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Illinois Hunting Report: Next, muzzleloader season

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I am very curious to see what the numbers for both firearm seasons will be; and those thoughts lead this Illinois Hunting Report.


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.


The second firearm season ended Sunday, not with a bang. At least not in my little corner of the hunting world. It was a very quiet second season. But I always caution myself that my little piece of the hunting is not the entire state.

Maybe the weather was simply too nice. I don't know, but I do know I am anxious to see the numbers.


Muzzleloader season is Friday through Sunday. For hunters in northeast Illinois without a permit, there are standby chances at Heidecke Lake (also includes Morris Wetlands and Goose Lake Prairie).


I haven't seen an archery update with the focus on firearm seasons. When it comes, I will post separately.

Click here for information on the resident late winter antlerless deer hunting, including information for the special hunt areas. Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer county permits will be available over the counter (OTC) through DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning on Tuesday. County permits for the CWD Deer Season will also be available OTC beginning on Tuesday. The dates for the seven-day Late-Winter and CWD deer seasons are Dec. 29-Jan. 1 and Jan. 13-15.

Over the counter sales of remaining firearm permits for deer go through Sunday.

Good photos are coming in for Buck of the Week, the celebration of big bucks bagged by hunters.

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


Duck season in the north runs through Tuesday. Canada goose season runs through Jan. 7.

At the two main public sites with daily reports, action was fair or slow. At Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area near Morris, site staff reported a fair mixed bag on Sunday, but not many ducks. . . . At William W. Powers State Recreation Area on Chicago's Southeast Side, site staff reported slow hunting.

I don't know if the freeze-up around the area and to the north will be enough to spark a decent final week to duck hunting or not.


Duck season runs through Dec. 20. The second Canada goose season runs through Jan. 31. Site staff reported a fair or slow week at Braidwood with 181 hunters taking 152 ducks and one goose. I hear goose blinds outside are waiting for the geese to arrive. I am not sure if the freeze-up later this week will be enough or not.


Click here for the link to the map of change in the north and central zone lines in northeast Illinois (Grundy, Cook and Will counties) for duck and goose seasons.

Basically, the north zone goose line in northeast Illinois reverts to I-80, while the north zone duck zone remains the same, dropping south from I-80 on Route 47, then going east on Pine Bluff and roughly following that line on other roads to the Illinois/Indiana line.

Here is the complete description from the IDNR waterfowl regs for the north zone duck line in that area, from the Indiana line going west:

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,


Duck season runs through Jan. 10. Second goose season is Dec. 13-Jan. 31.


Duck season runs through Jan. 22. Second goose season runs through Jan. 31.


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


Hunting seasons for rabbits, cock pheasants, bobwhite quail and gray partridge are open. Most interest is on deer hunting. Click here for the annual prospects put out by the IDNR.


Archery season is ongoing. . . Second application period for spring permits is underway. Click here.


Most public sites are closed due to bowhunting for deer. Most other areas remain open through Feb. 15.


Season runs through Dec. 18.


Hunting for foxes (red and gray) runs through Jan. 31, except it is closed during the two firearm deer seasons.


Trapping seasons is open statewide for raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink, fox (red and gray), coyote and badger.


Hunting season runs through Feb. 10 in the north. In the south, the season runs through Feb. 15.


Season runs through 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 December 6, 2011 5:54 AM.

Wild things: Mudpuppies & dragons was the previous entry in this blog.

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