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Illinois hunting: 4th zone & other waterfowl details

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Here is the official word from the IDNR on the recent movement on waterfowl regulations and such.

USFWS Approves IDNR Waterfowl Zones and Season Dates

Illinois to use new option to implement fourth zone for waterfowl hunting

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week approved for publication in the Federal Register new rules allowing states to add a fourth duck hunting zone or to use three zones with split hunting seasons for the regular duck hunting season. This decision allows the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to proceed with its proposal for adding a fourth waterfowl hunting zone in the state.

"We are delighted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endorsed our long-sought option of adding a fourth zone in Illinois for waterfowl hunting," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "We are grateful for the support of hunters and outdoors organizations throughout the state - the advocacy of Governor Pat Quinn, who pressed our case with federal officials - and for the strong case made by waterfowl professionals from Illinois and across the country. The Service has OK'd a sensible and well-reasoned means by which we can provide hunters with good opportunity to enjoy better waterfowl hunting for years to come."

The recommendations approved by the USFWS include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state's newly-drawn four waterfowl hunting zones, along with Canada goose hunting seasons of 85 days in the North and Central zones and 66 days in the South Central and South zones for the 2011-12 waterfowl season.

The Illinois seasons for this year are based on a new five-year plan for waterfowl hunting season dates through the 2015 season. If season lengths are changed by federal rule for any species during the 2012-2015 seasons, adjustments will be made by the IDNR. For 2011-12, Illinois will open the regular duck, Canada goose, and snow goose seasons on Oct. 15 in the North Zone, Oct. 22 in the Central Zone, Nov. 12 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 24 in the South Zone. White-fronted goose seasons open with the duck seasons in the South Central and South zones but have delayed openers in the North and Central zones.

The IDNR five-year plan for waterfowl seasons includes:

• Four waterfowl zones designated as North, Central, South Central and South zones;
• In a revision to the original IDNR zone line proposal, Illinois will retain the existing zone line between the North and Central zones in northeast Illinois for duck hunting, while a new zone line along Interstate 80 will separate the North and Central zones for goose hunting in portions of Cook, Will and Grundy counties (see detailed descriptions below). This change was made at the request of Canada goose hunters in the area who believe they will have more opportunity to hunt field feeding geese from nearby cooling lakes and rivers in January than during October and November. Hunters will need to be aware that duck and goose season will not always be open at the same time in this area of the state. This area will use North Zone duck season dates and Central Zone goose season dates.
• No change in the zone line between the North and Central zones in western Illinois;
• Use of a line similar to the pre-2006 zone line between the Central and South (South Central) zones in southwest Illinois;
• New zone lines to make provisions for the South Central and South zones;
• 60-day ducks seasons in all zones
• 85-day Canada goose seasons in the North and Central Zones and 66-day Canada goose seasons in the South Central and South Zones


The IDNR 2011-2015 season dates and descriptions of the new waterfowl zone lines are outlined below. To view maps of the new zone lines, check the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/MapsApprovedWaterfowlZoneLines.aspx

Illinois Waterfowl Regular Season Dates - 2011-2015

North Zone Youth Hunt Duck Canada Goose

2011 Oct. 8-9 Oct. 15 - Dec. 13 Oct. 15 - Jan. 7

2012 Oct. 13-14 Oct. 20 - Dec. 18 Oct. 20 - Jan. 12

2013 Oct. 12-13 Oct. 19 - Dec. 17 Oct. 19 - Jan. 11

2014 Oct. 11-12 Oct. 18 - Dec. 16 Oct. 18 - Jan. 10

2015 Oct. 10-11 Oct. 17 - Dec. 15 Oct. 17 - Jan. 9


Central Zone

2011 Oct. 15-16 Oct. 22 - Dec. 20 Oct. 22 - Nov. 6 and Nov. 24 - Jan. 31

2012 Oct. 20-21 Oct. 27 - Dec. 25 Oct. 27 - Nov. 11 and Nov. 24 - Jan. 31

2013 Oct. 19-20 Oct. 26 - Dec. 24 Oct. 26 - Nov. 10 and Nov. 24 - Jan. 31

2014 Oct. 18-19 Oct. 25 - Dec. 23 Oct. 25 - Nov. 9 and Nov. 24 - Jan. 31

2015 Oct. 17-18 Oct. 24 - Dec. 22 Oct. 24 - Nov. 8 and Nov. 24 - Jan. 31


South Central Zone (2011 Canada goose dates revised from original proposal)

2011 Nov. 5-6 Nov. 12 - Jan. 10 Nov. 12 - Nov. 27 and Dec. 13 - Jan. 31

2012 Nov. 3-4 Nov. 10 - Jan. 8 Nov. 10 - Nov. 15 and Dec. 3 - Jan. 31

2013 Nov. 2-3 Nov. 9 - Jan. 7 Nov. 9 - Nov. 14 and Dec. 3 - Jan. 31

2014 Nov. 1-2 Nov. 8 - Jan. 6 Nov. 8 - Nov. 13 and Dec. 3 - Jan. 31

2015 Nov. 7-8 Nov. 14 - Jan. 12 Nov. 14 - Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 - Jan. 31


South Zone

2011 Nov. 12-13 Nov. 24 - Jan. 22 Nov. 24 - Nov. 27 and Dec. 1 - Jan. 31

2012 Nov. 10-11 Nov. 22 - Jan. 20 Nov. 22 - Nov. 25 and Dec. 1 - Jan. 31

2013 Nov. 16-17 Nov. 28 - Jan. 26 Nov. 28 - Jan. 31

2014 Nov. 15-16 Nov. 27 - Jan. 25 Nov. 27 - Jan. 31

2015 Nov. 14-15 Nov. 26 - Jan. 24 Nov. 26 - Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 - Jan. 31

Illinois 2011-2012 Snow Goose and White-Fronted Goose Season Dates


North Zone

Snow Geese
Regular Season: Oct. 15 - Jan. 7
Conservation Order: Jan. 8 - March 31

White-fronted Geese: Oct. 26 - Jan. 7


Central Zone

Snow Geese
Regular Season: Oct. 22 - Jan. 31
Conservation Order: Feb. 1 - March 31

White-fronted Geese: Nov. 19 - Jan. 31


South Central Zone

Snow Geese
Regular Season: Nov. 12- Jan. 31
Conservation Order: Feb. 1 - March 31

White-fronted Geese: Nov. 12 - Nov. 27 and Dec. 5 - Jan. 31


South Zone

Snow Geese
Regular Season: Nov. 24 - Jan. 31
Conservation Order: Feb. 1 - March 31

White-fronted Geese: Nov. 24 - Jan. 31

2011-2015 Illinois Waterfowl Zone Lines
(Changes from 2010 are underlined below - Detailed maps available on IDNR website)

Ducks (Including Mergansers) and Coots

North Duck Zone: That portion of the state north of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Peotone-Beecher Road to Illinois Route 50, south along Illinois Route 50 to Wilmington-Peotone Road, west along Wilmington-Peotone Road to Illinois Route 53, north along Illinois Route 53 to New River Road, northwest along New River Road to Interstate Highway 55, south along I-55 to Pine Bluff-Lorenzo Road, west along Pine Bluff-Lorenzo Road to Illinois Route 47, north along Illinois Route 47 to I-80, west along I-80 to I-39, south along I-39 to Illinois Route 18, west along Illinois Route 18 to Illinois Route 29, south along Illinois Route 29 to Illinois Route 17, west along Illinois Route 17 to the Mississippi River, and due south across the Mississippi River to the Iowa border.

Central Duck Zone: That portion of the state south of the North Duck Zone line to a line extending west from the Indiana border along I-70 to Illinois Route 4, south along Illinois Route 4 to Illinois Route 161, west along Illinois Route 161 to Illinois Route 158, south and west along Illinois Route 158 to Illinois Route 159, south along Illinois Route 159 to Illinois Route 3, south along Illinois Route 3 to St. Leo's Road, south along St. Leo's road to Modoc Road, west along Modoc Road to Modoc Ferry Road, southwest along Modoc Ferry Road to Levee Road, southeast along Levee Road to County Route 12 (Modoc Ferry entrance Road), south along County Route 12 to the Modoc Ferry route and southwest on the Modoc Ferry route across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

South Duck Zone: That portion of the state south and east of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 70, south along U.S. Highway 45, to Illinois Route 13, west along Illinois Route 13 to Greenbriar Road, north on Greenbriar Road to Sycamore Road, west on Sycamore Road to N. Reed Station Road, south on N. Reed Station Road to Illinois Route 13, west along Illinois Route 13 to Illinois Route 127, south along Illinois Route 127 to State Forest Road (1025 N), west along State Forest Road to Illinois Route 3, north along Illinois Route 3 to the south bank of the Big Muddy River, west along the south bank of the Big Muddy River to the Mississippi River, west across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

South Central Duck Zone: The remainder of the state between the south border of the Central Zone and the North border of the South Zone.


Geese

North Goose Zone: That portion of the state north of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 80 to I-39, south along I-39 to Illinois Route 18, west along Illinois Route 18 to Illinois Route 29, south along Illinois Route 29 to Illinois Route 17, west along Illinois Route 17 to the Mississippi River, and due south across the Mississippi River to the Iowa border.

Central Goose Zone: That portion of the state south of the North Goose Zone line to a line extending west from the Indiana border along I-70 to Illinois Route 4, south along Illinois Route 4 to Illinois Route 161, west along Illinois Route 161 to Illinois Route 158, south and west along Illinois Route 158 to Illinois Route 159, south along Illinois Route 159 to Illinois Route 3, south along Illinois Route 3 to St. Leo's Road, south along St. Leo's road to Modoc Road, west along Modoc Road to Modoc Ferry Road, southwest along Modoc Ferry Road to Levee Road, southeast along Levee Road to County Route 12 (Modoc Ferry entrance Road), south along County Route 12 to the Modoc Ferry route and southwest on the Modoc Ferry route across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

South Goose Zone: Same zone as for ducks.

South Central Goose Zone: Same zone as for ducks.

The new waterfowl zone maps are available on the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/MapsApprovedWaterfowlZoneLines.aspx

Implementation of the new Illinois waterfowl zones will occur with the 2011-12 regular waterfowl seasons, with previously existing zones in use for the September 2011 early Canada goose hunting season.

The September 2011 early Canada goose season is Sept. 1-15 with a daily limit of five (5) and a possession limit of 10 geese in the North and Central zones and a daily limit of two (2) and a possession limit of four (4) geese in the South Zone.

Illinois' 16-day 2011 statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 3-18 with a daily limit of four (4) and a possession limit of eight (8) teal.


For a complete overview and outlook for the 2011 waterfowl season prospects in Illinois, check the online version of this news release at www.dnr.illinois.gov

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 29, 2011 3:58 PM.

Illinois Hunting: More on 4th zone was the previous entry in this blog.

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