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Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Director’s Letter

Chris Young, Director of the Office of Resource Conservation

Welcome to the November 1, 2019 edition of the online magazine OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journal, featuring timely, seasonally based stories about the Prairie State’s wildlife resources.

Crisp fall weather heightens interest in getting afield, especially for outdoorsmen and women. Waterfowl hunters will find the waterfowl forecast and preparing for the waterfowl hunt articles informative, and those interested in trapping will be interested in reviewing the annual furbearer forecast. Deer hunters will enjoy learning about research on the dispersal of deer and an article providing a plethora of tips on preparing for the deer hunt. A story on pheasant hunting extols the long-standing tradition of upland bird hunting in Illinois as not just for the sport but as a way of knowing where your food comes from.

Landowners will appreciate the article that details programs available through the recently renewed Farm Bill and how to learn if they qualify for participation. Another story explains how “messy” woodlands benefit wildlife.

How popular would it be if black bears once again made their home in Illinois? An article by Laura Kammin explains that wildlife biologists are getting out in front of this issue because, after more than a century of being gone from the landscape, black bears are becoming very rare visitors in Illinois.

Wildlife researcher Christi Heun provides evidence that while we enjoy our domestic companions and allowing them time outdoors, the evidence that dogs and negatively affect local wildlife populations is overwhelming.

Another article explains the collaborative effort that began in 2011, involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) program and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), that resulted in the apparent elimination of feral swine in the state. However, in 2019, a potential emergent feral swine population was noted in Pope County and the partnership has undertaken a program to eliminate another feral hog population before it damages natural resources.

Among the several additional stories featured this quarter are articles summarizing some recent wildlife research news, the Illinois wood duck banding program, the role of an urban wildlife biologist and more.

OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journalis a collaborative effort led by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center. Funding for OutdoorIllinois Wildlife Journalwas made available through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project W-147-T.

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