With the hunting season upon us you might ask yourself, “What can I do to help my sport?”

Start with teaching ethical hunting to someone you know; your children, your grandchildren, a kid in the neighborhood, or maybe even one of your hunting buddies who is way out of line with his or her hunting practices.

Hunting should be more about the experience rather than the actual harvest of an animal. It takes only a second to take an animal down but the experiences surrounding the hunt are what make a hunt a successful hunt.

Far too many people focus on how many or how big rather than what got them to the point of the shot; the hard work to locate, the time it took to just get off that perfect shot.

Respect for the sport, respect for the game, respect for the environment, respect for the weapon, and respect for each other seems to have faded from the today’s hunt in America. Learning to track, to follow a blood trail, to respect game limits; all of these are a far greater part of the hunt than the actual kill. Learn them and teach them and require hunting partners to do the same and you will see what the hunt is really about. Now you have really helped your sport become an even better one!

Seasonal reminders

The Illinois waterfowl seasons include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state’s four waterfowl hunting zones, along with 107 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the North and Central zones (15 days in September, two days of youth hunting and 90 days of “regular” goose season), 101 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Central Zone, and 82 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Zone. Goose season lengths are shorter in the South Central and South zones to coincide with duck season dates and to match hunter preferences. More on the waterfowl in next week’s column.

Resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor link at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.aspx

Illinois Non-Resident Archery Deer combination permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Illinois Archery Deer Season is Oct. 1-Jan. 19 (except closed during firearm deer season in counties open to firearm deer hunting).

Over-the-counter sales of remaining 2019 Illinois Firearm Deer Permits will begin on Oct. 15. Permits will be sold until quotas are exhausted or until the close of the season, whichever occurs first. Individual hunters can purchase one or more permits beginning Oct. 15, subject to availability.

Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Youth Deer Hunt is Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 12-14.

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net

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