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Illinois Hunting Report: North waterfowl, slowed bow

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treestand11-18-09rs The opening of the north-zone waterfowl seasons, slowed bowhunting for deer and fast crop harvest lead this Illinois Hunting Report.

Yes, I need to update my deer stand photo 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 or post in the comments.

Crop harvest remains absurdly fast: Corn harvest is 87 percent complete, compared to six last year and a five-year average of 42; soybeans are 79 percent complete, compared to last year's nine and the five-year average of 49.


Most of the north-zone waterfowl seasons open on Saturday: Ducks Saturday-Dec. 14; Canada geese Saturday-Jan. 8; and Snow geese Saturday-Jan. 8. The exception is white-fronted geese, which open Oct. 29 and run through Jan. 8.

Expectations are mixed.

Mike Richied, a guide with Ultimate Waterfowlers, said warm weather shouldn't be a deal breaker.

He added:

With all the corn down and good numbers of birds already here (locals and some migrators) we should still do well. Definitely important to be completely set up and ready for legal shooting time though as the warm weather gets the birds moving faster.


The hot weekend appeared to dramatically slow what started as a record opening few days of bowhunting.

Forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton said,

{It] looks like the 85-degree weather put a damper on things, as the weekend daily harvest totals didn't increase too much over the previous weekday totals. Monday (Columbus Day) was really slow. Current preliminary totals after 11 complete days are 9,698, compared to 11,944 last year and 8,958 in 2008.

Results for the youth hunt are delayed because of a glitch in reporting. Shelton asks that those who experienced problems reporting deer during the youth hunt last weekend please report them now.


With bowhunting for deer open, I would like to begin BOTW. If they come, I will run them on the outdoors page in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays, and Tuesdays here on Stray Casts. I didn't have one this week.

E-mail nominations to


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.


Season opens Saturday and runs through Nov. 29.


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.


Through Tuesday evening, 122 turkeys were reported harvested by bowhunters. I suspect the hot weather has more than a little to do with the slowdown.

The fall shotgun season is Oct. 23 - Oct. 31, 2010.


The first season continues through Oct. 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


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. 28-Feb. 28.


To find daily harvest reports on deer and turkey, click here.


Click here for the latest posting of Illinois' aerial waterfowl surveys.


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.


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.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 12, 2010 8:22 PM.

Illinois Walleye Trail: Kleszyk and Zurawski win was the previous entry in this blog.

Fish of the Week: Symbolic walleye is the next entry in this blog.

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