The Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report for the 2009-10 hunting season is out.
I always enjoy going through it. In part because it's part of my job, but also because much of my hunting is done on Illinois public sites.
Here's just a couple tidbits.
Of the IDNR controlled permit pheasant hunting areas, Des Plaines SFWA had one of the highest percentages harvested per birds released (58 percent). Though I didn't completely follow because it's hunter success ratio of 1.07 per hunter was right in the middle of the pack.
And a look at the dove harvest was startling. The five dove-hunting sites in Region 2--Chain O'Lakes SP, Des Plaines, Kankakee River SP, Mazonia SFWA and Silver Springs--just had awful falls. Des Plaines, sometimes one of the best in the state, didn't even average one dove per hunter.
Yet Iroquois County SWA, which for all practical purposes fits with the five sites above, had an incredible season for doves with 204 hunters bagging 2,009 doves. That's not opening day. That's for the season, an average of 10 doves per hunter. Sandy soil allowed site staff to plant crops last year when it was too wet at most other nearby sites.
Here's the basic description from the IDNR, but it is much more:
The Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report for the 2009-10 hunting season is now available on the IDNR website at this link: www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/Hunting/Iphar/index.html. The report provides Illinois public land hunting effort and harvest data for the 2009-10 hunting season. The report includes data on trends in wildlife harvest, public land use and sites available for hunting opportunities throughout Illinois. The IDNR managed 194 public hunting sites during the 2009-10 hunting season.