Local stores are selling products for baiting deer with names as outrageous as Deer Co-Cain.
That’s not illegal, says Illinois Conservation Police’s Robert Frazier.
It’s also not illegal for businesses to sell salt blocks that look like big rocks or small boulders.
There’s nothing illegal about buying or possessing a salt block or salt block that looks like a rock and then putting it out in a pasture for cattle. It’s not illegal for marketers of such products to have a photo on the box of a deer licking the salt rock, either.
It’s not illegal for a hunter to buy these things, but they can’t hunt over them during the season or leave them out in their hunting area or club to feed or attract deer in the off-season.
Hunting over bait has been illegal for years and years in Illinois, and now any feeding of deer at any time is illegal in Illinois.
“Just like you can go to a smoke shop and buy a glass pipe (for smoking marijuana),” says Frazier, it’s not illegal to buy a salt block. It’s not illegal to possess a pipe designed for dope-smokers, but if you smoke illegal drugs out of it, that’s illegal. And once a person has smoked out of it and there’s cannabis residue, the pipe becomes illegal drug paraphernalia.
Likewise, if a hunter puts out a chunk of rock to feed deer and cause them to habitually visit a spot, then that’s an illegal practice. (Frazier said he also has seen salt-block products disguised to look like logs or bricks.)
When chronic wasting disease was discovered in Illinois, the state made it illegal to feed deer.
Feeding deer increases the likelihood of them having muzzle-to-muzzle contact, and the disease is spread through mucous membranes via saliva, etc.
Some states allow hunting over bait, the game wardens noted, but not Illinois.
CWD sampling request
Archery, Firearm, Muzzleloader, and Late-Winter/CWD Seasons CWD Sampling:
Deer hunters statewide in Illinois are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease testing from adult deer they harvest.
The following sites are serving as self-serve drop-off sites where hunters can fill out a sample submission card and leave adult deer heads:
La Salle County, Illinois and Michigan Canal Seneca Grain Elevator, 124 W. William St., Seneca, east side of district forester’s office, daily.
Lee County, Franklin Creek State Natural Area, 1872 Twist Road, Franklin Grove, daily.
Kane County, Aurora West Forest Preserve, 40W244 Hankes Road, Aurora (daytime, weekdays)
Kane County, Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve, North Operations Shop, 42W797 Rohrsen Road, Hampshire (daytime, weekdays)
The following locations are serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads Oct. 1-Jan. 20:
Henry County, Woodhull Locker, 330 N. Division St., Woodhull, (309) 334-2235, 8 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays.
Kane County: John’s Elgin Market, 1620 Gilten, South Elgin, (847) 741-6374; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays (but 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during firearm season)
McLean County: Chenoa Locker, 8 N. Veto, Chenoa, (815) 945-7323; 7 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m.-noon Saturdays