Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Mixed Bag: Outdoor items from around Illinois

Hunting and Fishing Days to Return to JALC

Carterville, Ill. — John A. Logan College plans to bring Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Day back to the Carterville campus in 2023. This fall, a parking lot construction project resulted in Hunting and Fishing Days being moved to the Du Quoin Fairgrounds.

“We are extremely thankful to our community partners in Du Quoin that stepped in and hosted Hunting and Fishing Days when we could not have it on campus. With the parking lot completed, we are excited to announce that the celebration of Hunting and Fishing Days will again be on campus in September.”

Hunting and Fishing Days will be Sept. 23-24. More information will be posted to when available.

New Law Allows Gun Storage Safety Classes

Springfield — A new Illinois law that took effect Jan. 1 allows schools to offer firearms storage safety.

House Bill 5193, signed into law last May by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, aims to strengthen students’ understanding of firearm safety. It was amended in the House to “Provide that the safety education that school boards and other boards may provide instruction in includes safe gun storage.”

Filed by State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-West Chicago, in January 2022, HB 5193 passed the House in early March and passed the Senate in early April.

Logan Dunn, a firearm instructor at Practical Tactical Plus, told TV station KHQA in Quincy that it’s important to educate kids about firearms, especially in a state where youth hunting is common.

“If you looked at Illinois Department of Natural Resources, you would quickly see that just for hunting alone youth tags are in the thousands within the state,” Dunn said. “You already have kids out there that are using or are around firearms, and maybe even have firearms of their own that they’ve been gifted or had passed down to them.”

CWD Deer Sampling Locations Available

Springfield — DNR is reminding deer hunters in the Jan. 13-15 late-winter and special CWD seasons about locations where deer can be tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) free of charge. Hunters can visit participating vendors, including taxidermists and meat processors, or drop deer heads at self-serve drop-off sites.

Hunters in CWD counties are strongly encouraged to have their deer tested. Hunters who plan to have their deer mounted can have a cooperating taxidermist collect the sample; testing procedures will not damage the deer skull. Hunters not using a cooperating taxidermist can bring the caped-out head to an DNR sample drop-off barrel location where available.

Snowmobile Safety Class Offered by DNR

Lake Villa, Ill. — A snowmobile safety education course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan 14 at the Lake County Forest Preserve District’s operations and public safety building, 19808 W. Grand Ave., in Lake Villa.

There is no charge, but registration is required at (847) 968-3404 from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

Completing eight hours of instruction and passing a written exam allows youth ages 12 and older to earn a state certificate of competency so they can operate a snowmobile on their own. Minimum age for the safety course is 11; 12 for certification.

Visit the DNR website for more information about snowmobile safety education.

Four Rivers to Host Eagle Watch Events

Channahon, Ill. — The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s annual Eagle Watch will feature many ways to celebrate a species that was once on the verge of extinction but is now thriving. The free event is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 14 at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon.

A bald eagle named Victor E. and four owls will be part of the bird presentations offered by Milton, Wis.-based Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center. Two 45-minute bird presentations will take place at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A 20-minute “meet and greet” is set for 12:30 p.m. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to the bird presentations, Eagle Watch attendees can join 40-minute guided hikes to search for and learn about eagles at 11:50 a.m., 12:55 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. Or they can hike the McKinley Woods site on their own. Also, three 15-minute Talon Talks will be offered. The times and topics are: noon, Eagles of the World; 1 p.m., Eagle Eyes and Other Awesome Adaptations; 2:30 p.m., Comeback Kid – The Bald Eagle’s Road to Recovery.

2023 Conservation Achievement Scholarships

Springfield — Applications are being accepted by the Illinois Conservation Foundation for the 2023 Conservation Achievement Scholarship program. The foundation annually awards scholarships to outstanding high school seniors in Illinois who demonstrate effective, voluntary, long-term dedication to the preservation, protection or enhancement of the state’s natural resources.

Four scholarships of $2,000 each are available for the current school year. One of the scholarships is reserved for a qualified applicant who is a dependent of a current employee of DNR.

“The ICF Conservation Achievement Scholarship program rewards high school students interested in conservation stewardship with an eye toward encouraging them to focus their studies on enhancing and protecting our natural resources,” said Colleen Callahan, chair of the Illinois Conservation Foundation Board of Director of DNR.

Applications must be received by March 3.

Detailed instructions and the 2023 application form can be accessed through the ICF website at

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