Illinois – Keri Butt

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs (Sort of)

Besides deer, on my list of favorite species to follow is any apex predator.  In recent years, I’ve become downright obsessed, specifically with cougars and wolves. Several years ago, I said it: there’s no way it could happen overnight, but it is plausible that these two apex predators who once roamed plentiful in Illinois could once again inhabit and become…

Are You Ready for Some Hunting?

As I write this, there are nine days and counting until archery season opens. Like they seem to every year, August and September have dragged on while we dream of fall winds that will send cooler temps our way. Last year was hectic — to say the least — for me, and to be honest, hunting season sneaked up on…

Take the family to the woods – and thin out the squirrel population at the same time

A few weeks ago, squirrel season opened in Illinois. As a bowhunter in the Prairie State, these cute, bushy-tailed, little critters morph into my arch-nemeses come Oct. 1. They have an annoying way of tampering with even the most in tune sense of audio as they manipulate the forest floor into continuously sounding like a sauntering whitetail approaching a shooting…

My Maiden Food Plot Voyage

Well, I’ve done it! I’ve set out on my maiden food plot voyage. Though my journey is far from complete, shoving off was half the battle. For the most part, I’ve let the boys take care of the plot preparations. But, the longer I hunt, the more committed I am to being as proactive as I can. I want to…

Having the "Conservation Conversation"

My 12-year-old daughter Jordyn has always been my animal lover. Unlike most of her friends who only a few years ago reveled in all things Hannah Montana, Jordyn’s hero was Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late “Croc Hunter” Steve Irwin, who was of course known for saving wildlife. Honestly, in a home where the walls are donned with skulls, antlers,…

Forest Preserve District denies DNR sharpshooters

Winnebago County Forest Preserve board of commissioners last night denied DNR’s attempt to implement its sharpshooting program this year. The board had allowed DNR access to conduct their sharpshooting program within the preserve since 2004, but put an abrupt halt to the efforts in January. DNR in turn asked the board to reconsider their decision at the board meeting held…

Of cougars and wolves: nature trumps data any day….

Aside from the whitetail, one of my favorite things to learn and collect ever-changing statistics about is the apex predators of North America, especially since two of them seem to be gaining more and more notice from those of us who reside in Illinois and neighboring states.Wolves and cougars it seems are making, or at least attempting a comeback to…

Coyote hunting

Mother Nature has been good to us this winter in Northern Illinois thus far. She hasn’t assaulted us with any blizzard like conditions that can trap us inside for any number of days. In fact, it’s already the middle of January and just now, we finally have a light blanket of snow cover on the ground.While my six year old…

Slow going so far in the deer woods – how about you?

It seems that, despite what I’m hearing from other hunters about slightly amped-up deer activity, on my “observation drives” I’m not seeing much of anything. I’m not seeing much when I’m actually hunting, either. Every year, though, I go through this same panic. Early season, I always see lots of does and then the woods seem to go into a…

Gonna Get My Duck On, Texas Style!

As hard as it is to remove my ever-spinning thoughts off of deer season and the upcoming 2011 rut, which is supposed to be a sizzling nine days for deer hunters everywhere, I have to remember that this year I'll be missing the last few days of the pre-rut. Fortunately, and yet strangely, I'm thrilled at the prospect. Typically, should…

PC Stands for Positive Changes!

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t do “PC.” In my opinion, “Political Correctness,” is for the most part society’s way of accepting something that’s just plain wrong, or forgiving unacceptable behavior. Sometimes, the only way to make things right is to call someone on their conduct. Just because their attitude may be unforgiving, doesn’t mean that…

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it!

Okay, so maybe the title is cheesy, and even a bit melodramatic for my personality, and that of most hunters I know, but I’m dying here! As I write this blog, there are 45 — yes count ‘em — 45 more days until opening day of Illinois’ archery season.This is a really hard time of year for us diehard bow…

Free Youth Dove Hunt in in Pecatonica

Entertaining your kids takes imagination – and these days, a lot of money –all the more reason to encourage them to get involved in outdoor activities. Spending time outdoors, whether it’s hunting, fishing, or other activities promotes confidence and a level of education that kids could never get in a classroom. The best part is that they’re usually unaware that…

Just give me camo

Recently, I was asked to join the ranks of a specific pro-staff, which I ended up turning down, mostly because it simply wasn’t the right fit for me personally. The pro-staff is composed entirely of men, so a female version of their logo t-shirt was never an issue, at least until a suggestion from yours truly was made. The first…

Why Do You Hunt?

Recently, while filling out an application, I was asked if I had received any hunting awards or recognitions. My reply was: “I guess I have never won any awards per se.” At this point in my life, I choose to hunt and spend time outdoors simply for enjoyment, life experience, and the hope of handing down my love for hunting,…

Time to get ‘Ticked Off!’

As much as I enjoy reporting that summer appears to be nearing, the annual warnings about what the season brings with it make me cringe. The ticks are coming! A deer tick bite is no laughing matter. Untreated, Lyme disease can spread into the heart and nervous system leading to palsies and meningitis. Later stages of the disease can result…

The More (Debacles), The Merrier (the Hunt)!

I’ve tried without fail to keep this blog short and failed miserably! So, instead of scrapping it, I’m going minimalist. Rarely, does any hunt go as planned. These instances can end up good, bad, and even hysterical. But, they are always good for a lasting memory or two! Date: Sunday, April 17, 2011 Where: Illinois Who and What: My brother,…