting a 2 deer limit effects how many hunters.  I think the mindset of a lot of hunters is that they want that extra permit just in case that extra buck walks by or my kid or hunting partner didn’t shoot one, then I’ll take another one because they did not.  I’d be all for a 2 deer limit.

Posted by BIGPOND on January 21

I have to disagree with a lot of the comments that you guys have as well.  This site has been a bummer to be on for the past two years because of all of the negativity that everyone brings to this website.

Back in the day, there was always healthy and fun conversations regarding hunting, fishing and the outdoors.  Now we can not have a single deer hunting article published on here without all of you posting negative stuff about anyone that decides to shoot a couple of deer.

I for one am an avid hunter and play by all the rules that the DNR sets forth.  I am lucky to have access to several pieces of land throughout the state of Illinois and was fortunate to take deer on 5 different pieces of land in three different counties this season.  In no way do I feel that I should have to restrain and only take one or two deer during the season.

I am fortunate to have strong numbers in all the areas I hunt and I have seen just as many deer the past couple years as I did 10 years ago.

All in all I would love to get on this website sometime in the future and just have everyone actually discuss hunting strategies, success stories, etc. without all the ridiculous comments.

Posted by illinibowhunter on January 21

I think MBRANN and IBH both make great points…

Personally - I don’t think a ‘statewide’ reg makes sense.  I know a little of Missouri’s approach from working with a lot of MO deer hunters.  I think their success (especially this year) based on regional management makes a lot of sense.  They’ve been hard too from EHD, etc that most of the midwest felt.  Plus - I like their concept of a Conservation Commission instead of Political appointees.

Posted by RiverRat on January 21

cc hunter, Again your area of the state should not dictate what my area of the state can do or not do. You do not have a clue what the areas i hunt can or cannot sustain in the taking of deer. you assume that just because someone has a tag that they can kill a deer. I have had years where I killed with a bow and not the gun, and vice versa. I dont kill everything that walks by. I am selective. if I havent got meat in the freezer by gun season I become less selective. We buy tags in hopes the we can fill 25% to 30%. If my son gets hurt in football and cant hunt or my daughter has finals and cant get to deer camp my right to take more than 2 deer in a combination of archery, gun, and muzzleloader seasons has been taken away. I don’t buy hamburger or roasts. I occaisionally buy steaks for a treat. I don’t buy sausage. I dont buy jerky, snack sticks or summer sausage. I do my own processing. I use the natural resources available to me to feed my family. Yes we can eat 5 or 6 deer in a year. Both my kids are students . one in college so she doesnt get the opportunities to hunt as much as she would like to, so there fore usually cannot fill her tags. It never ceases to amaze me how so many people that comment and blog here think that THEIR view point is the only correct view and every one elses is wrong.
  2 of the farms i hunt are close to 90% agriculture and they are less than 60 acres total. My gun hunting spot is the Shawnee national forrest….Public ground. Available to everyone in the state. You all can come down to camp and kill some deer too, I bet we could have some good discussion on politics and such around the fire.
  Knox, yes I am fortunate to have multiple places to hunt. It seems you get what I am saying. Just because one area of the states deer herd is down does not mean the rest of the state should suffer restrictions.
  I have not commented on any blogs in a while. i felt it necessary to speak up for the rest of the state. I agree with IBH lets get more postive blogs going again It is not all gloom and doom in this state.

Posted by mbrann on January 21

6 deer, 40lbs of meat each is 240lbs of venison.  That averages to .66lbs per day; or around 4.6lbs per week.  I know my family of 5; 2 lbs of burger is usually standard issue for dinner time.  So, 2 to 3 meals of venison a week would run thru that meat in 1 year.  Seems legit.

Anyway, if ALL permits were based on quotas set at the county level based on deer population; areas with high populations would have a larger quantity of tags.  Areas with low populations would have smaller quantity of tags.  Some areas may have to go to a draw if demand outweighs the tag quotas.  They’ve been managing game animals like this in the West for decades and I think it would work here.  As I mentioned earlier; I think it would be better to manage the deer than to manage the hunters.  The fact that a bow permit enables a person to hunt anywhere in the state (not landowner permits) just doesn’t make sense from a management perspective.  It allows areas with low deer density rates to continue to be over hunted.

Posted by buckbull on January 21

MBRANN. Yes sir I get what you are saying . It does get old to here doom and gloom all the time. Watch the local news at night and see 30 stories of D&G and then they slip a happy story in. Its a shock. I think a lot of the guys here are scared (myself included) hunting deer could become a thing of the past if something drastic isn’t done in some areas of the state. I started deer hunting in 1978 and watched the herd grow from seeing a deer was an OMG! moment. To holy crap there are deer everywhere. To back to 1978 sightings .  Then we lash out at a guy that has success. I apologize for that, it’s human nature. I don’t apologize for a guy that kills 18 deer a year just because he can. That to me is not being a sportsman. I wish you continued success in your area an hope you do not have to ever go thru what some parts of the state are going thru.

Posted by knoxcounty on January 21

Nope, not doom and gloom, just being realistic.  MBRANN makes it obvious that he doesn’t agree with a 2 deer limit per hunter and I am just curious what MBRANN’s opinion would be if there had to be a limit set and what he feels the appropriate number would be.  Is 3, 4, 5?  You don’t have to get defensive about it, the good ole DNR’s got your back, shoot as many as you want.  That is great that YOU don’t waste or donate any of the meat.  I feel like the deer density is probably above average in the area I hunt.  That being said, it has probably been cut by at least 50% in the last 3-4 years.  You are correct Knox, the last thing I want is for deer hunting to become a thing of the past.  Do I honestly believe that will happen, NO.  Do I think something drastic needs to be done, YES.  By the way, I LOVE to eat venison, but I cant justify killing 3, 4, or 5 deer in the area I hunt.  If all 9 of the guys I hunt with did that, it would be OVER.

Posted by CCHUNTER2024600 on January 21

From what i’m reading, all but 2 posters in these comments have lower than average deer numbers, and those 2 posters still have good numbers.  i’ll add myself in to say that i also have good numbers.  the reason that the site used to be full of good stories and strategy talk and the last few years has been full of grumbling and negative information is becuase the topics at hand on deer articles on an outdoor site directly correlate to the situation in the deer woods.  of course it was all good times before the herd was slapped with EHD/Bluetongue a couple years on top of already over-the-top doe harvesting.  now that the numbers are down, lots of hunters don’t have the happy stories they were sharing a few short years ago.  i’d like to see a change put in place so that what has happened in much of central illinois doesn’t become the norm down here in southern.

Posted by goodsoil on January 21

Gilly - Sounds like a good plan with the deer carcasses.  I can’t wait to get out and put a few on the ground.  I hear of people completely blaming hunters for low deer numbers when a pair of coyotes can easily take out 15 fawns in a year.  Their are numbers studies that show if you can put a good dent in the coyote population you will greatly help you deer population.

I have to say that where I hunt, we don’t have horrible deer numbers.  I do though feel bad for those who do and for the first time in a while told myself that I am not shooting any does and I didn’t.  If 5,000 hunters don’t shoot a doe, in 2 years, those 5,000 does can turn into 17,500 deer in just two years.  Giving those deer chance to spread out and over the course of time reestablish populations that were decimated from hunting, coyotes and EHD.  I ate 5 tags this year and could care less.  I just don’t understand the “I need to shoot 6 deer a year for me, my family, etc.”  I think its a way to make yourself feel better for ruining the deer population for the generations to come. 

Also, a county by county tag limit is a far stretch.  The state is broke as it is and there is no way they could figure out how to get accurate numbers to make correct quotas.  Besides, there is no way for someone to by two tags in one county, then two in another and then just use all four in one county.  Until we can get an accurate tagging system it has to be a state wide limit.

Posted by Bigb on January 21

BIGB - I think the state already manages firearm tags by county, factoring in archery permits by county shouldn’t be that big of a deal I wouldn’t think since they already have formulas and data (DVA) in place.  I’m not a wildlife biologist so I can’t say for certain.  And if someone tries to game the system by buying tags for one county and hunting another; all I can say is that they are probably the ones that have always contributed to to the problem and always will.  We shouldn’t stop progress for fear of those who will game the system.

Certainly limits can be set on people so that if they have drawn a permit in one county they can’t be drawn for the other unless there are leftover tags.

2 deer limit would be fine with me too as its a whole lot better than nothing.  There is just not a lot of science to back it. If you have a county like Pike and DNR sets the quota for 2000 deer; what good is the 2 permits per person if 10,000 hunters (20,000 permits) are hunting Pike. Managing the deer herd according to sound wildlife conservation practices is what our tax money and tag fees is suppose to be paying for.

I’m not as optimistic as others about changes being brought in by Rauner.  I hope I’m wrong.

Looking forward to turkey season.

Posted by buckbull on January 21

I must have bigger deer in my area. I get more meat than 40 lbs out my deer. My burger I mix with talo which makes it go further.  My point is I would be fine with 2 tags. I have never killed more than I could eat. That is how I was raised. I know it is fun to kill deer I love shooting them but they are a resource and if we do not change something the resource will not be their for or kids and their kids to enjoy.  I do not feel it is doom and gloom it is the truth. Been bowhunting 25 years and I have not seen it this bad and keeps getting worse. Those that do not change it will be bad in your area next.  You won’t know it till it is to late.  I seen plenty of deer last year and I killed 3. This year I seen 13 deer the 2nd week of November. I hunted 9 straight days to see that number. Took 5 days to see my first deer.  There is something wrong with that in my opinion. I know it is better than the 60’s and 70s but it could get that bad in my area if we as hunters do not change. I do not think the state is going to fix the problem. We have too.

Posted by KrisB on January 21

right on buckbull, where I hunt the problem is too many hunters for the available ground. I think reducing tags would just cut the tags that are not filled anyway. I do support reduction but feel the kill mongers would just “kill by other means”

Posted by djcrokit on January 21

Not seeing enough deer this year but killed 3 last year? In essence you killed a minimum of 5, assuming you only shot one doe. Multiply that by let’s say 4 years add in coyotes and EHD and do you wonder why you are not seeing deer?

Posted by red51 on January 21

I certainly don’t view these blogs as all doom and gloom, rather I see it as hunters strategizing as always to better their hunting grounds.  For those who still have good numbers, that is great, but until you go thru period of having great or good numbers to very poor numbers in less than two years, it will certainly change your outlook on how you hunt. A lot of hunters have changed how they hunt by shooting less and taking less does, to help the herd recover - but not all hunters do this and thus why many hunters would like to see a limit. A legitimate fear is another EHD year in these already hard hit counties.  If quotas could be done regionally - great - but in Illinois I just don’t see that happening any time soon.  If the state won’t do regional numbers or reduced permits of some kind (that make a difference) than what would be a statewide limit that effects the least amount of hunters.  How many hunters shoot more than 3 deer a season, if it is a lot than how many shoot 4 ect.  I might be wrong, but I don’t think a lot of hunters are shooting more than 2 deer a season and I don’t think many hunters are hunting 5 different properties and several counties.  It is not about picking up stake and moving to an area that has good numbers, but improving the areas that were hit hard.

Posted by BIGPOND on January 22

I didn’t write this blog with the intent of “doom and gloom.”  To me, this blog is as much hunting tips as any other.  Now more than ever before I think one of the best tips regarding deer hunting is conservation and restraint.

Posted by Treehugger on January 23

We need a new clever saying for a deer pin.

How bout I passed a doe so the herd will grow!

Or save a doe kill a coyote.

Posted by red51 on January 23

ya know, i think this might be doom and gloom.  I mean it seems that the dinosaur population didnt die off much faster than the illinois deer herd has.  With that said, im not sure whats more destructive to a species.  A comet, or the combination of our whitetail management program combined with stupid people that believe that if you actually shoot does, there will be more deer.

Posted by clintharvey on January 25

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