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Illinois Hunting Report: Winding down

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Depending on how things look, this might be the last Illinois Hunting Report other than sporadic ones around the late deer seasons and turkey hunting in the spring.

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.


Muzzleloader season, which ended Sunday, had a significantly higher harvest than last year.


Harvest by bowhunters was significantly down through Sunday. Not quite sure why.

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

Good photos keep coming 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


Canada goose season runs through Jan. 7. Duck season ended on a high note at Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area near Morris, where site staff reported a good finish on Sunday with 34 hunters taking 14 mallards, 13 gadwalls, 10 goldeneye, three mergansers, a bluebill, a green-winged teal and a Canada goose. As long as the bay stays open, there will be goose hunting at Heidecke. . . . At William W. Powers State Recreation Area on Chicago's Southeast Side, icing limited weekend effort.


Duck season runs through Tuesday. The second Canada goose season runs through Jan. 31. Site staff reported an outstanding Sunday at Braidwood Lake with 54 hunters taking 90 of the 245 ducks and two geese bagged last week.


The line changes are important now that duck hunting in the north is closed, but the goose boundaries are different.

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 runs through 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 Sunday.


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.


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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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 13, 2011 7:42 PM.

Illinois deer hunting: Muzzleloader & archery update was the previous entry in this blog.

Fish of the Week: Another Des Plaines River pike is the next entry in this blog.

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