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OUTDOORS: Trapping devices and rules to know

I am starting to get some calls on problem animals around La Salle County. I usually charge for my services to defray the cost of licenses and fuel.

Many folks think I enjoy it. That is a misconception. I do not enjoy killing any animal unless it’s for food or a fur check. For the fur check, there is a season that is used after all young of the year are raised and out on their own.

Trapping furbearing animals used to be a full-time job for our early settlers. Today it is regulated and is an important tool for managing wildlife, minimizing starvation, reducing the spread of disease and controlling destruction. Many times there is damage to homes, trees, garden and agricultural crops. Sometimes there is even killing of livestock and pets.

To be an ethical trapper, there are a few things that one must avoid. Avoid setting traps where domestic animals may be caught. Set traps to capture the target animal in the most humane way. In Illinois, it is the law to check your traps every 24 hours. Record or remember where all of your traps are located. Another Illinois law requires one to tag traps with the owner's name and address.

Use as much of the harvested animal as possible. Dispose of carcasses properly. Try and trap surplus animals from each habitat. Assist landowners who are having damage problems from wildlife. And finally, dispatch trapped furbearers in a humane manner.

Since the trapping seasons start in early November, I thought it would be appropriate to educate some folks that intend to trap this year. Trapping is the finest way to learn the habits of our Illinois wildlife.

Licenses are available at most outdoor vendors.

Hunting report

The waterfowl seasons will be in at the end of the month. The upland game seasons consisting of rabbit, cock pheasant and quail will start in early November. Take your dogs out for some preseason exercise, as many are laid up throughout the summer. You owe this to you hunting friend to keep him/her in good shape. Squirrel season will continue until February 15, 2019. It has been very good.

Fishing report

River systems continue to get even better. We have been catching most all species. Some of the walleye and sauger are undersized but are still fun to catch. Catfish are still hitting various baits, and some of these are huge.

The bass tournament boys out of the Morris are catching a lot of fish. These are coming from creek mouths, backwater areas with weeds and some off-shore rock-piles.

Only artificial lures can be used in tournaments, and from what I have seen, these guys sure know what there are doing. Most of the time I cannot keep up with them. Some of those boats will run 70 mph.

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