The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 21, 2013

Restraint now leads to awards later


DANVILLE —  I watched several spotted fawns this week frolicking in the woods, chasing one another like two kids in a park. The young animals are growing up throughout the area and many will stay together until winter and many times beyond.

The young animals of today will be the ones hunted very soon and many have only a short time to grow up. A buck deer that survives three hunting seasons can become a trophy for someone’s wall as the antlers seem to explode on a three year old deer. Just remember, as you contemplate the hunting season to “Let the little ones walk away”! This is a theme I’ve used for years for deer hunters in this area.

The little basket rack deer you might shoot this fall may well grow into the trophy buck you have always been looking for!

Outdoor tidbits

The $400 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the killing of the geese near the Lake Vermilion Bridge still stands. If have any information, please contact me. Here is a prime example of lives cut short for no reason.

Have you picked up your 2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information Booklet? If you haven’t you need to as it has a lot of information in it to help the angler.

I’ve had several people ask me about a law requiring anglers to ice down their fish in their live wells. Evidently someone has suggested that this is some sort of law. On the contrary, some waters in the state of Illinois are seeing bass dying from a hemorrhagic virus. None of these bodies of water are in our immediate area but the IDNR is requesting anglers to drain their boats of all water at the lake they are fishing. This also includes any other water in their boat. This will help curtail the spread of the virus.

Fish in the live well will then need to be iced down if you intend to keep them. Do not transfer live fish to another body of water!

If you cross Lake Vermilion keep your eyes open for a black squirrel with a bright orange tail on the city side of the lake. I saw this squirrel one day this week and it is one strange looking animal.

With concealed carry being enacted into law people are asking me the best way to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FIOD). All hunters and firearm owners need to check their card and make sure it is up-to-date. The simplest way is to go to a license stop (not a DMV) and pick up an application. Most of them will send in your application and take your picture for a small fee making this a simple procedure.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Fisheries is investigating the cause of a relatively minor die-off of white bass detected this week at Lake Shelbyville.

Fisheries biologists suspect the die-off is disease-related specific to white bass, since other species of fish have not been affected. Several samples of white bass from Lake Shelbyville have been sent to the U.S. Geological Survey lab in La Crosse, Wisconsin for analysis.

The 11,100-acre Lake Shelbyville, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir in central Illinois, is a popular destination for anglers, featuring bass, crappie, muskie, sauger and walleye.

For more information on fishing opportunities in Illinois, check

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: