Illinois just announced the waterfowl dates. More to come. Release is below.
There were no real surprises in the north and central zones. The picture above of Kane County guide Jeff Norris calling reminded me that opening day is virtually the same in the north. I'm sure the hunters in the south zone are divided enough to cause a Civil War.
IDNR Waterfowl Hunting 2009-2010 Seasons Announced
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regulations Committee Approves Illinois Seasons
SPRINGFIELD, IL -The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regulations Committee, this week, approved Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommendations for 60-day duck seasons in each of the state's three waterfowl hunting zones, along with Canada goose hunting seasons of 85 days in the North and Central zones and 66 days in the South Zone for the 2009-2010 waterfowl season.
The Illinois seasons, based on a five-year plan for waterfowl hunting in the state that was implemented beginning in 2006, include opening the regular duck and Canada goose seasons on Oct. 17 in the North Zone and Oct. 31 in the Central Zone. The duck and Canada goose seasons will open on Nov. 14 in the South Zone.
The state's regulations, which were reviewed by the IDNR Natural Resources Advisory Board, are subject to final formal approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) later this summer.
The USFWS Adaptive Harvest Management Report selected a 60-day duck season with a daily bag limit of six ducks not to include more than four mallards (two of which can be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup (entire 60-day season this year), one canvasback (full 60-day season this year), one black duck, and one pintail (full 60-day season this year). The duck breeding population in the midcontinent area of North America of 42 million ducks was the fourth highest recorded since 1955.
In addition to the dates for the regular waterfowl hunting seasons this fall, the IDNR also announced regulations for teal hunting and early Canada goose hunting in September.
The early-season goose hunt is scheduled for Sept. 1-15, while the teal season is Sept. 5-20.
Preliminary results of the 2008 Illinois Waterfowl Hunter Survey, a random survey of approximately 5,000 waterfowl hunters, indicate that 58 percent of hunters in the North Zone and 60 percent of hunters in the Central Zone felt last year's duck season dates were about right. In the South Zone, 43 percent of hunters believed last year's duck season dates were about right when the season opened on Thanksgiving Day. The survey indicated that 50 percent of South Zone hunters prefer that the season start on Nov. 14 or earlier, compared with 43 percent who want the season to start on Nov. 26. IDNR is recommending the earlier start to the season in the South Zone after four consecutive years of later starts. Nearly two-thirds of South Zone hunters surveyed object to the season opening the same weekend as the first firearm deer season (the first weekend of firearm deer hunting this fall will be Nov. 20-22).
The 2009-2010 regular Canada goose seasons include a continuous 85-day season in the North Zone (Oct. 17-Jan. 9), a split 85-day season in the Central Zone (Oct. 31-Nov. 15 and Nov. 24-Jan. 31), and a split 66-day season in the South Zone (Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 29-Jan. 31).
The Illinois snow goose seasons for 2009-2010 will open on the same dates as the regular waterfowl seasons and run continuously through the end of each zone's regular Canada goose season. The Conservation Order snow goose hunting seasons will begin the day after the regular Canada goose season ends in each zone and continue through next Mar. 31.
The September 2009 Canada goose season (Sept. 1-15) includes a daily bag limit of five geese in the Northeast, North and Central zones and two geese per day in the South Zone (possession limits are twice the daily bag limit).
Illinois' 16-day teal hunting season will be Sept. 5-20, with a daily limit of four teal (possession limit of eight). Federal rules allow for a 16-day teal season when the blue-winged teal breeding population is more than 4.7 million.
The Illinois 2009-2010 waterfowl hunting seasons are outlined below. Final approval by the USFWS is expected in September.