Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Illinois Hunting Report: Harvest moon meaning

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A beautiful harvest moon rose last night in perfect timing as harvest begins in earnest across Illinois, and hunters began the countdown to archery deer season, a perfect segue to this Illinois Hunting Report.


I think if you spend enough time outdoors, especially if you hunt and fish, you revert to watching the moon. It still pulls on us and other wild things.

The Farmer's Almanac has a description of the various moons of the year, which is different that the way I learned them. Keith Cooley gives a more complete listing of various full moon names by different cultures, if you click here. He has quite the page of information on the moon.

But I digress, cornfields brown and harvest begins. As of Sunday, according to the Illinois Crop Progress and Condition Report, corn harvest was at 5 percent statewide and even at 1 percent in the north.

And the opening of archery hunting for deer is just weeks away.

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.

If you have suggestions, e-mail me at or post in the comments.


Guys are starting to actively watch fields and cruise prime areas. And apparently trail cams keep gaining popularity. I need to get one myself. I have received some neat trail cam photos and am considering running them as a sort of prelude or kick off for BOTW, the celebration of big bucks bagged by hunters.

Usually I don't start running BOTW until about the time of the rut, but I may reconsider that this year.

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

. . . Random daily draws for deer permits begin today and run through Oct. 3. . . . Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter only from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.


I had a chance to get out a bit last week, and saw some doves, but didn't get any shooting. By the looks of the phone wires, there are still doves around, at least in northeast Illinois.


Season runs through Thursday. In northeast Illinois, the primary reports I have heard are over water. But according to Heartland Outdoors, there's been some good hunting over cornfields cut for silage farther Downstate.


Season runs through Sept. 18. State waterfowl biologist Ray Marshalla said there has been quite a few shot on Carlyle Lake. But that is about it for great reports. Bumped into some hunters Friday, who said there had been quite a flight high over the Kankakee River early in the season. But I haven't seen any at all there.


Took a guy out at Iroquois SWA and we had some success in a few hours Monday morning. If we had more time, I think we would have had more. In northeast Illinois, Silver Springs SFWA, Kankakee River SP and Iroquois SWA are open through September for squirrel hunting.


The second lottery deadline for the Illinois 2011 Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permit program is today for those unsuccessful resident applicants from the first lottery, residents who didn't apply in the first lottery, and non-residents. Typing this reminded me to get cracking. All initial applications must be made online at or . . . The third lottery is Wednesday through Sept. 27.


Youth waterfowl hunt application period runs through Oct. 1. Click here.


Archery deer, turkey and firearm youth deer permits are on sale over-the-counter.


The Fall Shotgun Turkey Permit Random Daily Drawings are Monday through Sept. 26.


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.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 13, 2011 7:51 AM.

Ramble with Gortowski: More of an honor than that was the previous entry in this blog.

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