Deer feeding bill gets massive makeover, passes Senate
Legislation that was aimed to legalize some forms of supplemental feeding of wild deer in Illinois was passed out of the Senate this week – albeit as a much different version of the original proposal.
Senate Bill 2493, which originally stated “a person may supplementally feed deer with items otherwise prohibited by the Wildlife Code when not in active deer hunting season . . .” was amended on Tuesday to become a call for a study on feeding wild deer by the University of Illinois.
The now engrossed bill states, “The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, subject to appropriation and in consultation with the Department of Natural Resources, shall conduct a study for a period of at least 2 years of the health effects of supplemental deer feeding on the wild deer population and whether supplemental feeding affects the spread of any communicable diseases within the deer population. The study shall also designate geographic locations where the practice of supplemental deer feeding may be beneficial. The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine shall submit its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly in a report no more than 60 days after the completion of the study. The report to the General Assembly shall be filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate in electronic form only, in the manner that the Clerk and the Secretary shall direct.”
The DNR has been opposed to supplemental feeding but appears to be neutral on the proposed University of Illinois deer study.
As amended, SB 2493 passed the Senate on May 1 and is currently in the House.
Read more about changes to SB 2493 and other pending legislation affecting Illinois hunting and fishing in the May 4 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.