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Tuscola Man Suing IDNR Over Hunting Device
TUSCOLA-- "Now when I go in Illinois and shoot fish, the young men see me doing that and say, 'Chief, I'd buy one of those if I could just hunt deer with it in Illinois."
But so far they can't. The Illinois DNR has ruled that the sling bow developed by John Huffer, who calls himself Chief AJ to honor his Native American heritage, cannot be used to hunt big game. And so he's taking them to court. "They've not required anyone else to go through what I have. And then just step on them, and squash them."
Huffer became an expert rifle marksman while in the Marine Corp. But when he left he started using a slingshot, which he started to modify. "I could shoot in my backyard, I could shoot paintballs and teach young people to shoot paintballs and they won't break a window and hurt anybody. But then with the same slingshot I can put in an arrow and I can take big game."
Huffer says the demand for the sling bow is certainly there: He already sells them online to customers from across the us and several countries overseas. But getting the ok from the IDNR, he says, will increase revenue not just for him, but several companies in Illinois.
"This is an Illinois product, and right here in Douglas County I'm having the metal parts made down at Heartland Machine down in Chesterville, I'm having other products made at Riverbend in Chesterville, and Arthur, and Tuscola, Illinois, and then we assemble it here in the backyard."
Adam Rife reporting