Weekly Wild Things by Peoria outdoors writer Jeff Lampe.
Those hoping to draw a duck blind next Sunday at Rice Lake, Spring Lake or Anderson Lake should be aware of a pending rule change.
Blinds builders at those sites will no longer be allowed to use metal (except fasteners less than 12 inches), carpet, felt paper, mesh or plastic snow fence.
Also, blind drawers at Spring Lake have the option of building a platform blind or a boat hide. Some blinds will have to be removed in early February, some by one week after next year’s blind drawing. Call Stan Weimer for information at (309) 968-7135.
Spring Lake had been limited to nearly all boat blinds since 2002, a decision that has met with a decline in hunter numbers.
Finally, Anderson Lake will have licenses and waterfowl stamps for sale during the blind drawings.
Birders interested in seeing Eurasian tree sparrows are reminded one of the best spots to see these rare birds in Illinois is at Spring Lake. More specifically, visit Larry’s Restaurant & Family Bar and keep an eye on bird feeders and bushes near there.
New Ammunition Rule
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a rule that would classify ammunition, powder and primers as explosive. That change would make it illegal for sporting goods stores to sell firearms and ammunition in the same building, according to the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The rule would also make ordering ammunition from mail-order sources virtually impossible.
Public comment on OSHA Docket Number OSHA-2007-0032 will be accepted through Sept. 10 at www.regulations.gov
Larry’s Casting Kids
Youngsters age 13 and under can learn about fishing and then put their knowledge to use next weekend during an event held to honor the late Larry Goodlick.
Fishing instruction stations will be set up Friday at Pekin’s Mineral Springs lagoon from 3 to 8 p.m. Youngsters must attend to participate in Saturday’s fishing derby from 9 a.m. to noon, also at the lagoon. Call (309) 347-7275.
Last fall, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies suggested bobwhite quail could disappear from some areas of the south by 2010.
Meanwhile, the National Audubon Society recently noted an 82 percent decline in quail numbers during the past 40 years from an estimated 31 million in 1967 to 5.5 million today.
Why? Not hawks or owls. Not coyotes. The culprit is habitat loss.
Did You Know?
This year, the NWTF helped wildlife agencies relocate 3,281 wild turkeys in 23 U.S. states and Mexico.
Following their first banquet this spring, the new Mason County chapter of Pheasants Forever expects to spend $16,000 on habitat next spring according to chapter president James Davison.
The chapter has an informational meeting with habitat experts and free dinner Aug. 7 at the Forman Center in Manito starting at 5 p.m. Call (309) 369-6145 to reserve a spot.
This ‘n That
Bass pro Jay Yelas is FLW Angler of the Year. ... Deer hunters have until July 31 to get antlerless archery deer hunt applications at Evergreen Lake. ... Nancy Russell of Henry called to report frequent sightings of Eurasian collared doves at her home.
By the Numbers
Number of nature preserves in 81 of 102 Illinois counties, that total 45,077 acres.
Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star
Jeff Lampe is Journal Star outdoors columnist. Write to him at 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.