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Geese on ice/no Feb. Canada goose lead Illinois Hunting Report

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With local waters icing in, geese are concentrating around the cooling lakes and the open waters of the rivers.


These geese had kept a spot open until it froze overnight Sunday. They were not on the lake Monday morning.

Kane County Jeff Norris reported migrant Canada geese arrived in force last week. Many more should be on the way with a foot of snow forecast for some areas just to our north. It should be an outstanding week for goose hunting.

On a related note, state waterfowl biologist Ray Marshalla said Illinois will not follow the lead of Indiana and hold a February Canada goose season. Indiana will hold its second straight February Canada goose season in select counties Feb. 1-15.

``No, we have too many migrants in IL then [in February],'' Marshalla e-mailed.

I expect harvest numbers for the second firearm deer season in the next day or two. When they come, I will post separately. I will be very surprised if the total for both seasons tops 100,000. Weather, especially second season, was tough.

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 Monday or Tuesday.

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

Muzzleloader-only deer season is Friday through Sunday, Dec. 12-14. Heidecke/Goose Lake (whoops on giving Goose Lake another name earlier) will offer $5 standby permits during the muzzleloader season for the first time.

Archery season runs through Jan. 15.

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.


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


Ice shut down Heidecke hunting. No one has been out since Thursday. Considering the forecast for the week, I think it will be a gamble at best for it to be open at all the rest of duck season. William Powers has not had hunters either.

Duck season in the north ends Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Scaup bag is one daily for the rest of the season.

Canada, white-fronted and snow/blue/Ross' goose seasons and brant season ends Jan. 10.


As might be expected with the bitter weekend weather, hunting really kicked in on the open water at Braidwood. On Saturday, 66 hunters bagged 161 ducks and seven geese. On Sunday, 66 hunters took 82 ducks and 33 geese.

Scaup bag is one daily for the rest of the season.

Duck season ends Dec. 23.

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


Duck season runs through Jan. 27. Canada goose, snow/blue/Ross' geese, brant and white-fronted goose seasons end Jan. 31.

Scaup bag is two daily until Tuesday, 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.


Third archery season runs through Jan. 15.


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.


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 8, 2008 1:50 PM.

Wild Sunday: Morning-after tracks was the previous entry in this blog.

May the door of the slammer hit him on the ass is the next entry in this blog.

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