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Thread: Pathetic Public Land Wild Bird Hunting in IL

  1. #1

    Angry Pathetic Public Land Wild Bird Hunting in IL

    I think we all know how pathetic the public land hunting is for upland bird hunters in IL, but I never knew how truly bad it was. I was looking around on the IL DNR website and I see they publish an annual report of hunter trips and harvest on the 215 IL DNR managed hunting sites:

    https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting....2015.2016.pdf

    Some take away numbers:

    372,842 acres open for public hunting (hunted acres out of 477,000 total)
    60,597 hunted acres on controlled pheasant hunting land (by my quick count)
    _________
    312,245 acres net of controlled hunting areas


    29,968 total IL DNR land pheasant harvest
    28,655 pheasants harvested on controlled pheasant areas (released birds)
    __________
    1,313 wild pheasants taken on public land


    660 total quail harvest on public land (yes SIX HUNDRED sixty - not a typo)


    So that is 1,973wild upland birds taken from 312,245 acres - 1 bird for every 158 acres managed by DNR. I almost can't believe these numbers they are so sad, but they are right there in black and white published by the ILDNR.

    Has the upland bird hunter been completely forgotten by IL DNR?
    Last edited by Makintrax73; 09-21-2016 at 03:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Glenview, Illinois
    Posts
    348

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    Trax,

    It is sad isn't it. The IDNR has completely forgotten about the upland hunter. Years ago the emphasis went to Deer and Turkey. I hunt released birds now and do enjoy it as its all I got here. I long for the days where we chased wild birds all day down in Livingston county. I did get a public land date in December to one of the Pheasant areas. It's down by Bloomington - Normal. It's 80 acres, can't believe it's any good but if your interested let me know I can take 3 guests.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    27

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    Yep utterly disappointing! What's even more sad is that the upland hunter is "allowed" one permit per year to hunt the managed properties. I spend my money elsewhere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, IL
    Posts
    1,755

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    Luckily being right at the WI state line Im not far from some ok upland areas and have a place in N WI to retreat to. IL is truly a screwed up state with no turnaround in site. I do hunt COL as its a mile down the road. I suspect my new springer will be catching the chickens there this year. Shes a rocket and those birds arent the brightest
    Mike

  5. #5

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    It is very sad indeed, that is why I make a couple trips to Iowa for weekend hunts and a few 3 to 4 day hunts in Kansas. Hopefully one day I will be able to move to a more bird dog friendly state, because we all know you cant make a bird dog if there are no bird's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    63

    Default Indy chirping in

    I will volunteer myself and my Pudelpointer PACKER if you need two more boots and a good dog on the ground! Rivalry aside!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    123

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    The big money is in big game, as long as the deer, elk and turkey hunters shell out the big money then the states will cotton to them. I am a firm believer that small game hunting is the foundation of all hunting, It costs thousands of dollars to get a deer hunt in run by outfitters, because most of the shooters (not hunters) all want bragging rights on the big buck.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by odenney View Post
    The big money is in big game, as long as the deer, elk and turkey hunters shell out the big money then the states will cotton to them. I am a firm believer that small game hunting is the foundation of all hunting, It costs thousands of dollars to get a deer hunt in run by outfitters, because most of the shooters (not hunters) all want bragging rights on the big buck.

    Yes DNR has to cater to the demand from the hunters, but we have a real chicken and egg problem here: There are < 25,000 upland bird hunters in IL per IL DNR. When harvest of upland birds was over a million birds I bet they sold a lot more licenses. Today it is under 100,000 total harvest of quail and pheasants.

    I would sure like to see someone like PF put together a plan that we can all lobby our state reps for. I don't have the answers, but I would like to see the habitat stamp raised to $10. I would even be in favor of a $10 upland bird stamp like WI has a pheasant stamp - provided they have to spend the money on upland habitat. My guess is those 25,000 are diehards and the extra $10 wont phase them. The roadside mowing issue with IDOT seems like a no brainer if we had some people pushing for it?

    We are never going back to the good old days. I just don't want to see the day when wild birds are only a memory in this state, and game farms are all we have left. Unless something changes drastically we are a generation or two away from it.

  9. #9

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    When I was younger my father took me a few years in a row to a farm he hunted in Livingston county. To this day that's the most wild pheasants I've seen in this state. It doesn't help when close to 90 percent of the land in the state is privately owned, or that fact that farms disc all their crops. This state caters to deer hunters and waterfowl hunters. What you need is farmers working in partnership with pheasants forever so they can farm but still leave some grassland for wildlife.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    112

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    Guys it's not all a DNR issue... It's multle things... It's the ag industry .... It's the state budget.... It's Chicago...

    I'm very fortunate bc last year our group shot 72 wild Illinois roosters. The bird numbers are decent in good cover but you got to invest in that good cover.

    I keep telling pf in my area if you want a quick increase in habitat then do two things... First no roadside mowing of more than 6' till July 31... Two make all 120' drainage district soil erosion set aside not mowable and give incentive for WIHA. THAT IS LITERALLY MILES AND MILES OF GOOD HABITAT.

    but there has been a huge jump in crp acres already. Now the problem is they are hitting the national crp cap set by the 2014 farm bill. You need to let your legislation know you want that raised. Use your voice. If we band together it will be heard.

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