Outdoors: Could rifle hunting for deer be coming to Illinois?

There has been a lot of rumbling on using rifles for deer hunting in Illinois. Back in January, State Representative Lance Yednock from Ottawa proposed House Bill 4386. Although this has been discussed many times, it is finally getting a closer look from our elected officials.

When the bill was going through the General Assembly, many felt that it would never pass. But it received unanimous votes in the House and Senate. It looks like the governor will sign it as well.

Included in the regulation, it allows a hunter to take deer with a single shot, centerfire rifle. Calibers have not been set yet and will be announced by the Department of Natural Resources. That is, if the governor signs it.

We have come a long way with firearm freedoms in Illinois, and it looks like things are moving in the right direction.

Ducks Unlimited

The Ottawa Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be holding its 39th fundraising dinner May 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Ottawa. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the dinner at 6:30 p.m. It will be catered by The Cheese Shop. There will be plenty of merchandise and guns for everyone. Hope to see many of you folks there.

Sandy Ford Sportsman’s Club

Sandy Ford Sportsman’s Club will be holding its 2022 Spring Fish Dinner on April 30, serving from 5 to 7 p.m. I have extra tickets, call 815-795-4749.

Hunting report

The youth wild turkey season has been very good so far. It was nice to see some of the hunter safety course attendees out turkey hunting. Some did well, and others learned a lot.

I finally got some wild asparagus last week, the first I have cut this year. Also, some nice dandelions filled out the excursion. There also were some pheasant mushrooms growing on some dead elms, but no morels yet. They should be appearing soon, as we have had plenty of moisture.

Fishing report

A few small sauger have been caught well below Ottawa on the Illinois River. This is the first in many weeks, as the waters in rivers has been high and heavily stained. I haven’t heard anything about the local tournaments other than bass tourneys held near Morris. My oldest son won the last one a week ago.

La Salle Lake has been producing a lot of channel and blue catfish. Not a lot of bluegill, however. Most fish are being taken on the warm side. Look for water temps in the mid-60s.

Farm ponds are moving up with some respectable catches of bluegill and large-mouth bass. Some ponds are stocked with catfish, and they are taking nightcrawlers. Bass and bluegill are hitting waxworms and minnows.

• Fred Krause is a Shaw Media correspondent.

Fred Krause

Fred Krause

Fred is an avid outdoorsman who has been writing about his passion for decades.