Crop harvest, which is moving so fast that deer hunters are able to scout many fields unheard of in mid-September, again tops this Illinois Hunting Report.
Corn harvest was a ridiculous 18 percent complete by Sunday night statewide. That compares to the five-year average of six percent. Even the corn harvest in the northeast area around Chicago was eight percent complete. And soybeans are three percent harvested statewide.
Otherwise, we are near that lull between early Canada goose (ending Wednesday) and teal (ending Sunday) and the opening of bowhunting for deer on Oct. 1.
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 email@example.com or post in the comments.
BUCK OF THE WEEK PHOTOS
Maybe because it is the lull period, but just a reminder with bowhunting for deer opening Oct. 1: When I get a few photos stockpiled for Buck of the Week, I will begin running BOTW on Wednesdays in the Sun-Times outdoors page and Tuesdays here on Stray Casts. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
EARLY CANADA GOOSE
Season runs through Wednesday. Daily bag is five in the Northeast, North and Central zones; two in the south.
With more fields being harvested, more hunters are out. Ken Gortowski told a funny story of hearing hunters banging away at geese in the fields around Yorkville, then a few minutes later hearing hunters out on the Fox River getting shooting at them over the weekend.
Season runs through Sunday. Daily bag is four, possession eight. I have heard very little. In last week's aerial survey, there were good numbers of blue-winged teal reported, especially in the Spoon Bottoms/Emiquon area (19,020), but very few on the Mississippi. Considering how quickly teal can move on, not sure how much that helps.
Random daily drawings for firearm/muzzleloader deer permits begin today.
Illinois resident deer hunters are able to purchase 2010 Illinois Archery Deer Hunting Permits (combination archery and antlerless-only archery permits) online at www.dnr.state.il.us/license.html or over-the-counter from DNR Direct permit sale locations throughout Illinois. Archery season opens Oct. 1.
Youth Firearm Deer Hunt: The Illinois Youth Either-Sex Firearm Deer Hunt is Oct. 9-10. Permits for this season are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Go to www.dnr.state.il.us/license.html. For a list of IDNR and public land sites open for hunting during the youth firearm deer hunt in 2010, go to www.dnr.state.il.us/admin/pdf/YouthDeer2010SitesOpen.pdf.
Birds are dispersing even more with the rapid harvest. Unless you have a good spot on private land, this is a tough period for dove hunting. The first season continues through Oct. 31.
In northeast Illinois, squirrel hunting is open at Iroquois County SWA, Matthiessen SP, Marseilles SWA (Monday-Thursday), Silver Springs SFWA, Momence Wetlands and Kankakee River SP. I think all of them run until Sept. 30.
Ed Smith provided a pictorial on how to clean a squirrel for PrairieStateOutdoors.com.
The general season runs through Feb. 15, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties. 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.
Sora and Virginia only are legal. Season runs through Nov. 12. Daily limit is 25. Had somebody ask if I ever hunted them. Answer was no.
Season runs through Dec. 19. Daily bag is eight.
WATERFOWL AERIAL SURVEYS
Click here for the latest posting of Illinois' aerial waterfowl surveys.
PROPOSED WATERFOWL SEASONS
Youth Hunt Oct. 9-10
Ducks Oct. 16-Dec. 14
Canada geese Oct. 16-Jan. 8
Snow geese Oct.16-Jan. 8
White-fronted geese Oct. 29-Jan. 8
Youth Hunt Oct. 23-24
Ducks Oct. 30-Dec. 28
Canada geese Oct. 30-Nov. 14 and Nov. 24-Jan. 31
Snow geese Oct. 30-Jan. 31
White-fronted geese Nov. 21-Jan. 31
Youth Hunt Nov. 13-14
Ducks Nov. 25-Jan. 23
Canada geese: Nov. 25-28 and Dec. 1-Jan. 31
Snow geese Nov. 25-Jan. 31
White-fronted geese Nov. 25-Jan. 31
Season ends Sept. 30.
COYOTES AT SILVER SPRINGS
Here's another new opportunity later this hunting season to keep in mind. After the close of bowhunting in January, coyote hunting will open at Silver Springs SFWA.
ILLINOIS HUNTING ONLINE
For IDNR hunting info, click here.
For the Illinois 2010-11 Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, click here.
For the 2009-10 Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report, click here.
For Illinois crop reports (generally posted Monday afternoons, holiday weekends are the exceptions), click here.