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Monday, July 15th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, July 15th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Histories Forgotten: Illinois hires first game wardens in the 1880s

At left is Water Street in Chicago, where ducks and other game animals would be placed in the 1880s. Gov. John Beveridge (inset photo) was behind the state’s first fish commission. (Contributed photos)

Throughout the late 1870s, state legislatures around the country were passing laws designed to protect fish and game from annihilation at the hands of market men. In Illinois, in 1873, the state legislature elevated game offenses to criminal misdemeanors and tasked county state attorneys with prosecuting the matters on behalf of the “people of the State of Illinois.”
Sportsmen – the group most championing broad protections for wildlife – viewed the changes as a step in the right direction. The next step, they argued, needed to be the appointment of specific persons to enforce the regulations.

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