I saw my first harvested cornfield Saturday, between Dwight and Morris; that is the one bit of news that benefits the big news for the this Illinois Hunting Report: Bow season opens Saturday for deer.
As of Sunday, according to the Illinois Crop Progress and Condition Report, corn harvest was at 22 percent statewide, up considerably from 11 percent just a week ago, but was only at 4 percent in the northeast and was only 7 percent in the northwest. At least in the north, the return of persistent rains will slow harvest this week.
During the hunting seasons, the extended online version of the IHR, which appears most weeks during the hunting season in the outdoors page of the Sun-Times on Wednesdays, is usually posted here on Tuesdays. I am late today.
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More than a few days in the past couple weeks I've had to laugh, while doing my usual drives around back roads, because of the number of guys I saw scouting from their pickups or getting out in camo to either scout or work on their stands or blinds.
That time is here. Bowhunting for deer opens Saturday.
Forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton expects about the same sort of harvest as the last few years since the deer herd and harvest have leveled off from 2003-06.
For some reason, I am excited. Maybe it is just that I had a tough year of fishing. Or maybe because readers have sent some nice buck photos already.
I am running a trail cam photo in the Sun-Times and on Stray Casts, as a sort of a kickoff to the season and Buck of the Week, both. I usually don't run BOTW, the celebration of big bucks bagged by hunters, until about the time of the rut, but I may reconsider that this year, especially because of some nice trail cam photos being sent.
BOTW runs Wednesdays around the hunting seasons and BOTW: Unplugged, the weekly celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, on Sundays much of the year on the outdoors page in the Sun-Times. E-mail nominations for either one to firstname.lastname@example.org
. . . Random daily draws for deer permits run through Monday. . . . Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter only from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.
Archery season opens Saturday.
Some doves are around. Haven't heard or seen much effort by hunters. First season runs through Oct. 31. . . . Second season is Nov. 5-13.
In northeast Illinois, Silver Springs SFWA, Kankakee River SP and Iroquois SWA are open through September for squirrel hunting. Friday is the last day there.
The third lottery deadline for the Illinois 2011 Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permit program is today. All initial applications must be made online at www.dnr.illinois.gov/duck or www.dnr.illinois.gov/goose.
Youth waterfowl hunt application period runs through Saturday. Click here.
Trapping season runs through Friday.
Virginia and Sora only. Season runs through Nov. 11.
Season runs through Dec. 18.
Season is Oct. 15-Nov. 28.
Season is Oct. 28-Feb. 28, 2012.
ILLINOIS HUNTING ONLINE
For IDNR hunting info, click here.
For the Illinois 2011-12 Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, click here.
For the 2010-11 Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report, click here.
The 2011-12 edition of the Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulation is now online, click here.
For Illinois crop reports (generally posted Monday afternoons, holiday weekends are the exceptions), click here. After holidays, such as Labor Day, it comes out on Tuesday.