Goose hunting leads this Illinois Hunting Report.
As in, find open water just about anywhere in the state and you will find Canada geese. Say this patch holding hundreds of Canada geese on the Kankakee River Sunday morning.
A few hundred yards from these geese, some guys had a decoy spread out by a pit blind. Just observing from the outside, their spread was far less impressive than the natural spread on the ice.
I am guessing that is why they picked up at noon.
Otherwise, we are in the throes of true winter hunting.
Hardcores are still bowhunting for deer. With the snow cover, rabbit hunters are out, same for pheasant hunters.
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, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments.
LATE-WINTER AND SPECIAL CWD DEER PERMITS
The first part of the late-winter antlerless-only firearm deer and the special CWD deer seasons are Thursday through Sunday. The second season is Jan. 14-16. Some county permits are available over the counter from DNR Direct permit sale locations throughout Illinois. Click here to find a permit sale vendor:
NORTHEAST ILLINOIS DEER NOTE
Through 5 a.m. today, bowhunters reported a total was 59,628 deer. Season continues through Jan. 16.
BUCK OF THE WEEK PHOTOS
Good nominations keep coming. BOTW will have a long run this year. BOTW runs on the outdoors page in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. I usually post it here on Stray Casts on Tuesday.
E-mail nominations to email@example.com
DEER AND HUNGER
Click here for info, including participating processors, on the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program.
NORTH ZONE WATERFOWL
Goose hunting near open water remains generally good.
Mike Richied, a guide with Ultimate Waterfowlers, sent this note on some of the changes:
The holiday weekend couldn't keep a true waterfowler at home with the conditions that we have right now! If you can get anywhere near open water, the action is fast and furious.
Canada geese, snow geese and white-fronted geese seasons run through Jan. 8.
Duck season closes today.
Where there is open water, there is good to outstanding hunting for geese. The key is open water, as the photo above shows.
I am not sure if the geese are being educated or what at Braidwood, but the numbers for last week were not as spectacular as I had expected. Staff at Braidwood (open Wednesday-Sunday) (Wednesday through Sunday) reported hunters taking 181 ducks and only 65 geese.
Mazonia lakes are locked up.
Hunting for Canada geese, snow geese and white-fronted geese runs through Jan. 31.
WATERFOWLING AT EMIQUON & MERWIN
Weather is pushing some Canada geese south in a more traditional migration. It will be curious to see if this year's results are different than recent years.
Duck season runs through Jan. 23. The second Canada goose season and snow geese and white-fronted geese seasons run through Jan. 31.
With the snow cover, upland hunters are hitting the fields big time. Rain and warmth may make for mucky field conditions by the weekend.
MAZONIA UPLAND NOTE
Upland game hunting opens in the Mazonia north unit opens Wednesday in north unit only and runs through Jan. 8, though there is no hunting on New Year's Day or Monday and Tuesday.
Jan. 11 is the deadline for the second lottery for spring turkey permits for first-time applicants or rejected applicants. Non-residents may begin applying today. Click here to apply.
Through Monday afternoon, bowhunters had a kill of 646.
Season runs through Feb. 15.
Hunting runs through Feb. 28.
MARSEILLES SFWA HUNTING DATES
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.