Ralph Loos

Illinois Conservation Foundation names new executive director (again)

Without mentioning Eric Schenck, who had been executive director if the Illinois Conservation Foundation for a little over two years, DNR announced Crystal Curfman as the new executive director. ICF is an arm of the DNR, though the relationship has always been somewhat cloudy. The DNR director automatically serves as chairman of the ICF Board of Directors. Former DNR Director Wayne Rosenthal had appointed Schenck….

Leftover turkey permits to go on sale Tuesday

A technical problem of some sorts paused the sale of “leftover” turkey permits, which had been scheduled for over-the-counter sales on March 12. The Illinois DNR has announced that those permits will go on sale beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday. “In fairness to all turkey hunters, I decided to delay the start of over-the-counter sales for an additional week,” DNR…

Surprising choice for new DNR director

It’s a bit of a head-scratcher, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s choice to run DNR is Colleen Callahan, a 61-year-old Edwards resident who runs her own communications consulting firm, formerly worked as an agriculture broadcaster and has deep roots in Illinois politics. In his announcement, Pritzker did not point out any connections Callahan has with the state’s outdoors.

Proposed legislation calls for DNR to certify, develop distribution program for non-toxic ammunition

It’s early in the spring legislative session, but already an interesting – not to mention confusing – bill has been filed that could create headaches for the state’s hunters. Senate Bill 202, filed Jan. 30 by Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, calls for “nontoxic ammunition to be required when taking all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, non-game birds, and non-game…

Muzzleloader harvest up slightly in 2018

Fifty-six percent of the deer taken in the muzzleloader-only season were does.Hunters harvested 3,863 deer during the 2018 muzzleloader-only season, which took place this past weekend. The harvest tally was up slightly from the 3,765 taken in 2017. According to the Illinois DNR, harvest sex ratios were 56 percent does and 44 percent bucks (2,172 to 1,691). The top five counties for muzzleloader…

DNR promotes McClelland to lead Division of Fisheries

It appears the Illinois DNR has a new chief of the department that manages the state’s fish. Dan Stephenson, who retired from the position this summer, announced via email Monday that Mike McClelland has accepted the role of leading the Division of Fisheries. McClelland spent 14 years with the Illinois Natural History Survey, mostly as the Long Term Illinois River Fish…

ICF to induct five new members to Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

Five Illinoisans who’ve helped shape and support the state’s wildlife, nature and outdoor recreation will be inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame this fall. The new class was recognized Saturday in Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair. The Illinois Conservation Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame, selected Diane Banta, Jerry Beverlin, David F. Grohne, Sam Oliver,…

Illinois waterfowl hunters voice opinions on zones

Springfield —  Five years after Illinois added a fourth waterfowl hunting zone, most hunters in the state remained indifferent to the change – though some in the south and south central zones are still uneasy. This according to the 2016-17 Waterfowl Hunter Report, which was released in March by the Illinois Natural History Survey. A fourth waterfowl zone – the…

McTaggart to replace Bluett as DNR furbearer manager

Stan McTaggart, who has spent more than four years managing upland game as the DNR’s agriculture and grassland wildlife program manager, is replacing Bob Bluett as the agency’s wildlife diversity program manager. Among other things, McTaggart, who also has served the DNR as a district wildlife biologist, will be responsible for the state’s furbearer program. According to Mark Alessi, chief of the DNR’s Division of Wildlife…