Governor Rauner signed four sportsmen bills on Saturday as part of Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair. The bills make adjustments to laws to allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to efficiently protect Illinois’ land and wildlife. They also extend the youth license programs.
Senate Bill 2410 will extend the youth license program from covering just hunting and fishing, to covering trapping as well. Trappers aged 18 and under will be able to apply for a Youth Trapping License. The minor will still have to abide by the wildlife laws and codes. They will also have to be accompanied by and supervised by a parent, grandparent, or guardian that is over the age of 21 and has a valid Illinois trapping license. Senate Bill 3003 will allow the IDNR to offer free landowner permits, to those who own 40 or more acres, for deer and turkey. Also, House Bill 4604 will allow the IDNR to permit hunters to take bobwhite quail, chukar partridge, and gray partridge on public hunting grounds. House Bill 5788 added catfish to the list of aquatic life that can be hunted by bow-fishing. Catfish anglers using bow-fish equipment will be allowed to keep and utilize the catfish they catch.
Governor Rauner said, “Investing in young hunters and fishers helps implant a great love for the outdoors that will continue through a lifetime. As an avid hunter and fisherman, I believe in utilizing Illinois’ vast natural resources to enhance our quality of life while also protecting them for future generations to enjoy. Giving more opportunities to appreciate our resources to the young Illinoisans will ensure conservation of our lands for generations to come.”