This is likely the last Illinois Hunting Report until the fall. Other items, such as late season deer harvest and spring turkey notes, will be handled individually.
The late winter antlerless and CWD deer seasons this weekend are the top story. As a reminder for those with unfilled tags in the applicable counties, I have included the wording from the IDNR below in the deer section.
Otherwise, geese continue to hang around the central zone in areas near the open water of the cooling lakes and the rivers. I think that remaining open water will be greatly reduced over the next several days.
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.
For those who have too many deer, remember 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 http://dnr.state.il.us/legislation/isah/.
Archery season ends Thursday, Jan. 15, then the late-winter antlerless-only firearm and Special CWD deer seasons run Friday through Sunday, Jan. 16-18.
Here's the details on those seasons:
Late-Winter Deer Season: The Illinois Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season is January 16-18. The application period for Late-Winter season permits closed Dec. 8. In addition, hunters with unfilled deer permits from the 2008 firearm season, muzzleloader season, or youth season may use those permits during the Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season if the permits are for one of the counties open for the Late-Winter season: Adams, Bond, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Knox, LaSalle, Lawrence, Lee, Logan, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Massac, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, St. Clair, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Williamson, and Woodford. For more details, review a copy of the Late-Winter season information sheet at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/admin/08/IL1014.pdf.
Special CWD Deer Season: Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry, and Winnebago counties and that portion of Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47 can participate in the Special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Deer Season Jan. 16-18 to help control deer densities and the spread of chronic wasting disease. Antlerless-only permits for the CWD season are available over-the-counter for $5 each at participating DNR Direct license and permit vendors in those counties. In addition, hunters with unfilled 2008 firearm, muzzleloader, youth season, or archery deer permits valid for one of the open counties may use those permits to hunt during the CWD season. Hunters using unfilled permits from the 2008 firearm, muzzleloader, youth, or archery seasons during the CWD hunt may take deer appropriate for that permit (antlerless-only or either-sex).
(Deer taken during the CWD season are not subject to the antlered deer bag limit restrictions imposed during the firearm, muzzleloader, youth, and archery deer seasons). Check stations will be manned during the CWD season in the open counties:
* Boone Co. - Boone County Fairgrounds, Rt. 76 and Business Rt. 20, Belvidere
* DeKalb Co. and Kane Co. (west of Ill. Rt. 47) - Shabbona Lake State Park, 4201 Shabbona Grove Rd., Shabbona
* McHenry Co. - McHenry Dam Day Use Area, Moraine Hills State Park, east of McHenry on River Road, 2.2 miles south of Route 120
* Winnebago Co. - Rock Cut State Park, 6425 Hart Road (one mile east of Perryville Rd. on Hart Rd.), Loves Park
Successful hunters in the Special CWD Deer Season counties will be required to bring their deer to a check station prior to 8 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters who submit samples for CWD testing will be offered a free either-sex permit valid for the remainder of the season.
CENTRAL ZONE WATERFOWL
Canada goose, snow/blue/Ross' geese, brant and white-fronted goose seasons end Jan. 31. Despite the chill, Braidwood only had a fair week last week with 121 hunters taking only 80 geese. I suspect that should improve greatly this week with many more waters likely to lock up in the cold.
Otherwise, open rivers, especially the Kankakee, are holding good numbers of Canada geese in areas with easy access to fields.
SOUTH ZONE WATERFOWL
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.
Seasons for cock pheasant, bobwhite quail and gray partridge end Thursday, Jan. 15 in the south.
Season ends Jan. 22 in the south.
Third archery season runs through Thursday, Jan. 15.
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.