Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, April 14th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Illinois Mixed Bag: New kayak launch planned for Wilmington

Wilmington, Ill. — Anglers and paddlers who frequent the Kankakee River will have a new option, according to local officials. The city of Wilmington is getting a new kayak launch on North Island Park, Mayor Ben Dietz announced at a meeting earlier this month.

Funding for the new launch project is anchored by a grant from DNR. The city also has partnered with the Forest Preserve District of Will County for this project.

The project will feature a fully accessible floating dock, new parking lot enhancements, and an accessible path to connect the project. Dietz told radio station WCSJ that the plan is “a great addition to the community.”

Dietz said he will be providing more information as they are looking to integrate this into their Master Parks Plan.


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DuPage River Restoration Project Adopted

Plainfield, Ill.— A portion of the DuPage River in Plainfield will be the site of a river restoration project, according to a report by the Shaw Local News Network. The project will be the result of a partnership with the village of Plainfield and the Lower DuPage River Watershed Coalition.

The Plainfield Village Board approved the project this month, explaining that it will focus on “improving in-stream habitat and diversify the flow patterns to better support a healthy aquatic community.”

The Shaw report noted that Jennifer Hammer, land conservation and restoration specialist/lower DuPage River coordinator at The Conservation Foundation, presented to the board,” saying the goal was to “increase the health of our streams by improving habitat and water flow so we have better fish and bug populations.”

The project would begin in the late summer or early fall, when conditions are more favorable for construction.

Annual Camping Survey Indicates Growth

Springfield— An estimated 84.8 million Americans went camping in 2023, and 5.5 million of those were first-time campers, bringing the total number of new campers since 2021 to more than 20 million. This according to the 2024 Camping Report by The Dyrt, a national camping app that each year surveys and studies camping activity in all 50 states.

Its new study shows that in 2023, it was four-times harder to find an available campsite to book than it was in 2019, when just 10.6% of campers reported difficulty. The Dyrt found that many campgrounds are responding to demand: Half of camping properties surveyed reported adding sites in 2023.

Interest in RV camping continued to grow, with 46.8% of 2023 survey respondents indicating that RV or trailer was their primary type of camping, an increase of 10.9% over 2022.

Overland and truck camping also saw a surge in interest, with 7.3% of respondents saying they preferred to four-wheel their way into the outdoors. Free camping is another trend that continues to grow. The report found that nearly two thirds of campers camped for free in 2023, up from just one third in 2019.

B&C Launches Online Hunter Ethics Course

Billings, Mont. — The Boone and Crockett Club announced that it has officially launched its online education platform to teach hunter ethics.

Thanks to a grant from the National Rifle Association’s Hunters’ Leadership Forum, a team of Boone and Crockett Club Fair Chase subject matter experts and educators formulated the world-class online learning experience to help communicate the importance of Fair Chase ethics when hunters head to the field.

“The concept of Fair Chase is just as important today as it was over 120 years ago,” said Tony Schoonen, chief executive officer of the Boone and Crockett Club. “Most Americans are neither pro-hunting nor anti-hunting. Most of them are on the fence. As hunters, we are all ambassadors for our sport. When we hunt ethically, we will garner more support from the general public and help ensure our hunting heritage continues for generations into the future.”

The Fair Chase and Hunter Ethics curriculum is a free online course to teach students about the rich tradition of Fair Chase, helping them understand responsible and ethical hunting. For details, visit

ISRA Files Appeal to SCOTUS on Gun Ban

Pekin, Ill. — The Illinois State Rifle Association is taking their case against the Illinois assault weapons ban to the U.S. Supreme Court.

From the beginning of this legal battle shortly after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the law last year, the ISRA knew where it was heading.

“When we started the case, we knew this is where we were headed,” Richard Pearson, the executive director of the ISRA, said. “So the case is designed to be heard by the United States Supreme Court, but it’s up to the Supreme Court, of course, whether they hear it or not.”

The 7th Appellate Court ruled in the state’s ruling in November, allowing the law to remain in effect. Now, this case and several other 2nd Amendment cases in other states are waiting to be heard. Pearson expects the cases lumped together at the Supreme Court. The ISRA had until March to file this appeal, but wanted to get it in earlier, hoping the case gets taken up quickly.

“So we wanted to get this case settled,” Pearson said. “I think the gun owners of Illinois and the United States deserve to have a rule in the U.S. Supreme Court on this.”

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