I can only imagine the entertainment value in the five public open house meetings on waterfowl hunting the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has set for June.
The northeast Illinois meeting will be the last one on June 15 at Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area hunter check station, 24621 River Rd., Wilmington. The meetings should be extra important and intense because of the possibility of four zones for waterfowl hunting in Illinois next year.
Here's the official word from the IDNR:
IDNR to Host Open Houses to Seek Comment on Upcoming Waterfowl Seasons
SPRINGFIELD, IL -Waterfowl hunters interested in learning more about plans for duck and goose seasons in Illinois are invited to attend one of the five public open house meetings the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host in June.
At each public open house, IDNR staff will provide information on proposed duck zones and season date options for the next five-year period, as well as aerial waterfowl surveys, weather and freeze-up data, and hunter survey data.
Those attending the open houses will have the opportunity to comment on their preferences for the upcoming waterfowl seasons. That input will help IDNR staff develop recommendations for waterfowl zone boundary changes, duck season dates and season dates for Canada goose hunting.
IDNR hopes to set duck zone lines, duck season dates and Canada goose season dates for the next five years, subject to approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The USFWS is considering a proposal from Illinois and other states that would allow states two additional options in establishing duck zones: four zones, or three zones with a split into two season segments in each zone. The additional duck zone options could be implemented for the 2011-2015 seasons. IDNR believes the best option for Illinois would be to use four zones without the option to split the season because of the vast differences in the timing of duck migration from north to south in this state (more than 430 miles in length).
IDNR 2011 Waterfowl Public Meetings
All meetings are 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
ü Monday, June 6 - PASA Park, Barry (located off I-72, exit 20, west of Pittsfield in Pike Co.)
ü Tuesday, June 7 - Community Building in Olney City Park, 502 White Squirrel Circle (off Rt. 130), Olney
ü Wednesday, June 8 - John A. Logan College (Clifford Doc Batteau Room F-103), 700 Logan College Rd., Carterville
ü Thursday, June 9 - Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) regional office, 1102 Eastport Plaza Dr., Collinsville (north off of I-55 at exit 11)
ü Wednesday, June 15 - Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area hunter check station, 24621 River Rd., Wilmington (east off of I-55 at exit 241)