John Saban put a nice perspective on hunting as holiday hunting leads this week's Illinois Hunting Report.
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.
Many of us will get in a day or two of hunting over the holiday break.
I thought Saban sent a nice perspective on the meaning of a good hunt after a pheasant hunt over the weekend in Livingston County:
Not a lot of acreage but good cover.
we saw more coyote tracks than pheasant but my pup flushed a nice rooster in one of those spots you just know has to hold a bird, I think it was the most satisfying bird I've shot. Fresh snow, a new pup and an old farm, I can't wait till next year when the dog is really ready to go.
I like that, .
If updated archery numbers come, we will post separately and put a link here.
To participate in the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, go to http://dnr.state.il.us/legislation/isah/.
HEIDECKE DEER NOTE
There will be no stand-by hunting during the late deer seasons, nor will unused Grundy permits count.
BUCK OF THE WEEK
If you have an entry for Buck of the Week, e-mail the photo and story to email@example.com. The stories and photos run in the outdoors page of the Sun-Times on Wednesday, and the expanded online version is usually posted here on Tuesday.
Snow cover should make for good holiday hunting across much of the northern part of the state. North zone ends Jan. 8. South zone ends Jan. 22.
Hunting for cock pheasant, gray partridge and bobwhite quail ends Jan. 8 in the north zone, Jan. 15 in the south. Field conditions are greatly improved with corn harvest much farther along.
The daily bag is now six ducks not to include more than four mallards (two of which can be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup (entire 60 days this year), one canvasback (full 60-day season), one black duck and one pintail (full 60-day season).
The daily bag on Canada geese is two.
The DU Migration Map is posted at http://www.ducks.org/migrationmap.
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL
Canada goose season runs through Jan. 9. Plenty of geese are around the suburbs, holiday hunting should be outstanding. Icing makes access for goose hunters unlikely or limited at both Heidecke and William Powers.
CENTRAL ZONE WATERFOWL
Canada goose and white-fronted goose seasons run through Jan. 31.
Duck season runs through Tuesday.
Duck hunting ends Sunday at Braidwood. Braidwood will be open for goose hunters Wednesdays through Sunday. Mazonia units are iced up.
SOUTH ZONE WATERFOWL
Duck season runs through Jan. 12. Canada goose and white-fronted goose seasons run through Jan. 31.
Bowhunting is open through Jan. 17, except it is closed during the firearm deer seasons in those counties open to firearm deer hunting.
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.
Season runs through Feb. 28.
Hunting season ends March 31, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.
Trapping reopens June 1.
Hunting ends in the north zone on Feb. 10; in the south, on Feb. 15.
Hunting ends on Jan. 31.
Trapping seasons are open across the state for all the usual furbearers: muskrat, mink, raccoon, opossum, striped skunk, weasel, coyote, badger, red and gray fox, and beaver.
Trapping for muskrat, mink, raccoon, opossum, striped skunk, weasel, red and gray fox, coyote and badger ends in the north zone on Jan. 20; in the south, on Jan. 25.
Trapping for beaver ends statewide on March 31.
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.