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Hunting and trapping help
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[AUG. 25, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Interested in the roles that hunting and trapping play in the conservation of Illinois furbearers? In benefiting public health? In controlling wildlife damage to property?

If so, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' new website on furbearers at The “Fur Hunting and Trapping in Illinois” website takes a closer look at these activities and what they mean to the people and wildlife of Illinois.

Hunting, trapping and the use of fur are sometimes controversial, and discussing the issues may involve misinformation and misunderstanding on both sides. The new website addresses those concerns.

The website also focuses on surprising and little-known benefits of hunting and trapping.
“Some people think hunting and trapping are strictly recreational, but each can aid society by controlling wildlife that transmit disease or cause damage to property,” said Bob Bluett, wildlife diversity biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“There are more than 20,000 fur hunters and trappers in Illinois. However, as Illinois becomes more urban, fewer people hunt and trap -- or know people who do. This website provides valuable resources for teachers, homeowners and citizens who might not be familiar with hunting and trapping and want more information,” Bluett said. “Illinois hunters and trappers can visit the website to see how their participation and passion play into the bigger picture of conservation and community.”

The website offers furbearer photos, facts and resources including sections about how:

  • Hunting and trapping are highly controlled through strict, scientifically based policies and regulations, which are set by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and enforced by Illinois conservation police officers.

  • Hunting and trapping are allowed only for abundant wildlife. These activities are allowed only to harvest animals that are abundant. Hunting and trapping do not cause wildlife to become endangered.

  • Hunting and trapping benefit people and ecology. Regulated hunting and trapping help maintain a balance in an increasingly urban society, where wildlife and people come together more often. This especially is true in managing public health issues due to diseases that wildlife can transmit or in controlling property damage that wildlife can cause.

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  • Education programs, rules and standards improve hunting and trapping. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources continually reviews and develops rules, regulations, standards and education programs to ensure that hunting and trapping are as humane as possible.

  • Hunters and trappers care about wildlife conservation. Through license fees and special taxes, hunters and trappers contribute more than $16 million annually to help pay for wildlife conservation. These contributions aid anyone who enjoys nature. Hunters and trappers support and follow wildlife laws and regulations because they care about the welfare of wildlife.

In addition, the website provides:

  • The “Illinois Hunting and Trapping Quiz” -- a fun, interactive way to test your knowledge

  • Publications and educational materials, including how to order the free video and quantities of the brochure, each entitled “Fur Hunting and Trapping in Illinois”

  • Additional links to websites about wildlife damage control, wildlife and public health issues, furbearers, and hunting and trapping

  • News releases --- the latest news about furbearers and trapping in Illinois

  • A free image library of furbearers and other high-resolution pictures that anyone can download and use

  • Information about mandatory education and safety courses related to hunting and trapping, including the “Trapper Education Student Manual”

"Schoolteachers will find useful resources for discussing natural history and science with their students,” Bluett said. “We encourage teachers to use the website in their classrooms. They also can order a copy of the video and quantities of the brochure ‘Fur Hunting and Trapping in Illinois' for their students.”

In addition to visiting the website, at, order the free video and brochure by contacting Illinois Department of Natural Resources Clearinghouse, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271; (217) 782-7498;

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources
news release]

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