Anthony Candia

In Illinois, drop in fishing license sales has DNR worried

Springfield — The challenge of getting young people outdoors appears to be showing up in fishing license sales. According to DNR, license sales have been either flat or declining for the past decade. In 2008, Illinois sold more than 476,000 resident fishing licenses. In 2017, it sold a tad over 426,000. The resident license isn’t a true gauge of fishing…

Illinois high school muskie tournament offers fishing lesson

Ashland, Ill. — Prairie Lake is on the fringe of becoming a muskie powerhouse in Illinois, as DNR biologists openly suspect there are 50-inch fish swimming the rather small 210-acre lake. But as the state’s young muskie anglers recently learned a fishing lesson: Catching muskies isn’t as easy as talking about them. Cole Abbot landed a 36-inch muskie on Prairie…

Illinois quail hunters deal with good and bad

Springfield — For the seasoned Illinois quail hunter, annual hunting forecasts traditionally caused fever-level excitement. But that was a long time ago. Quail populations have been in a two-decade-old slump. Still, hunters look forward to the season, which opened Nov. 4. Annual upland surveys in Illinois found that quail numbers this year were slightly higher than last year. That’s the…

Can Illinois quail hunters anticipate a big turn-around?

Springfield — The stats are unfailingly depressing, especially for hunters who love the sight of a dog on point or the sound of a flushed covey. Some 45 years ago, Illinois quail hunters were shooting 2 million birds each season. Last year’s harvest totals have not been released, but during the 2015-16 season, fewer than 30,000 quail were taken in…