Jim's Outdoor Blog

Hunting, RVing and Great Escapes – Everything Outdoors

Mid-West Whitetails, A Hunters Paradise

 

 

 

The Land of Lincoln and Amazing Whitetails

Whitetail deer are the number-one big game animal in America, which probably makes it the most sought after big game animal on the planet.  In spite of incredibly intense hunting pressure, their populations increase each year.  Due to automobile accident expenses, multi-billion dollar insurance companies see them as their archenemy.  These corporations could out-spend most countries.  But, regardless of their best efforts, whitetails continue to multiply and thrive.

When I was a child growing up in the Prairie State, the state authorized deer-hunting season was in its infancy.  America’s new comers had been turning over black Illinois soil for around one-hundred-fifty years and by the early 20th century deer were seldom, if ever, seen.  Once deer became a protected species the government set about undoing the damage wrought by uncontrolled slaughter and habitat destruction. 

Assisted by landowners, the Department of Natural Resources began transporting and planting deer throughout the state.  By the late 1950’s, very limited hunting seasons were established.  Farming practices began to evolve and crop production improved decade after decade.  With this incredible source of food, as good as provided any well-fed steer, their minions faired well.  In the 2006-2007 deer season, running from October 1st into January, hunters took home 200,000 individual whitetail deer.  My how things have changed.

(http://www.dnr.state.il.us/pubaffairs/2007/January/deerharvest.html)

Beginning on the first day of October, Illinois archery whitetail season extends into the following year.  Deer tags are sold in a two-pack, with one “doe only” and one “either sex” tag in each package.  Western hunters can’t wrap their minds around this next tidbit of information, so I want them to read it -s l o w l y-.  There is no limit to the number of two-packs resident hunters can purchase…  Yes, resident archery hunters can buy all the deer tags they desire.  There is No Limit.

Not only that, but archers can also hunt during Illinois firearm seasons.  High-powered modern rifles (center fire) are not allowed, but separate seasons are available for shotguns, handguns and muzzleloaders.  Hunters can utilize the most modern equipment available for any firearm that is allowed.  The point is to reduce deer numbers.

My brother Mike and his hunting partners took thirty-three deer in the 2007-2008 seasons.  One of the above photographs show whitetails hanging in Mike’s shop.  Those deer were taken during the shotgun season.  That scene reminds me of old black and white photographs depicting market hunters or huge deer camps where families gathered to hunt each fall.  It is hard to believe that photo was taken within the last five months.

In the future I will write more about the unbelievable deer hunting in Illinois.  I mainly wanted to upload some photos and whet your whistle.

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April 11, 2008 - Posted by | Deer, Elk, Antelope, Big Horns and Such

1 Comment »

  1. We LOVE Illinois!

    Comment by hawgnsonstv | February 21, 2011 | Reply


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