A rumored push for a fourth waterfowl zone leads this Illinois Hunting Report.
We hear the IDNR honchos aren't hot for it, but big shooters with connections are pushing a fourth waterfowl zone in far southern Illinois.
The public hunting areas on Rend and Carlyle lakes, which tend to freeze earlier than private clubs (like the scene on Rend above four years ago), would remain in the third zone.
The added zone would allow later season dates in far southern areas, but allow earlier dates at Rend and Carlyle.
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.
Weather looks good for the second split of the late-winter/CWD seasons, which are Friday through Sunday. Remember, remaining permits are available over the counter.
It looks like bowhunters will come in with a middle of the road harvest. Through Monday, bowhunters reported 62,801 deer, compared to last year's total of 63,620 at the same time, said forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton. Bowhunting for deer and turkey ends Sunday.
To participate in the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, go to http://dnr.state.il.us/legislation/isah/.
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.
I have at least a few weeks more to go.
CENTRAL ZONE WATERFOWL
Canada goose and white-fronted goose seasons run through Jan. 31. Braidwood reported 115 geese in five days last week. Brutal cold made for brutal fog.
SOUTH ZONE WATERFOWL
Duck season ends today. Canada goose and white-fronted goose seasons run through Jan. 31.
Hunting for cock pheasant, gray partridge and bobwhite quail ends Friday in the south.
Bowhunting ends Sunday.
South zone closes Jan. 22.
Hunting ends on Jan. 31.
Season ends Feb. 15.
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.
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.