Tags: Gun Control | hunting | Illinois | invasive species | rules

Hunting in Illinois: 3 Invasive Species to Illinois and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Saturday, 23 May 2015 09:56 AM

In Illinois, certain species are classified as either invasive or a nuisance, and the rules for hunting them are less restrictive than those enforced for native species. This usually means you can kill invasive species without paying a tag fee, but must follow other hunting regulations.

Plants and animals are considered invasive when not indigenous to the area where they are now residing and end up competing with local flora and fauna. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which oversees hunting and fishing in the state, "In Illinois, 62 percent of the wildlife species determined to be in greatest need of conservation are threatened, at least in part, by invasive species. Coordination of management efforts across a landscape is vital to effectively addressing these invasive species, detecting new infestations, and reducing redundancy."

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Here are three invasive or nuisance species in Illinois that can be hunted without a tag fee so long as you have a hunting license and are hunting during the appropriate season.
  1. Wild Hogs - Although hunters could once kill feral pigs at any time during the year, a 2014 rule approved by the Illinois General Assembly now restricts their harvest to the state's firearm deer seasons. "Feral swine are detrimental to wildlife and wildlife habitat and can spread disease. This new rule will make it possible for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to more effectively control the spread of feral swine in Illinois," said Illinois DNR Director Marc Miller in a press release. "Through our collaborative efforts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we are well on our way to eliminating feral swine from our landscape."
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  3. Eurasian Collared Doves - The Eurasian collared dove is considered an invasive species in Illinois. Once found only in Asia and Europe, the bird has recently expanded its range into North America, including Illinois. It looks similar to a mourning dove, but it is larger and with a black collar on the top of its necks and has dark primary feathers on a pale gray skin. In Illinois, Eurasian collared doves can be hunted without a bag limit, but can only be taken during the state's legal dove hunting season.
  4. Woodchucks - Woodchucks are not considered an invasive species, but they are quantified as a nuisance and as such can also be hunted with less restriction. If you live in a rural area, woodchucks may be hunted without a tag fee during open hunting and trapping seasons.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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In Illinois, certain species are classified as either invasive or a nuisance, and the rules for hunting them are less restrictive than those enforced for native species.
hunting, Illinois, invasive species, rules
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2015-56-23
Saturday, 23 May 2015 09:56 AM
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