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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 underway

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So I go out this morning to find an action photo of harvesting and, of course, a thick fog is just lifting, so farmers are only working on equipment and such; but fields are being harvested.


I saw my first soybean field harvested last week in northeast Illinois, and cornfields will see serious effort this week across the state; but the main harvest I mean for the Illinois Hunting Report is an outstanding opening weekend for deer by bowhunters.

As of Sunday, according to the Illinois Crop Progress and Condition Report, corn harvest was at 32 percent statewide, up from 22 percent a week ago. Even the northeast was at 10 percent and the northwest at 11. Soybeans were 12 percent harvested.

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.

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


A tremendous weather weekend for hunting, cold snappy mornings warming gently toward afternoon brought one of the greatest opening weekends ever for Illinois bowhunters, who reported a harvest for the two days of 5,345 deer.

Wow. Click here for more of a breakdown.

And I have received some good first-hand reports, too.

Which makes me glad that I started running Buck of the Week early this year, as of last week. So far, so good. I usually don't run BOTW, the celebration of big bucks bagged by hunters, until about the time of the rut, but I am trying it from the opening of bow season 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

. . . Youth firearm season is Saturday and Sunday. Resident and non-resident youth permits are available over-the-counter only from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.


North zone season is Saturday and Sunday. Open public sites in the north zone are Chain O'Lakes State Park, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA), Lake DePue SFWA (Due to low water levels, the blinds on DePue might not be accessible), Sinnissippi Lake Wildlife Area, Mississippi River Pools (All located in North Zone), William W. Powers State Recreation Area SRA and Donnelley.


Phone-in period for duck and goose sites opened today and runs through Jan. 27, 2012.


Archery season opened Saturday. . . . Firearm season is Oct. 22-30.


I've seen many more doves again. Not sure if it is related to the fields starting to be harvested or the weekend cold snap pushing fresh birds around in northern Illinois. First season runs through Oct. 31. . . . Second season is Nov. 5-13.


Most public sites are closed due to bowhunting. Public lands remain open through Feb. 15.


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.


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 October 4, 2011 8:05 AM.

Illinois outdoors: A mountain lion attack? was the previous entry in this blog.

Stray Cast: Pearlman, Payton, Spray, muskie is the next entry in this blog.

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