The Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report for 2008-09 is out. i was a little surprised to see total trips drop slightly (4 percent) to 272,394 from 283,237 in 2007-08, but that could simply be a function of the weather last fall and winter.
But this is a fascinating report of those of us who hunt public lands. Clifton Pheasant Habitat Area, to which I was lucky enough to drawI a free permit four years, ago, for instance had 29 hunter visits to harvest 22 wild pheasants in 2008. That seems low for such a wonderful piece of hunting lands, unless you have hunted it and realize how hard it is.
At any rate, the 2008-09 Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report came out in booklet form a couple weeks ago, the online version just went up late last week at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/Hunting/Iphar/index.html
I usually hunt doves at Iroquois SWA and it was awful last year. The data confirmed it was real bad with 128 man days for 53 doves last September. BTW, site super Frank Snow said the fields looked good so far with a couple weeks to go before the season.
Overall statewide doves were very tough last year, dropping 22 percent from 2007, to 50,415 from 76,315.