This is the third extended Illinois hunting report posted here. It should become a regular feature on Tuesdays through the hunting seasons.
With the aerial surveys for waterfowl being flown (they are weather dependent), I will update if needed.
If you have suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments.
All I can say for Illinois hunters is don't expect to get photos like the one above of dueling cockbirds I lucked into a few years ago.
Forecasts are below.
We can always hope for doubles like this with Gypsy, but here is PF forecast for Illinois:
``Illinois hunters can expect fewer pheasants than last fall, when nearly 36,000 hunters bagged nearly 103,000 roosters. Some reporting stations in northern Illinois had over 90 days of continuous snow cover - rare for that part of the country - and spring weather conditions brought below average temperatures and above average rainfall. Call counts were down 29 percent in the state (minus 35 percent in northern Illinois, minus 25 percent in central Illinois) and the August roadside survey was down 25 percent from 2007. The north-central and east-central parts of the state remain the best places to find birds.''
And the QF forecast for Illinois:
``Last fall, 24,600 Illinois hunters bagged nearly 189,000 bobs. Though call counts were down statewide by 7.6 percent, the reality is that percentage represents a non-significant change, so hunters should expect another year similar to last. There is good news to report in that the CP-33 buffers have brought about dramatic increases in bobwhite abundance locally. Several counties have between 1,000 and 2,000 acres of field borders, and Illinois has enrolled 41,000 acres statewide. However, more acres are needed to see statewide increase. If targeting quail in Illinois, head to the west-central and south-central parts of the state.
ILLINOIS HUNTING ONLINE
For IDNR hunting info, click here.
For the Illinois 2008-09 Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, click here.
For the 2008-09 Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, click here.
For the Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report, click here.
For Illinois crop reports (generally posted Monday afternoons), click here.
First season runs through Oct. 24. Daily bag is 15.
The rain and cooler weather brought fresh birds and fresh hunters out over the weekend.
I repeat the advice from biologist John Cole: ``If you don't have access to good sunflowers, wait till corn and soybean harvest begins in your area and try hunting recently harvested fields. Success can be improved under these conditions by using decoys.''
Early Canada goose season ends Monday. The big change is to a daily bag of five in the central and north zones. The daily bag in the northeast remains five and in south zone remains two.
Monday is the first day of random daily drawings for firearm/muzzleloader deer permits. Those draws run through Nov.7.
Remember the statewide deer meetings continue through Thursday. Click here for statewide details.
Season runs through Sept. 21.
I would repeat a couple reminders from state waterfowl biologist Ray Marshalla.
First: ``As blue wings leave in mid-Sept. the green wings start showing up to replace their numbers.''
And maybe more importantly: ``Hunters should remember that shooting a wood duck or other species during teal season is a class A misdemeanor with a minimum $500 fine and up to $5,000 fine if you plead not guilty, must appear in court and automatic license suspension for a year if charged with this offense. Learn to identify teal and if you are not sure, don't shoot!''
Season, for Sora and Virginia rails only, runs through Nov. 14.
Season ends Dec. 21.
In northeast Illinois, Marseilles, Silver Springs, Kankakee River and Iroquois County SWA are open to squirrel hunting. Would expect more hunters to begin with leaves starting to fall and vegatation beginning to thin, and cooler fall weather coming in.
The DU Migration Map is posted here .