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Illinois DNR taking applications for archery hunting on private land

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Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources is getting ready to divvy up more than 18,000 acres of private land in 20 counties for archery deer hunters.

The Illinois Recreational Access Program allows hunters to apply for one of about 120 hunting spots on private land across the state.

DNR spokesman Ed Cross said the idea is to get hunters into the field, even if they don’t have a field of their own.

“We have a lot of hunters who say they don’t have access to hunting ground,” Cross said. “The IRAP program is great way to get folks out there and enjoy as many opportunities throughout the state.”

There are spots available in some of Illinois’ best deer country, including Pike and McDonough counties in western Illinois and Williamson County in southern Illinois.

“This is a very popular program,” Cross said. “For deer season, as an example, more than 120 sites are available through 20 different counties in Illinois. And each year we see more and more folks who are interested in it.”

Cross said applications are due by Aug. 24. Hunters must pick one of Illinois’ two October archery seasons when they apply.

Applications are available on the DNR’s website.

Article by Benjamin Yount, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org 

To learn more about IRAP, check out the Springfield Daily video here

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Illinois News Network, publisher of ILNews.org, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at ILNews.org. Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.

Outdoors

IDNR Asks Hunters, Landowners to Report Suspected Cases of EHD in Deer

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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has received reports of 55 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in white-tailed deer so far in 2018, with EHD appearing at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River including Fulton, McDonough, Peoria and Putnam.  Scattered suspected EHD cases have also been reported in the central and southern Illinois counties of Alexander, Macon, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Randolph, Richland, Union, Wabash, Wayne, and Williamson.  In all, reports have come from 17 counties.

The worst year for EHD in Illinois was 2012, when 2,043 cases were reported from 76 counties. In 2013, the IDNR received reports of 403 cases from 51 counties.  EHD was virtually absent in 2014 and at low levels in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The IDNR continues to ask landowners, hunters, and concerned citizens to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer, and to report suspected EHD cases to their local IDNR field office, or to the Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program (WDIS).  IDNR is especially interested in sick or recently dead animals as staff may attempt to collect tissue samples in order to confirm the presence of the EHD virus.

Contact information for local IDNR biologists is available online at:
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/professionals.cfm.

Contact the WDIS Program at 815-369-2414 or by email at doug.dufford@illinois.gov. Please provide your name and contact information, as well as the county, number of dead/sick deer, sex of the deer (if known), age (fawn or adult), and the specific location of the deer (distance/direction from the nearest town or intersection of two roads).

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that can cause localized die-offs when conditions are favorable for transmission.  Infected animals develop a high fever, and dead animals often are found near water sources. Hunters may encounter deer killed by EHD when they go into the woods during the upcoming deer hunting seasons. EHD outbreaks typically end when freezing weather kills the insects that spread the virus.  While often fatal to deer, EHD is not hazardous to humans or pets.  EHD has been shown to affect livestock, so producers are encouraged to be vigilant.

The virus is transmitted between deer by a midge that hatches from muddy areas along lakes/ponds and streams/rivers.  Although EHD is observed somewhere in Illinois every year, cases are more numerous during hot and dry summer weather conditions, presumably because receding water levels create these muddy areas, providing breeding sites for the midges.  Limited water resources also congregate deer at remaining watering sites, creating conditions favorable for disease transmission.

A map showing the distribution of EHD-suspected deer reports as of September 15 for 2018 is presented above.

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Outdoors

Bourne’s Combination Youth Hunting and Trapping License Bill Signed into Law

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PRESS RELEASE | House Bill 4783, which merges two youth Department of Natural Resources issued licenses, was recently signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. The new law, sponsored by Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), combines the previously separate youth hunting and trapping licenses. This bill was an initiative of the DNR to cut red tape and streamline the licensing process for those under 18 years of age in the state.

Representative Bourne stated, “This new law will enable young hunters to obtain and carry only one license. They are able to hunt or trap under it while supervised by an adult who is 21 years of age or older who will mentor them, and teach them the proper techniques and safety measures to trap or hunt.” Rep. Bourne added that if a youth has a valid certificate of competency for hunting or trapping approved by the Department of Natural Resources, he or she is exempt from these supervision requirements.

Under the new law the fee for a Youth Hunting and Trapping License is $7. To learn more about hunting and trapping or to apply for a license, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov.

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