The Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) is now accepting entries from persons interested in participating in its Firearm Deer Hunting Program. This is a lottery-based program. Entries will be accepted from Friday, May 1st through Monday, July 27th, the cut-off time is 3:00 p.m. The lottery will be held at noon on Friday, July 31st, 2020 at the BCCD office located at 603 North Appleton Road. Please Note: Entrants must demonstrate proof of having a Hunter Safety Certificate/Card to be eligible for this hunting program. Complete information about the BCCD firearm deer hunt program: rules, procedures, firearm hunting dates, and other important aspects of this hunting program is available on the BCCD website: www.bccdil.org.
Purpose of Firearm Hunt Program – Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
The Boone County Conservation District Board of Trustees expanded its deer hunting program to include a firearm hunt in 2014 as a measure to assist the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in their efforts to effectively control the prevalence and spread of this infectious disease. The BCCD is an agency established to preserve, protect and enhance important conservation lands within its jurisdictional boundaries. Unlike the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the BCCD is not a wildlife management agency. The responsibility of wildlife management lies with state and federal agencies.
The BCCD is encouraging hunter participation as a means of assisting the State of Illinois with this critical wildlife issue. Hunters can help address the many concerns associated with CWD by harvesting deer, getting the deer they harvest tested for CWD, and helping to manage deer density in Boone County where this disease has been persistently found since 2003. Our objective is to hunt, harvest, and help in the fight against this very serious threat affecting the health of our local deer population. If you firearm hunt in Illinois, please consider participating in this program.
The BCCD has established a firearm qualification procedure as part of its risk management protocol for this program. Firearm qualifications have been arranged to occur at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department range located next to the Illinois Department of Transportation equipment yard off Illinois Highway 76, just north of Squaw Prairie Road.
Firearm Qualification Dates
- Saturday, August 22nd from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Sunday, August 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, August 26th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, August 27th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 1st, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Inclement Weather Re-Scheduling Date: Thursday, September 10th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Note: Depending on the number of participants, we may expand the number of qualification dates/times.
Our arrangement with the Sheriff’s Department requires that the range is overseen by at least one Sheriff Department Officer, who will run the firearm range for this qualification process. The BCCD has to cover the expense of these officers on a per hour & per officer basis. The County is not charging the BCCD for the use of the range. Our firearm hunting program has a separate fee for the qualification. Last year we charged $15 per person, the fee will remain at $15 per person. This is for qualifying with one firearm. If a hunter desires to use a pistol or other firearm during the hunt, you must also qualify using that weapon, but only if you qualify with your first firearm choice. There is an additional fee of $10 for each additional firearm.
To facilitate efficiency of the qualification process and manage the expenses from the Sheriff’s Department, we will be assigning scheduled appointments for qualification date and times. This will be done by entering applicants on the qualification schedule, starting with the first date/time option and proceeding in the order of the receipt of each entry form. We encourage all potential participants to practice their target skills prior to their scheduled qualification – several people in the past did not satisfy the qualification criteria and were not eligible to participate in the firearm hunt program.
2020 BCCD Firearm Hunting Dates[table id=19 /]
Firearm Program Firearm Hunt Participation Fees
Currently, there is one fee for all three firearm hunts. The fee schedule is:
Adult Boone County Resident Fee: $50
Youth Boone County Resident Fee: $25
Adult Non-Boone County Resident Fee: $75
Youth Non-Boone County Resident Fee: $35
Program Participant Volunteers: Credited fee reduction – *see 2020 rules/hunting criteria for details about obtaining a credited fee reduction.
Entry Forms can be completed and submitted from the BCCD website. Applicants need to complete all the required information on the entry form to be eligible. The forms can also be completed and submitted by stopping in at the BCCD office and completing the entry form in person, or pick-up a copy of the form at the office and submit by mail using a return receipt postal system option.
Please note: Entries completed and submitted from the BCCD website will be sent a verification e-mail to confirm it was received. All entry forms must be received before 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 27th, 2020 to be eligible for the lottery drawing held on Friday, July 31st, 2020 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the BCCD Administration Office located at 603 North Appleton Road in Belvidere.