Ralph Loos

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…

Former DNR Director Sam Flood dies

Former Illinois DNR Director Sam Flood has died at age 78. Flood, who was appointed to the job by Gov. Rod Blagojevich on an interim basis following the retirement of Joel Brunsvold in 2005, served the DNR until 2009. Flood had been deputy director at the DNR before taking the top job. His primary duty was described as overseeing construction…

Public forums offer information about Farm Bill, potential affects on Illinois wildlife

According to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, if Congress fails to re-authorize important Farm Bill conservation provisions in 2018, Illinois stands to lose up to 900,000 acres of wildlife habitat enrolled in programs like the Conservation Reserve Program.Three public forums on the 2018 Farm Bill and the impact it could have on Illinois wildlife will be held this month in East…

Hunters steaming into final week of deer season

The state’s deer season wraps up Sunday, and it appears hunters will easily top last year’s harvest total. DNR has released numbers from the first weekend of the late-winter and special CWD seasons, which produced a harvest of 1,714 deer, compared to 2,654 in those same counties in 2016.  This year, 15 counties were open to the CWD season, and 22…

Retired high school teacher reaches goal with 11-point buck; bowhunters ahead of last year’s pace

Dave McCarthy has been a patient deer hunter, if nothing else. The bowhunter from Rantoul has been wanting to harvest a Pope and Young buck for decades, and last week his hard work — and patience — paid off. Dave McCarthy with the 11-point buck he took in Greene County on Oct. 11. On Oct. 11, he took an 11-point…

Youth hunt will help kick off Illinois deer season

Springfield — Nearly one-third of all hunters who took to the woods during the 2016 Illinois Youth Deer Hunt were successful, a ratio that is a bit better than the state’s other deer seasons. Still, this 28.5 percent success rate set last year lends to the strongly-held belief that youth hunters generally set the tone for their adult counterparts. So…

Upland birds rejoice: Illinois’ farm bill biologist program expands

Springfield — In a state scrapping to improve its pheasant and quail populations and habitat, the Farm Bill Biologist Partnership has been invaluable. For both hunters and landowners, that is. Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, which administers the program and plays a major role in it, shared good news recently, reporting that three new biologist’s positions were filled in Illinois. The biologists…

After alarming catch in Illinois, no new Asian carp found

This silver carp was caught in a gill net by commercial fishermen on June 22, 2017, a mere nine miles from Lake Michigan. (Photo courtesy of USFWS)Chicago — Crews from DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a frenzied two-week hunt for Asian carp after one of the fish was found a…