Harvest--what harvest?--dominates the Illinois Hunting report.
Tuesday's crop report indicated that only 1 percent or less of beans and corn had been harvested. That impacts everything from scouting for deer to finding a field to hunt early Canada geese. On the good side, I started seeing more browning fields of corn and beans in northeast Illinois over the holiday weekend.
BTW, I forgot to mention that common snipe and rail hunting opened last Saturday. In my years, I have only run into two hunters who chase either species.
During the hunting seasons, the extended online version of the IHR, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments.
I compiled a listing of opening day numbers from public sites near Chicago and posted them here.
Until more fields are harvested, the best spots to look for are open fields by weedy ditches or vegetable/flower fields (if you can find them and get permission).
EARLY CANADA GOOSE SEASON
Season runs through Tuesday. The slow crop harvest impacted huntable areas, especially in northeast Illinois. Otherwise, there's plenty of geese.
The daily bag limit is 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).
Season runs through Sept. 20. Daily bag remains four.
Last week's aerial surveys looked good too.
Jeff Lampe of PrairieStateOutdoors suggested the teal arrived in central Illinois a couple days ago.
Northeast Illinois sites now open include Iroquois County SWA, Marseilles SWA, Kankakee River SP, Silver Springs SWFA and Momence Wetlands.
Season ends Feb. 15, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties (Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7). Squirrel hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. The daily limit is five squirrels with a possession limit of 10.
(CLARIFICATION UPDATE) The IDNR tweaked youth deer permits and spokesman Chris McCloud said they become available for sale from DNR Direct vendors beginning Tuesday.
Tuesday is the first day of random daily drawings for firearm/muzzleloader permits.
Firearm deer season is Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7. Muzzleloader-only season is Dec. 11-13.
DES PLAINES SFWA NOTE: Hunters interested in archery deer hunting at Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area can call and arrange to pick up the 2009 archery deer hunting parking permits for the site thru Nov. 30 at the site office located at 24621 North River Road, Wilmington, IL 60481. Hunters who want a parking permit for Des Plaines SFWA must call the site office at 815/423-5326 in advance to make an appointment to obtain the permit. Archery deer hunters wanting a parking permit are required to have a 2009 hunting license and habitat stamp.
HEIDECKE NOTE: Bowhunters may pick up their parking permits at the site office and begin scouting in September.
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL
The 60-day duck season opens Oct. 17. The Canada goose season is Oct. 17-Jan. 9.
CENTRAL ZONE WATERFOWL
The 60-day duck season opens Oct. 31. The Canada goose season is an odd split: Oct. 31-Nov. 15 and Nov. 24-Jan. 31.
SOUTH ZONE WATERFOWL
The 60-day duck season opens Nov. 14. The split 66-day Canada goose season is Nov. 14-15 and Nov. 29-Jan. 31.
Season opened Sept. 5 and runs through Dec. 20
Open to Sora and Virginia only. Season opened Sept. 5 and runs through Nov. 13
ILLINOIS HUNTING ONLINE
For IDNR hunting info, click here.
For the Illinois 2009-10 Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, click here.
For the 2009-10 Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, click here.
For the 2008-09 Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report, click here.
For Illinois crop reports (generally posted Monday afternoons, holiday weekends are the exceptions), click here.