May 2020

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Illinois Department of Natural Resources
May 2020
May 1, 2020
  • Wildlife
The River Otter—An Illinois Conservation Success Story
By Valerie Blaine

If you’ve had your fill of COVID-19, politics and ecological gloom, how about a conservation success story? The reintroduction of the river otter in Illinois is a good-news story that brings a virus-free breath of fresh air when we need it most.

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May 1, 2020
  • Recreation
Hunting with Adrenaline
By Eric Bumgarner

If you hunt deer or turkey you understand the effects of adrenaline on the human body. As excitement builds in anticipation, your heart begins to race, and your breathing becomes heavy and erratic. It is an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.

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May 1, 2020
  • Recreation
The Hunter’s Way of Thinking
By Patty Gillespie

About four decades ago, I was taught how to shoot a 410 shotgun and how to hunt safely and ethically. We were hunting on a perfect fall day, trying to jump a rabbit. I spotted a rabbit sitting motionlessly up ahead. The hunter said, “Shoot.” I did. He cheered, “Good shot!”

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May 1, 2020
  • Land
2020 Illinois Duck Stamp Fund Supports Waterfowl Production
By Kathy Andrews Wright

About 70 percent of waterfowl harvested in the U.S. were produced in Canada. To aid in protecting Canadian waterfowl production areas such as the Prairie Pothole Region, part of the funds derived from the 2020 Illinois Duck Stamp are awarded to appropriate conservation projects.

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May 1, 2020
  • Land
Ducks at Dawn, Roosters in the Afternoon
By Mike Budd

East-central Illinois has the potential to provide exceptional recreation and conservation opportunities. Wildlife biologists are available and ready to help landowners restore wildlife habitat. The result provides great hunting opportunities, but also the ability to help conserve our natural resources.

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A message from Chief Mike Wefer

Welcome to the May 1, 2020 edition of the online magazine OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journal, featuring timely, seasonally based stories about the Prairie State’s wildlife resources.

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February 2020
Feb 1, 2020
  • Research
  • Wildlife
2018-2019 Chronic Wasting Disease Report
By Doug Dufford, Patrick McDonald

One of the biggest management challenges for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). IDNR recently released The Illinois Chronic Wasting Disease: 2018–2019 Surveillance and Management Report. Read on to discover the report highlights.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Recreation
Legislation Allows School Boards to Incorporate Hunter Education in School Curriculum
By Kathy Andrews Wright

In the nearly 61 years since the Illinois hunter safety education program was established times have changed. In 2019, a legislated change created the opportunity to offer the course through the Illinois school system.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Land
  • Recreation
Harvest, Flood, Harvest
By Mike Budd

The perfect opportunity awaits Illinois waterfowl hunters and farmers to strengthen their alliance for more hunting opportunities, the preservation of our rural areas and to enhance community profits. Read on to learn more.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Land
Pheasant Project Grants Announced
By Kathy Andrews Wright

An Illinois State Pheasant Fund award has been made to the Quail and Upland Game Alliance to assist private landowners complete wildlife-friendly management projects.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Wildlife
Ring-necked Pheasants
By Valerie Blaine

The ring-necked pheasant has come a long way from its exotic origins to its establishment in the Prairie State. The author explores the pheasant’s history and status today.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Wildlife
The Minds They Are A-Changin’
By Patty Gillespie

Despite being a creature whose mug shot once adorned many a wanted poster for an alleged affiliation with Dracula or for attempted invasion of one’s hair, the bat has recently gained a new respected position in our imaginations.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Recreation
Deer Hunting Seasons Are Over – Now What?
By Nancy Donaldson

Now that the deer hunting seasons are over, what can you do with that extra time on your hands? The author suggests some great activities to engage deer hunters off-season.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Land
Forestry Habitat Improvement Program Designed to Benefit Wildlife
By Kathy Andrews Wright

Administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Habitat Fund provides qualified not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities with the opportunity for funding to enhance game and non-game wildlife habitat.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Research
  • Wildlife
Deer Matrilines—What Are They?
By Charles Nixon, Phil Mankin

Deer marked on three areas of Illinois (Brown-Adams, DeKalb and Piatt counties) allowed the authors to observe the composition of 12 matrilines through time. Learn what the authors discovered by reading further.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Research
Still on the Trail
By Seth Magle

The Urban Wildlife Biodiversity Monitoring Project began in 2009. The author, Seth Magle, Director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo, states that understanding how wildlife communities adapt to living in cities isn’t something you can do in a year, or two, or even 10.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Wildlife
Greater Prairie-chicken, Once the Quintessential Game Bird of the Prairie State
By Valerie Blaine

The greater prairie-chicken has a storied history in North America, with ups and downs, twists and turns, and an uncertain future. Understanding its story provides insight into our part of the journey we share—not just with one species, but with communities of species.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Research
  • Wildlife
Understanding the Nine-banded Armadillo in Illinois
By Carly Haywood

The nine-banded armadillo is a recent addition to the native fauna of Illinois. Little is known about the effect of this species on native wildlife and habitat, but not for long. Research is underway.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Land
Strike Team Restores Habitat for Wildlife and Provides Student Training
By Justin J. Shew

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center’s Habitat Strike Team recently received competitive funding from both the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Habitat Fund and the Division of Natural Heritage to continue and expand their management capacity in the confluence region of Illinois.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • People
Meet the Chief: Mike Wefer Tagged to Head Division of Wildlife Resources
By Kathy Andrews Wright

With nearly 30 years of experience, Mike Wefer is certainly no stranger to the needs of wildlife and wildlife constituents.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Land
Mud Creek to Meredosia: A Habitat Corridor Gets Reclaimed
By Mike Budd

The hillsides west of Arenzville are transforming into what could create the perfect Sunday drive. Efforts to restore the historic hill prairies include the removal of dense stands of aggressive, invasive plant species. Partnerships are working hard and seeing results.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Recreation
I’m No Squirrel
By Eric Bumgarner

As hunters, we must do whatever it takes to be safe. Author Eric Bumgarner shares a story about hunter safety from his years as an Illinois Conservation Police Officer.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Wildlife
The Status of Cougars in Illinois
By Laura Kammin

Once common in Illinois, cougars were eliminated due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss. Given the limited habitat available now, it may seem unlikely that cougars would be seen in Illinois again. However, in the last several years there have been a few confirmed sightings of individual cougars in the state.

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Feb 1, 2020
  • Wildlife
Virginia Opossum
By Robert J. Reber

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial to inhabit the United States and one of the few wild animals that cannot be confused with another species. Once you’ve seen one, you’ll never forget it.

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