Outdoor News and Reports

ANGLERS

Photo by Mason Gross

Williamson County is the premier outdoor destination for fishermen in Southern Illinois. It attracts professional and amateur fishermen alike with the popular lakes, annual fishing tournaments, and year-round fishing opportunities. From the well-known 7,000-acre Crab Orchard Lake and 2,300-acre Lake of Egypt to the 30-acre Arrowhead Lake and everything in between, fishermen relish in the abundance of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and other popular species being caught in southern Illinois.

Southern Illinois Fishing Report – September 6, 2019

 

Photo by Ryan Ziegler

HUNTERS

Williamson County has some of the finest outdoor beauty in the region. Game birds, waterfowl, deer, turkey, and small game hunting in the Midwest, thanks to our mix of popular flyways, lakes, hardwood forests, cropland, wetlands, river bottom topography, and nearby Shawnee National Forest and Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. Ducks and geese have long been the most popular species to hunt here, and public hunting grounds abound. There are also at least 5 private hunt clubs operating in Williamson County that provides a wide range of services for the optimum waterfowl hunting experience.

Southern Illinois Aerial Waterfowl Surveys

 

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PROPER TREE STAND PLACEMENT INCREASES HUNTER SUCCESS 

By Don Gasaway

All too often we spend more time dressing up our ground blinds and tree stands with too little thought about where to place them. That often is a big mistake.

Be aware of prevailing winds. Try to place stand in a location where the prevailing wind will be from the trail deer most likely to use in approaching you.  A second choice is a position that has a crosswind.  The idea is to prevent the deer from becoming aware of your presence by using his nose, his primary defense system.

By locating your stand with your back to the sun and front to the deer you defeat another of the animal’s defense systems. Deer do not have a UV filter over their eyes like humans.  So, they hate to look into the sun and avoid doing so as much as possible.

By placing a treestand high you can be above his nose level. Fifteen feet is usually enough but be aware of wind currents carried over ridges.  The nose level is also above any other scent line where your scent would carry it to them.  This may be high but it does not have to be sky-high.  Some people place their treestands in the nosebleed area of a tree.  So high that it causes one’s nose to bleed from the altitude.  Pick a tree that is easy to climb for safety sake.  Be sure to use a harness and lifeline going to/from and while in your treestand.

Prepare your blind and stand locations so that you have shooting lanes that give a clear shot. If none is available then trim some branches and bushes to provide several shooting locations through which deer are likely to pass.

Lastly, it is advisable to remain concealed from the ground level in the case of tree stands. Do not allow yourself to present a silhouette against the sky.  Deer do look up.  With a ground blind, you can use the natural brush and other vegetation to conceal yourself and your blind.