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Discussion in 'Illinois Flyway Forum' started by zettler, Nov 24, 2020.
Such is the state of the IDNR. Hopefully it will get better but no guarantees.
Do you keep a pellet in your truck if you have to work overnight?
Thanks DD1 that’s the check station number I’ve been trying to call
If we want to turn this thing into an IDNR bitch fest, here is my experience. We decided to do a little public hunting this year at some new sites:
1. Duck Ranch: Youth hunt, called up there and got some info and that he was adding water as we speak. Traveled close to 3 hours to get there, water hadn't been in there but a few days and not near enough. Water not in front of a few blinds and no birds.
2. Anderson Lake: Opening day, drawn for the walk-ins, pretty excited. Traveled an hour and a half, barely get the boat out to our stake, area hadn't been flooded very long at all, hardly any visible water, no birds. Apparently, they had a lot of pump problems. Tried to ask the manager if there was water before we went up there, he said "I hope so"....
3. Rice Lake: Early November, the huge main pumps are pulled and there is no water. They were putting stakes in the walk in drawing that had no water. Talked to the manager or whoever and he seemed like a really nice guy but was handcuffed by the pump repairs.
4. Rend Lake: Youth hunt, plenty of water, lots of ducks, had been flooded for awhile.
Bottom line, it takes water to kill waterfowl!! I realize it is a dry year but all of these sites had access to water. Pump problems are understandable but water should be priority number 1. I would think pumps would be checked, tested, repaired way before they seem to be operating.
Additionally, and this should probably be another thread, but areas like Rend seem to do it right. With daily drawings and stakes it just seems more fair. We hunt some public in Calhoun Co and other areas where spots are locked up for 3 years, they build huge hiltons, and pressure the birds all day everyday. It has kind of become a way of life for public hunting around here, but I think it would work better to have daily drawings, more stakes, and control the pressure a little.
Just got back Horseshoe lake...no ducks .. no water
No hunters...no kill sheets ...no one at check in.
Saw 1 ..long crow .
What a year
Lots of IDNR employees retired when blago became governor. Despite his promises of not balancing the budget by laying off employees, he did just than...still not coming close to a balanced budget. All layoffs were lower paid field and clerical personnel. By the time blago was removed from office, DNR head count had dropped to 1/3 of what it was when he was elected, with a fair amount of that 1/3 being highly paid political appointments. Funny, while there was no money to replace workers in the field, but there was ALWAYS money for a new, highly paid deputy or assistant directors.
Where the agency was in dire need of boots on the ground, they kept getting loafers in the office. Many of the sites have zero or a small seasonal staffs. Some seasonals are good, some take more supervision than is available. Most Site Superintendents are supervising numerous sites.
I know one who has two main sites with both camping and hunting programs, plus 6 outlying sites-several with boat ramps, and virtually zero staff. The outlying sites are so wide ranging that if he just did a drive thru of each site, it would take the better part of a day.
I could also go into the way the state budget process works, where the legislature and governor's office are slow to distribute funds, so the agency may not know what their budget will be until Sept., thus the bureau's: Lands, Wildlife, Fisheries, etc, will be 1/4 to 1/3 into their budget year before they even know how much money they will have. And, NO, you can't hoard the money from last year.
Personally, I'm amazed and appreciative of the miniscule staffs at sites for continuing to put out the effort to make chicken salad out of the chicken feces, which is what they get from Springfield.
I remember a get-together in 2005, after blago had hit the agency with another massive layoff. Several of my friends made the comment that IDOC/IDNR had been set back 30 years. I disagreed, feeling the agency had been set back 50 years or more. Now, 15 years later, sadly, I feel that I underestimated the negative impact. In a recent conversation with some of the same individuals at the `05 get-together, the general feeling is that IDOC/IDNR has been set back by at least 75 years.
I was at Union today. 6 groups of hunters - 12 hunters... 4 workers. They could have at least sent a worker with each group to carry stuff to the blind or help set out decoys because they aren’t doing anything else there. Had someone tell me the pit at 35 isn’t buried in the ground it is sitting on top of the ground. There is no water anywhere.
I hunted public in 5 states over a 45 year period. Public hunting is what you make of it. If you're not happy with the way a place is run you don't have to keep coming back. Bitching on a board is not going to make changes.
I had never been to these places except for Rend and I won’t be back. In addition to bitching on this board I also talked to some higher ups at IDNR. They were very interested in hearing my concerns.
We all pay for the operation of these places.
Thats correct and without people using these areas they are out of a job. What’s frustrating is no water in these holes and there is a pump sitting right there.