The dominating news in this Illinois Hunting Report is a tremendous start to bowhunting, and the continued absurd rate of crop harvest.
Yes, I probably should update my deer stand photos and get one for early bow season.
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.
Crop harvest continues at an absurd pace. Corn is 74 percent harvested, compared to only 5 percent last year and the five-year average of 31; soybeans are even 50 percent harvested.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 6,590 deer reported taken by bowhunters. Click here for perspective from forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton on the record first three-day harvest.
The Illinois Youth Either-Sex Firearm Deer Hunt is Saturday and Sunday. 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.
Random daily drawings for firearm/muzzleloader deer permits are underway.
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.
NE ILLINOIS DEER NOTES
In northeast Illinois, there are some changes.
At Des Plaines SFWA near Wilmington, bowhunters no longer need a site permit. However, they need to sign in and out, and report harvest at the nearest check station: either the main office or the west parking lot of the Area B.
The 835 huntable acres of Morris Wetlands SFWA will be open for bowhunting for either sex of deer. Obtain a parking permit at Goose Lake Prairie SNA, then sign in and out at the inside gate off Pine Bluff Road.
Biologist Dan Ludwig said the first archery deer hunt for James ``Pate'' Philip State Park will have 48 hunters spread over eight 14-day periods in six hunting areas.
BUCK OF THE WEEK PHOTOS
With bowhunting for deer opening Friday, I began Buck of the Week this week. I hope to make it weekly if photos keep coming in. If they do, I will run them on the outdoors page in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays, and Tuesdays here on Stray Casts.
E-mail nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org
The north zone youth hunt is Saturday and Sunday.
Here are the other dates.
NORTH: Ducks Oct. 16-Dec. 14; Canada geese Oct. 16-Jan. 8; Snow geese Oct.16-Jan. 8; White-fronted geese Oct. 29-Jan. 8.
CENTRAL: 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.
SOUTH: 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.
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.
Marseilles SWA (Monday-Thursday) is open through the run of squirrel season.
Ed Smith provided a pictorial on how to clean a squirrel for PrairieStateOutdoors.com.
Random daily draws for fall shotgun permits are underway. The fall shotgun season is Oct. 23 - Oct. 31, 2010.
Bowhunting started Friday. As of Tuesday afternoon, 89 had been reported.
Birds are dispersed with the rapid harvest. The first season continues through Oct. 31.
Sora and Virginia only are legal. Season runs through Nov. 12. Daily limit is 25.
Season runs through Dec. 19. Daily bag is eight.
Season is Oct. 16 - Nov. 29.
Season is Oct. 28, 2010 - Feb. 28.
ILLINOIS HARVEST REPORT
To find daily harvest reports on deer and turkey, click here.
WATERFOWL AERIAL SURVEYS
Click here for the latest posting of Illinois' aerial waterfowl surveys.
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 2010-2011 edition of the Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulation, 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.