The big drought that we are in is going to have some long-lasting effects on the area around Danville and, if we don’t get the good rains of October before the ground begins to freeze, there could have a problem.

The last big drought we had in this area led to trees and shrubs dying throughout the area. Without water available in area soils, some plants just won’t survive and, once the ground freezes, water will run off.

If you have plants that you like around your house, make sure you get them watered. The only good news is that rain is predicted several times next week.

Each time this time of the year comes around, I begin to think about the days I would be walking the fields and brushy areas of the state trying to hunt a pheasant or a covey of quail. As the birds began to disappear, I began to work my trapline harder as this still kept me outdoors and it was something I had always done since I was a kid.

For you readers that don’t understand, when the outdoors is in your blood, it is very difficult to stay inside. The pandemic has not affected most outdoors people as when you are outdoors, fishing, hunting, trapping, bird watching, etc.; very few of us worry about the virus.

I’ve always been a loner so I really don’t worry much about the virus when I’m outdoors. The virus isn’t lurking around every corner as it is in many places in the city. Once again, the outdoors is free for the taking!

Through Wednesday, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 10,137 deer, compared to 10,167 for the same period in 2019. Harvest to date has consisted of 68 percent does and 32 percent males (6,893:3,244). The top five counties for archery harvest as of October 14 were Jefferson (310), Pike (301), Fulton (237), Williamson (226), and Franklin (210).

Youth deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,321 deer during the three-day Youth Deer Season (October 10-12), compared to 3,775 in 2019. Harvest sex ratios were 50 percent male to 50 percent female (1,154:1,167). The top five harvest counties were Pike (115), Randolph (112), Adams (70), Jefferson (63), and Jackson (61).

Vermilion County hunters harvested a total of 190 deer this season compared 155 last deer season and 109 in 2018. Youth hunters in our county harvested 15 deer this season compared to 21 last year and nine in 2018.

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

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