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Sunday, July 14th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, July 14th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Les Winkeler

Les Winkeler: Sights and sounds of an Illinois quail a pleasant distraction

One of the most common laments I’ve heard over the past two decades is the plight of the northern bobwhite – the quail.
About 50 years ago, the familiar sound of “BOBBBBB-WHITE” could be heard daily along any rural road in Illinois. The colorful quail flourished in pasturelands and in the hedgerows that separated farmers’ fields. Quail were so common, so verbal, my brothers and I considered ourselves quite the naturalists. We could walk along the barbed wire fence separating grandpa’s pasture from the neighbor’s cornfields and whistle something vaguely resembling “Bob-White” and eventually get a response.

Les Winkeler: Sights and sounds of an Illinois quail a pleasant distraction Read More »

Commentary: Winter was tough on the southern Illinois bald eagle population

Homeowners are well aware that the rigors of winter exact a toll on your home. Spring touch-up work is inevitable – a dab of paint here, perhaps a few shingles need to be replaced, perhaps a torn window screen needs repair. It’s part of life. You expect it.
The same is true in nature. And, the past winter was particularly devastating for several predator nests in southern Illinois.

Commentary: Winter was tough on the southern Illinois bald eagle population Read More »

Commentary: Illinois litter is getting uglier, more dangerous for wildlife

Residents of Illinois need to look themselves in the mirror each morning. We need to take a good hard look and ask ourselves, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Illinois, specifically my corner of the state – Southern Illinois, has a serious problem. We’re awash in litter. It’s an issue I’ve been pounding away at for nearly four decades with little progress.

Commentary: Illinois litter is getting uglier, more dangerous for wildlife Read More »

Commentary: Doggone it, everybody needs a ‘Buck’ in their lives

Golden retrievers have been a part of my life since the mid 90s when Buck entered our lives.
I had no intention of bringing a dog into our household at that time. In addition to a pair of daughters, our family included fish, birds, gerbils, cats, and a rabbit at that time. In fact, at one point I threatened to move out if we adopted another animal.

Commentary: Doggone it, everybody needs a ‘Buck’ in their lives Read More »

Commentary: Some outdoor adventures to appreciate this holiday season

About 25 years ago I found myself staring at a computer screen contemplating writing a column containing my Christmas wish list.
I had an epiphany at that moment. There had been so many wonderful outdoor experiences in the past year that asking for anything more seemed, greedy, gauche and even grotesque. So, a personal Christmas tradition was born – each year at this time I chronicle the things I’m grateful for.

Commentary: Some outdoor adventures to appreciate this holiday season Read More »

Giant City State Park superintendent, Calvin Beckmann, named Illinois DNR Chief of Parks

After 10 years as the site superintendent at Giant City State Park, Calvin Beckmann is taking a step up the DNR ladder. He recently assumed his new role of the DNR’s Chief of Parks.
Beckmann assumed the leadership at Giant City when DNR was still negotiating its way out of the financial crisis that rocked state budgets earlier in the century. The unassuming Beckmann downplayed his role in steering the park through tough times.

Giant City State Park superintendent, Calvin Beckmann, named Illinois DNR Chief of Parks Read More »

Illinois Outdoor News columnist Gretchen Steele reflects on receiving outdoor hall of fame honor

When Coulterville’s Gretchen Steele ventured into the field of outdoor writing in the early 2000s, she felt a bit out of her element.
Not just a fish out of water, but “a carp in a bird bath,” as she eloquently stated.
“I didn’t go to journalism school,” Steele said. “It’s not something I set out as a career path. I didn’t have the same educational background. I always just felt like I was some batty old lady that ran around the woods and did strange stuff.”
Well, Steele can make more room in that bird bath now. She was recently named as part of the 2023 induction class of the Illinois Outdoors Hall of Fame.

Illinois Outdoor News columnist Gretchen Steele reflects on receiving outdoor hall of fame honor Read More »

Commentary: Illinois’ DNR needs more of everything – including funding

Periodically, it’s important to sit back and reassess. A couple of conversations during the last few weeks got me thinking about the current state of affairs of the Illinois DNR.
As a young adult, I was vaguely aware of what was then the Illinois Department of Conservation. I knew the agency had game wardens to enforce hunting and fishing regulations. I knew the department was responsible for the operation of state parks.

Commentary: Illinois’ DNR needs more of everything – including funding Read More »

Even with state mallard numbers down, duck hunters remain eager

Technically, the 2023-24 waterfowl hunting season is already under way in Illinois.
The early Canada goose season and the September teal season have already passed, but the seasons begin in earnest when goose and duck seasons open in the North Zone Oct. 21, the Central Zone Oct. 28, the South Central Zone Nov. 11, and the South Zone Dec. 2. Since Illinois is in the third year of the five-year cycle, there were no major changes in regulations. While Illinois maintains liberal hunting regulations, this could be a difficult season based on overall duck numbers.

Even with state mallard numbers down, duck hunters remain eager Read More »

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