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Goosed on the Illinois Hunting Report

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Canada geese are all over north and central Illinois, especially around the open-water areas of the rivers and the cooling lakes. Braidwood, as is generally the case in times like this, has exploded for goose hunting.

This week's weather should only keep things interesting, especially for goose hunters around Braidwood, Morris and along rivers that retain open water.

The keys are open water and access to fields close to that open water.

But the freeze-up across northern Illinois is the concern.


Jim DaRosa, a retired parks honcho in the south suburbs, peers out of his own styled portable blind in the snow Tuesday. He wondered if that was the last goose of fhe year in his Lockport field with the north zone Canada goose season ending Jan. 10. I had a fun hunt in the snow with him and Don Dziedzina Tuesday morning in the snow, but the geese were not flying.

When harvest numbers for the muzzleloader-only deer season come in, we will post separately.

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 or post in the comments.

Full report follows.


We're late into the year for deer hunters and more are reaching the point for donating a deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program. For a list of processors or more information about ISAH check the IDNR web site at

Archery season runs through Jan. 15, except during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.

The Late-Winter Antlerless-only firearm deer season and the Special CWD deer season are Jan. 16-18, 2009.


If you have an entry for Buck of the Week, e-mail the photo and story to We will run BOTW into January or so. I have a backlog of quality deer.


With the snow cover, the holiday week should be another good one for rabbit hunting. Season ends Jan. 8 in the north zone, Jan. 22 in the south.


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


Canada, white-fronted and snow/blue/Ross' goose seasons and brant season ends Jan. 10. Canada geese are all over. The weather has been the main limiting factor, limiting for hunters.


Remember duck season closes Tuesday, Dec. 23.

With the weather, Braidwood has exploded for goose hunting. It was closed by the winds on Sunday, but on Saturday, 69 hunters bagged 54 ducks and 87 geese. On Friday, 59 geese were taken, 52 on Thursday. Braidwood is closed on Christmas.

Canada goose, snow/blue/Ross' geese, brant and white-fronted goose seasons end Jan. 31


Duck season ends Jan. 25.

Canada goose, snow/blue/Ross' geese, brant and white-fronted goose seasons end Jan. 31

The daily scaup bag is 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.


Third archery season is runs through Jan. 15.


Season ends Feb. 15.


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.


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.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 24, 2008 12:01 AM.

Swooping cold thoughts on Wild Sunday was the previous entry in this blog.

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