In 2014, Governor Bruce Rauner became the 42nd Governor of the State of Illinois. Prior to being sworn into office, Governor Rauner was the Chairman of a private equity firm. As a partner, he guided the firm in investing more than $10 billion in over 200 start-up companies. In 2014, he launched his gubernatorial campaign to create a more economically prosperous state. In 2015, he joined the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus to promote and protect the rights of the state’s hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and trappers.
Governor Rauner grew up in Deerfield, Illinois. His grandfather introduced him to hunting and fishing at an early age, and he has remained an avid sportsman throughout his life. He enjoys fly fishing on Illinois’ many rivers and streams, as well as hunting upland game birds and waterfowl with his dogs.
As a strong supporter of increasing outdoor recreational access and opportunity, Governor Rauner is an ally for sportsmen and women at the State Capitol in Springfield. In 2015, he signed into law HB 352, a bill which created a bobcat hunting season in the state, which was illegal since 1972. Conservation efforts funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses have worked towards growing the population to over 5,000 bobcats statewide. As the most cost-effective method of wildlife population control, hunting remains the preferred wildlife management tool. The creation of a hunting season was touted as the most reasonable method of managing the state’s rapidly growing bobcat population.
Governor Rauner also signed legislation into law that expanded the use of crossbows during archery season. HB 3764 allows youth hunters to use a crossbow during the first half of the archery deer season. Crossbows create additional hunting opportunities for individuals that may be physically unable to use a traditional bow.
The Prairie State is home to more than 1.3 million hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and trappers. The sportsmen’s community supports 31,597 jobs and annually contributes $2.34 billion annually in associated costs to the state economy. As an outdoor enthusiast, Governor Rauner works continuously to ensure the rights of the state’s sportsmen and women.
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- Lack of access to hunting areas (17.79%)
- Lack of a mentor or instructor to take them (25.77%)
- Age limit restrictions on when they can purchase a license (1.23%)
- Lack of time or competing interests (17.18%)
- Technology (social media, phones, computers) (16.56%)
- Perceived negative public or peer-group opinions (21.47%)