August 12, 2013
New Hunting Laws to Curb Game Waste, Fight Poaching in Illinois
By Ben Romans
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a bill commonly referred to as the “wants and waste bill”—a new law that requires hunters to use all edible parts of harvested animals, and specifies how and where to dispose of carcasses.
According to the Quincy Herald Whig, the new law is among five others intended to discourage poaching, help curb the waste of edible meat on game animals, and prevent wanton discarding of carcasses. Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Matt Miller says 18 percent of the calls received by the state’s poaching hotline were to report dumped carcasses.
“It does not follow our idea of fair chase and ethics,” Miller said. “We would like to put (the bill) in place so we can get at those folks who are doing that. It gives us another tool to fight poaching.”
According to the language of the bill, hunters must remove meat portions sometimes wasted—like the breast meat of migratory game birds, and the front shoulder and rear ham of whitetail deer. Hunters can legally discard any other parts considered “unfit for human consumption.” In addition, the law specifically states it’s unlawful to “place, leave, dump, or abandon a wildlife carcass or parts of it along or upon a public right-of-way or highway or on public or private property, including a waterway or stream, without the permission of the owner or tenant.”
Other new Illinois state laws that affect sportsmen include:
- HB2003, which changes the definition of deer and turkey baiting to make it legal to leave pure water out.
- SB1170 makes it illegal to possess animals killed illegally in other states and gives the state authority to charge individuals with illegal possession.
- HB1651 allows hunters to pursue furbearing animals with a shotgun and deer slug.
- SB50 allows military veterans who complete the state’s online hunter education course to receive a safety card without taking the field portion of the course.