Fair chase is being ignored

Crossbows are legal to use in Illinois beginning October 1 with archery deer season.

The state of Illinois has been a national laughing stock in recent years due to staggering debt, crooked politicians, and violence in Chicago.

The state can’t even make decisions regarding its Department of National Resources without controversy.

Last Friday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2893 into law, which amended the Illinois Wildlife Code to repeal restrictions on the use of crossbows during archery hunting seasons in the Land of Lincoln. Now come October 1, hunters in Illinois may use crossbows during archery deer and turkey hunting seasons.

The previous state law allowed the use of crossbows for archery hunting by persons age 62 or older, and those persons with disabilities who qualified for a crossbow permit by the IDNR. In addition, the former law allowed certain youth hunters to use crossbows, and allowed all archery hunters to use crossbows beginning the Monday after the second firearm deer season.

There are positive ripples to come of Rauner throwing his stone into the IDNR pond, but I believe the bill raises a more pressing debate concerning fair chase.

The entire hunting community has been growing smaller and smaller in the past couple decades, and anybody who refuses to believe that fact is choosing to look away from a big problem. Thus, states are doing what they can legally to encourage more youth in hunting and fishing
clinics. What the Dixon Park District, Coloma Park District, and Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge did last weekend with fishing clinics and carp derbies is great to stir up interest in an enjoyable lifelong hobby. 

Organizations getting hunters out and into the woods with firearms has been a tougher challenge. Proponents of House Bill 2893 cited that allowing crossbow
use during regular archery seasons will bring out more hunters, and a wider variety…

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