The top story is the first firearm season, which ended Sunday. As of Tuesday morning, the preliminary numbers were not out. When they come, I will post them separately.
For now, it is back to bowhunting.
Bowhunter Sean Porter bagged this beauty in LaSalle County earlier this month. I bumped into the Morris High School teacher this spring on opening day of fishing at LaSalle Lake.
And he had a good story for his first buck:
``I got to my stand at about 5:30 am and saw nothing but three raccoons and a beautiful sunrise until about 8:00 when I saw this buck come in I shot him at about 20 yards. The shot was not as good as I would have liked so I waited to get him. I went home and had lunch with my wife (married sept.19th). Then we went out to get him around 12:00. This is my first buck. I have been bow hunting four years on the same land now. After watching many young bucks pass, persistence has paid off.''
Married and first buck in the same year. That's something.
And, I hope persistence pays off for me too (eventually).
During the hunting seasons, the extended online version of the Illinois hunting report, which comes at the end of the Midwest Fishing Report in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays, is usually posted here on Tuesdays.
If you have suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments.
Full report follows.
My gut says the wind and cold will keep numbers down slightly, but I have had an awful lot of good reports come in, so maybe I am letting my own frozen butt influence my head. We should see the numbers soon.
Archery season runs through Jan. 15, except during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.
Second firearm season is Dec. 4-7.
BUCK OF THE WEEK
If you have an entry for Buck of the Week, e-mail the photo and story to email@example.com. BOTW well run through December, and probably well into January. I have a backlog of worthy photos.
Remember the changes. Canvasbacks are closed for the year. The daily bag on wood ducks increased to three. Scaup bags are split, daily bag of one, except for 20 days, in each zone, see zone reports for two-scaup dates.
The daily limit of six ducks may include no more than four mallards (two hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, one black duck, and one pintail. The daily bag on Canada geese is two.
The DU Migration Map is posted at
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL
Saturday must have been a flight day.
At Heidecke on Saturday, 48 hunters took 62 ducks (mallards, buffleheads, black ducks, gadwalls, widgeon, pintail, merganser). Sunday was good too with 34 hunters taking 34 ducks, including a black duck.
Even William Powers had an OK day on Saturday with eight hunters taking two geese, two mallards and three others.
Scaup bag is back to one daily for the rest of the season.
Duck season ends Dec. 16.
Canada, white-fronted and snow/blue/Ross' goose seasons and brant season ends Jan. 10.
CENTRAL ZONE WATERFOWL
The only slow day at Braidwood last week was Sunday. For the week, 226 hunters bagged 310 ducks. At Mazonia North, 35 hunters took 10 ducks. At Mazonia South, 60 hunters bagged 19.
White-fronted goose season is open and runs through Jan. 31. Second Canada goose season opened Monday and runs through Jan. 31.
Scaup bag is two daily until Sunday, Nov. 30. On Monday, Dec. 1, the daily bag for scaup reverts back to one for the rest of the season.
Duck season ends Dec. 23.
Snow/blue/Ross' geese and brant season ends Jan. 31.
SOUTH ZONE WATERFOWL
Thanksgiving is the big opener: Duck season is Thursday, Nov. 27-Jan. 27. Canada goose season is Thursday, Nov. 27-Jan. 31. Snow/blue/Ross' geese and brant season is Thursday, Nov. 27-Jan. 31. White-fronted goose season is Thursday, Nov. 27 - Jan. 31
Scaup bag is two daily from Thursday, Nov. 27 to Dec. 16. On Dec. 17, the daily scaup bag goes to one for the rest of the season.
Season for cock pheasant, bobwhite quail and gray partridge ends Jan. 8 in the north zone; Jan. 15 in the south.
Season ends Jan. 8 in the north zone, Jan. 22 in the south.
Second archery season runs through Dec. 3. Third season is Dec. 8-Jan. 15.
Season ends Monday, Dec. 1.
Season ends Dec. 21.
Season ends Feb. 15, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.
Season ends Feb. 28.
Season ends March 31, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.
North zone hunting season ends Feb. 10, south zone season on Feb. 15.
Hunting season for red and gray foxes ends Jan. 31, except it is closed during the firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.
Raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink, muskrat, fox (red and gray), coyote and badger seasons end Jan. 20 in the north zone; Jan. 25 in the south.
Season ends March 31.
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.