Illinois Whitetail Disaster

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kellory
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby kellory » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:11 am

Yes, Thomas, they do, and they are. Enough that I have purchased leg hold traps, and opened my property to a trapper, and the two sons who wish to learn trapping. They will trap my land, with my traps, and split the hides.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Deebz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:35 am

Predation is definitely a factor here in IL. I don't believe that predation alone is the cause of our troubles, but it is definitely increasing. Not only coyotes either... 2 or 3 seasons ago I'm positive I had a red wolf cruise by my deer stand. I heard it coming through the underbrush, so I stood up and got to full draw. I thought it was a coyote, but when it got into my shooting lane I could only stare...it was HUGE, first of all, so I thought it was the farmer's German Sheppard. It only took a few seconds to realize the coloration and shape of the head was wrong for that... Then it took off at a lope...not a coyote bounce or a dog run, but a wolf lope...huge bushy tail straight out behind it and covering ground like I've never seen. I asked the local DNR officer about it, and all I got was "There are no official wolf populations in IL"....

We have also been hearing reports of cougars/mountain lions/whatever in our area. I was always a bit skeptical, and have never seen them for myself. However, our local mail lady has claimed to have seen several of them in the same area as of late. One of the guys who farms some ground I sometimes get to gun hunt has watched a young cougar chase deer through the ditches. I also heard of guys doing deer drives who found 2 doe carcasses with the skeleton all still perfectly attached and whole, but the bones were cleaned. Coyotes will tear a carcass apart...cats will eat it down to the bone... Oh yeah, and the DNR did kill a 100lb cougar in Morrisson, IL...

Couple the increased predation with the EHD outbreaks and it's easy to understand the decline in our deer populations.

Shaman: You are totally correct in the effect that poaching can have on a deer population. I just don't think poaching is the cause here in my neck of the woods though. Like I've mentioned before, the only real woodlots we have are small parcels. Everything else is wide open. You could easily kill deer with long range rifle shots, but you can't do it very secretly. Also, all it takes is a little bit of trying to get permission to hunt some of these woodlots to understand how tightly they are watched by the people who do have permission. I don't believe there's enough poaching going on to affect the huge herds we've had in the past.
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Big Horse » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:34 pm

If poaching is having a significant affect I think it has more in relation to the check station system Woodsy mentioned and the current permit system than it does to rifle poaching from a truck. Which while it wasn't specifically mentioned in the article may relate to management problems as much as anything. Like WW pointed out until 7 or 8 years ago deer had to be taken to a check station. The stations he mentioned, staffed by biology volunteers, were during the firearms seasons and were at one or two centralized locations in each county. But there were also check stations for archery season. These were local businesses that were contracted by the DNR to check in archery kills and tag those kills for record.

Also, we used to have to order archery permits through the DNR somewhat like we still do for the firearms season. You would send in a check requesting a specific amount of archery tags prior to the season, and when you filled your allotment of tags you were done. Now we can purchase as many archery tags as one wishes to pay for, over the counter, on any given day at walmart and many other retailers.

Today we have no check stations. its a phone in check system that relies completely on the honor system. It would be much easier nowdays for a person to buy an archery permit over the counter, "legally" hunt, kill a deer, and then never call it in, only to continue to hunt on the same tag another day.

Another somewhat recent change is the 2 buck limit. You can only take two bucks a year in Illinois no matter the weapons or seasons, but as I mentioned, you can buy as many doe tags over the counter for archery season, basically promoting an eradication of does. This upcoming weekend is the final season of the year, a late firearms season that only allows does to be taken. Is this emphasis on does creating a healthy herd or simply promoting a male dominated heard of older bucks?

And lastly, EHD. I don't know why it's become more common in recent years but it is definitely having an impact. I have been fortunate enough to not have experienced any known loss from EHD on the property I hunt, but I have friends who have. It seems to concentrate in certain geographics over others, and in one area South West of our town where I have several friends who own property and hunt, each and every one of them were finding double digit numbers of dead loss from EHD on their properties. I'm hopeful that this colder winter than we have experienced in some time will produce a deeper freeze that might help eliminate some of the midges that are apparently the carriers of this disease.
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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Big Horse » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:23 am

This week only the ILDNR is taking surveys on topics to be discussed at the April Conservation Congress.

http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservatio ... fault.aspx
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Deebz
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Deebz » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:46 pm

I got an email update from the IDNR today. I copied the first article below...

My response: There may be isolated patches of IL (especially in Northern IL....the situation may be different in some of the more hilly and timbered areas of southern IL) where these types of predators could survive. However, I'd think we'd pretty much be sealing the fate of the deer herds if this actually happens...




A Message from Director Marc Miller
Is there a future for mountain lions, wolves and black bears in Illinois?

The recent occurrence of a mountain lion in Whiteside County has generated much public discussion about the future of this species in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources welcomes that discussion, and believes it’s equally important to talk about the possible return of other apex predators such as the gray wolf and the American black bear.

While we believe this and other recent confirmed mountain lion sightings are isolated occurrences for now, we have been actively preparing for the time when mountain lions, wolves, and black bears may once again establish populations in the state. We have funded scientific research where suitable habitat models have been developed for these species, and have also researched attitudes and opinions of Illinoisans regarding these large carnivores.

In the spring of 2011, we supported a bill in the General Assembly (HB 1437) that sought to add the gray wolf, American black bear, and mountain lion to the list of protected species under the Illinois Wildlife Code. While that effort was not successful, the IDNR remains interested in finding ways to achieve protections for these animals by working cooperatively with a wide range of constituencies.

We believe there is room on our Illinois landscape for apex predators, but these species also will require management as they re-establish and grow in numbers to deal with human-wildlife interactions, nuisance animals, and to keep a balance in predator-prey numbers within suitable habitat areas. Placing the species on the protected list is a necessary step.

The agency is also trying to educate and inform residents on wildlife-human interactions and their role in wildlife management, and has worked with the University of Illinois Extension to develop a useful website, “Living with Wildlife in Illinois”: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/

While our attitude surveys revealed that a large number of people in Illinois support carnivore protection, they also show that a majority of people don’t want them close to their home. Like so many of the resources that we manage, we recognize that there are differing views on how mountain lions, and other large predators, should be managed within the state.

Our current work is focused on understanding people’s views on these carnivores and other wildlife, including urban and rural residents and all other cross-sections of citizens in the state, and then using that information to manage this resource in a way that best meets the needs and expectations of our residents. In the near future we will be sharing the results of public surveys on these issues on the “Living with Wildlife” website.

Aldo Leopold, the father of modern conservation, wrote his 1933 book Game Management at the time when much of North America’s big game animals, like wolves and deer, were nearly extinct, and the wildlife management profession was beginning to be institutionalized. Leopold stated, “The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy – it is already too late for that – but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance.”

In the eighty years since, we have seen great strides in conservation and species recovery, including deer, wild turkeys, coyotes, beaver, raccoons, river otters and large carnivores. Countless sportsmen, conservationists, land owners, environmentalists, and natural resource professionals have all played a significant part in these accomplishments. Now we must focus on the next step of creating a better understanding and new ethics to support the future management and protection of large carnivores in Illinois.

Yours in Conservation,
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear

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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Big Horse » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:33 pm

I received the same email.


And while the majority of people surveyed were against the reintroduction of carnivorous predators... those in charge at the IDNR have been and are supportive of recent legislative proposals to do just that.

What ever happen to government being the representation of the people?

I've been suspicious, and I don't think I'm the only one, that they have been introducing Mountain lions for some time now. The sightings, both confirmed and unconfirmed, have grown in recent years.
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:32 pm

The 3 S's gentlemen, the 3 S's....with heavy emphasis on the third "S"!

The ONLY way I would be insupport for introduction/protection of the above named predators is if there's a MANAGEMENT PLAN named at the same time for them which INCLUDES a mathematical population number for each predator species, and that when that number is reached there's also a rule in place that would go into effect to CONTROL the population. That could be hunting, live trapping, biological control or whatever, just as long as they are managed within set parameters like any other wildlife species.

The WORST thing that could happen is for these predators to be left to populate so that when they do become a definate threat then there's no way to control them and to get any control you'd have...gasp...POLITICIANS in change of it. Can you say "clusterfarce???

This is what they did in Yellowstone much to the dismay and opposition of the Wyoming Game and Fish Comission as well as the other bordering states and to this day entire elk populations have been decimated in parts of Idaho and Montana.
Hunt Hard,

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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:42 pm

Actually, bears wouldn't be all that hard to control. In Illinois if you want to keep Bears out of an area, just put up goal posts and make it an end zone! :mrgreen:
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Big Horse
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Big Horse » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:58 am

Rimshot!
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: Illinois Whitetail Disaster

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:23 pm

UPDATE: This is from the Illinois DNR.......


Data from the 2013-14 Illinois deer hunting seasons will be incorporated into planning for the 2014-15 deer seasons. Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 148,569 deer during all 2013-14 seasons, compared with a total harvest for all seasons of 180,811 in 2012-13.

This represents an 18% decline for IL as compared to last year. The overall trend for the past 6 years is down by 25%.

2011 was 181,411

2010 was 182,270

2009 was 188,901

2008 was 199,611
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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