State Representative David Reis (R – Willow Hill) issued information on several new laws for
2017 this week. Reis is a member of the Downstate Sportsman’s Caucus and outlined the measures that
will go into effect on January 1, that will have an impact on hunting, fishing and trap shooting in
“It is important to educate the public to a slew of new laws that effect sportsmen and sportswomen in
Southern Illinois,” Reis said. “With almost 191 new laws taking effect on January 1, tackling the list by
subject makes sense, and the hunters, fisherman, and trap shooters of Illinois should know how the new
laws will affect them.”
Permitting bowfishing for catfish Public Act 99-867, House Bill 5788
Bowfishing is the practice of taking a fish with a spear or a bow and arrow. Existing Illinois law limited
the kinds of fish that can be taken through bowfishing. HB 5788 added catfish to the Fish Code list of
fish that can be taken with sharp weaponry.
No catch limits on private fish ponds – Public Act 99-532, House Bill 5796
Illinois law limits the number of fish a person with a fishing license can legally catch in a 24 hour
period. House Bill 5796 creates an exception for people fishing on fish ponds located on their own
Youth Trapping Licenses – Public Act 99-868, Senate Bill 2410
Persons under the age of 18 may apply for a Youth Trapping License, which will grant to them limited
trapping privileges. In order to trap or carry a hunting device, the youth must be accompanied by a
parent, grandparent or guardian over 21 who has a valid Illinois hunting license.
Agriculture Education Teacher Grant Program Public Act 99-826, Senate Bill 2975
A school district may apply for a grant to fund 50% of the personal services cost for an agriculture
education teacher, or if the school is creating a new agriculture education program, 100% of the cost in
the first two years and 80% in the third and fourth years. This new act is subject to appropriation.
Landowner hunting permit procedures – Public Act 99-869, Senate Bill 3003
Amending the Wildlife Code, SB 3003 allows owners and resident tenants who control 40 or more acres
of land in Illinois to apply for and receive without fee deer permits, turkey permits or a combination
deer/turkey permit. The law also applies to members of hunting clubs, partnerships or cooperatives if the
group owns the land in question.