Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Gretchen Steele

Foraging this fall? Here’s how to do it safely and responsibly

Not terribly long ago, foraging and collecting wild and medicinal edibles was limited to a relatively small subset of outdoors enthusiasts. Nowadays, it seems downright trendy to forage. Just like the other outdoor pursuits we watch grow by leaps and bounds, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
We see many folks who aren’t familiar with or experienced in foraging and the nuances of gathering medicines and foods outdoors. All too often, these folks are relying on social media and online sources to help determine safety and proper identification.

Does Illinois DNR make it too hard to be a volunteer?

Here we go with the grumbling again from well-meaning DNR public land users who want to lend a hand. These folks genuinely care about our public lands and truly want to help out sites with a host of different activities.
Their complaint, however, is that DNR makes it too hard for them to volunteer. There are too many requirements that seem nonsensical. There is too much bureaucracy and red tape. In a sense, the complainers aren’t totally wrong, but neither are they totally right.

The joy of squirrel hunting: a taste of tradition

It only seems fitting that I would be writing about squirrels this morning.
Out my window, I’ve been watching the merry band of the miscreant porch and yard gray squirrels that have been on an absolute tear this morning. One turned over the fountain nestled among the ferns on my deck, and another came tearing out of the cornfield, ear in tow like a deranged bandit making a run for it after a bank heist. And if the ringleader gobbles one more tomato, he may just find his way into the skillet sooner rather than later.

Bee not seen in the St. Louis Region in more than a century photographed in Belleville, Ill.

The bee world is suddenly abuzz with excitement following a Belleville, Ill., resident’s unique find.
According to a release by Webster University in St. Louis, Ned Siegel, a  volunteer for the Shutterbee Citizen Science Project, captured a photograph of the rare Lemon Cuckoo bumble bee (Bombus citrinus)  in his home garden. This created a wave of excitement among biologists worldwide because the Lemon Cuckoo is primarily found in the Northeast United States. Historical records indicate that the last time a Lemon Cuckoo was positively identified in the St. Louis Region may have been before the Civil War.

Squirrel hunting: A great way to build a lifelong hunter

Recently, I was overjoyed to see a local sportsmen club hosting a “Squirrel Derby” for young hunters. I’ve always felt that squirrel hunting was the best way to build a lifelong hunter and instill much-needed hunting skills.
Sadly, it seems for many to have fallen by the wayside. I see many types of “learn to hunt” and hunter recruitment programs skip completely over this valuable hunting experience and go straight for the big game or waterfowl hunts.

Illinois DNR director’s priorities: staffing, funding

The feeling during DNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie’s recent visit to the ATA Grand could be summed up in two words: Enthusiastic and hopeful. 
Since taking on the role in January, Phelps Finnie has proven that she not only talks the talk but walks the walk. During an interview about her plans for the agency, the southern Illinois native spoke humbly of hoping to inspire those working at DNR. She explained that various divisions inside the agency had become “siloed” and that one of her first moves was to open communication lines between the respective divisions, directors, and division chiefs.

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