Highlighting Illinois DNR Programs and Upcoming Events for the Month of November

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Illinois Deer HuntingDeer Permit Application Deadline: The last day to apply for 2008 firearm and muzzleloader-only season deer permits is Fri., Nov. 7.  Hunters may apply online through DNR Direct (link through the DNR Direct button on the IDNR home page at http://dnr.state.il.us).  Permit application forms are also available on the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/. The Illinois Firearm Deer Season is Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7.  The Illinois Muzzleloader-only Deer Season is Dec. 12-14 (and the second firearm weekend of Dec. 4-7).

Late-Winter Deer Season: The deadline to apply for permits for the 2009 Illinois Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-Only Deer Season is Fri., Nov. 14.  The Late-Winter season is scheduled for Jan. 16-18, 2009.  Counties that will be open for the Late-Winter season are: Adams, Bond, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Knox, LaSalle, Lawrence, Lee, Logan, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Massac, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, St. Clair, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Williamson, and Woodford.  Hunters may apply for a permit online through DNR Direct at http://dnr.state.il.us or print out a copy of the permit application at http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/late.htm.

CWD Deer Season: Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry, and Winnebago counties and that portion of Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47 can participate in the special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Deer Season Jan. 16-18, 2009 to help control deer densities and the spread of chronic wasting disease.

Special CWD season antlerless-only permits will be available over-the-counter beginning in mid-December for $5 each at participating DNR Direct license and permit vendors. In addition, hunters with unfilled 2008 firearm, muzzleloader, youth deer hunt, or archery deer permits valid for one of the open counties may use those permits to hunt during the CWD season. Hunters using unfilled permits from the 2008 firearm, muzzleloader, youth, or archery season may take deer appropriate for that permit (antlerless-only or either-sex). Check stations will be manned during the CWD season in the open counties. Successful hunters will be required to bring their deer to a check station prior to 8 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters who submit samples for CWD testing will be given an additional permit valid for the remainder of the season. Check station locations for the CWD Deer Season, Jan. 16-18, 2009 are listed below:

  • Boone Co. – Boone County Fairgrounds, Rt. 76 and Business Rt. 20, Belvidere
  • DeKalb Co. and Kane Co. (west of Ill. Rt. 47) – Shabbona Lake State Park, 4201 Shabbona Grove Rd., Shabbona
  • McHenry Co. – McHenry Dam Day Use Area, Moraine Hills State Park, east of McHenry on River Road, 2.2 miles south of Route 120
  • Winnebago Co. – Rock Cut State Park, 6425 Hart Road (one mile east of Perryville Rd. on Hart Rd.), Loves Park

Deer Pins:  Hunters successful in taking a deer during the 2008-09 deer seasons in Illinois can pick up a free deer pin at one of the hundreds of IDNR license and permit vendor locations throughout the state.  For deer pin locations, check the IDNR web site at the following link:  http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/harvest.htm.  Deer pins are also available during regular business hours at the IDNR Headquarters in Springfield, the IDNR Regional offices in Sterling, Bartlett, Clinton, Alton and Benton, and the IDNR Chicago office.   

Upland Prospects: For information on prospects for the 2008-09 pheasant, quail and rabbit seasons in Illinois, check the IDNR web site for the annual hunting prospects reports prepared by the IDNR Division of Wildlife Program Development.  The link to the reports is available through the IDNR home page at http://dnr.state.il.us.  Click on the Hunting and Upland/Small Game links.

Spring Turkey First Lottery:  Resident hunters may now apply for the first lottery for 2009 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online through DNR Direct.  Just go to the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us and click on the Hunting and Turkey Hunting links.  The application deadline for the first lottery for 2009 resident spring turkey permits is Dec. 1, 2008.

OutdoorIllinois:  Illinois’ first state park, Fort Massac State Park in Massac County, was dedicated 100 years ago this month, and is the subject of the cover and a feature article in the November 2008 issue of OutdoorIllinois. Other stories include the work of Conservation Police Officers during deer season, deer hunting, leaf litter, youth goose hunting, tracking waterfowl by radar and the red-headed woodpecker.  For a summary of feature magazine articles, listen in on monthly podcasts at www.dnr.state.il.us/OI.

OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois’ natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at only $15 for a one-year, 12-issue magazine subscription that includes an information-packed annual calendar in the December issue. Visit www.dnr.state.il.us/OI or call 1-800-720-3249 to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. For information on advertising in OutdoorIllinois, call 217/785-8610 or e-mail michelle [dot] silver [at] illinois [dot] gov.

Landowner Honors:  The IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources has honored four landowners as 2008 recipients of the Illinois Landowner of the Year award for their efforts to restore and develop wildlife habitat on their private properties. The program is one of the ways the IDNR recognizes some of the great efforts of private property owners who do extraordinary work in developing their property for wildlife. The property owners recognized this year participate in the Acres for Wildlife program and have developed properties that showcase how land can be managed for the benefit of wildlife.  The award winners are:

  • Dr. Bob Benningfield, property in Knox County, recognized by District Wildlife Biologist (DWB) Kevin Oller
  • Ron and Donna Scudder, property in Champaign County, recognized by DWB Dan Newhouse
  • Norman and Anita Dicks, property in Adams County, recognized by DWB Brad Poulter
  • Tom and Roxie Blasdel, property in Wayne County, recognized by DWB Steve Kern

Utilizing a variety of conservation programs including the IDNR Acres for Wildlife, USDA Conservation Reserve Program, and assistance from private not-for-profit conservation organizations, these landowners have seen tremendous wildlife response to their efforts. Warm and cool season grassland development, construction of wetlands, bottomland hardwood plantings, exotic species control, and prescribed burning are examples of various habitat practices employed.  For more information on habitat enhancement for wildlife in Illinois, contact the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources at 217/782-6384.

ICF Youth Scholarship Program Nomination Deadline Dec. 1: The Illinois Conservation Foundation Youth Achievement Scholarship program nomination deadline is Dec. 1. Ten high school juniors or seniors – one female and one male from each of the five IDNR regions in Illinois – will be selected. Students who have made significant contributions or exhibited unparalleled dedication in preserving, promoting, enhancing or supporting natural resources conservation in Illinois are eligible. Each student selected will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be Illinois residents, a member of the high school class of 2009 or 2010, and must be nominated by a natural resource constituency group, community leader, school administrator, teacher or adult mentor. Those selected will be presented with the scholarships at the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 28, 2009 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. The scholarship program is supported through funds raised at the banquet. For more information, call 217/785-2003.

Nomination forms are available through the ICF web site at www.ilcf.org.

Historic Harvest:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield hosts “Historic Harvest,” a museum Super Saturdays program for youngsters, on Sat., Nov. 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  As Thanksgiving draws near, learn how the first farmers of Illinois harvested their crops without trucks, tractors, or other modern machines.  The program is free and open to the public.  It is especially recommended for children ages 4-8.  For more information, contact the Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., Springfield at 217/782-6044.

Collector’s Day:  The Illinois State Museum’s popular “Collector’s Day” is scheduled for Sat., Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Many of the finest pieces of the museum’s collections were donated by people with a passion for collecting. During this special event, meet local collectors who will display their unique collections, from typewriters to music boxes to antique pins to cameras to cartoon memorabilia. New this year:  A conservator will be on hand to answer questions about caring for collections.  No buying, selling, or appraisals will be allowed.  For more information, call 217/782-5993.  The ISM Collector’s Day is free and open to the public at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.

Native Americans in Central Illinois:  The Illinois State Museum presents an archaeology lecture on “Oneota and Mississippian Cultural Traditions in the Central Illinois River Valley” on Wed., Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 E. Ash, Springfield.  Sometime in the late 1200s, the Oneota migrated into the region near Dickson Mounds in the Illinois River valley. In 2008, Michigan State University and the Dickson Mounds Museum staff began excavations at a nearby early Oneota site in order to learn more about this migration and the interactions between the Oneota and Mississippian groups.  Learn more about their findings at the program on Nov. 12.  For more information, phone 217/782-0061.

Great Gift:  Need 12 gift ideas for that special outdoorsman or outdoorswoman? How about a one-year gift subscription to OutdoorIllinois magazine? For just $15, friends and family members will receive 12 full-color issues of OutdoorIllinois, packed with state park features, how-to outdoors tips, hunting and fishing tales, IDNR news updates, and plenty more. It=s easy to subscribe: In Illinois, order toll-free at 1-800-720-3249 or online at www.dnr.state.il/oi.

Invasive Plant Posters:  New Illinois Invasive Plant publications are available from the University of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, and the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area. There are five posters in the collection. The large poster is 17″ by 38″ highlighting the four major habitats of Illinois (grassland, woodland, wetland, agriculture) and the top four invasive plants in those habitats. In addition, there are four smaller (8.5″ by 11″) posters corresponding to the four habitats on the large poster. Each small poster showcases 8 to 12 plants with a photo and distribution in Illinois on the front and information on identification and why the plant is considered invasive on the back. The posters are free of charge. 

Contact Dawn Refsell at drefsell [at] illinois [dot] edu with your name, shipping address and the quantity and titles you are requesting.

Arbor Day Poster Contest:  The annual Arbor Day Poster Contest instruction and curriculum packet was recently mailed to Illinois schools with fifth-grade classes. Additional copies are available from the IDNR through the online ordering system at http://www.idnrteachkids.com. The deadline for the Illinois poster contest is February 20, 2009.  For more information, phone 217/785-8771.

Junior Duck Stamp – New Format:  The 2009 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest rules, information and entry form are now available. To download a copy, go to the following web address:  http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck/ArtContest.htm. Teachers should note that the brochure was not printed for 2009 and they will not receive one by mail. Get started with this program now to ensure there is plenty of time for students to complete the artwork. Entries must be received by March 15, 2009. The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest is a program for students of grades K-12 that uses the fine arts to teach about waterfowl, wetlands and wildlife conservation. Illinois co-sponsors are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the IDNR.  For more information, email dnr [dot] teachkids [at] illinois [dot] gov or call 217/524-4126.

Attention Teachers:  Illinois DNR Urban Fishing Program coordinators will come to your school and conduct programs aimed at getting kids interested in fishing and the outdoors, while promoting environmental stewardship. One part of the program involves actually taking kids fishing during May and September, if a nearby lake is accessible. Teachers may continue the program on their own after the initial session, with the assistance of IDNR personnel. Contact the Urban Fishing Program Coordinator in your area. The urban fishing program is appropriate for any grade level.
Chicago: Brenda McKinney at 847/294‑4137
Chicago Suburbs: IDNR Staff at 847/294‑4137
Northwest Illinois: IDNR Staff at 815/625‑2968
Central Illinois: Herb Dreier at 217/782‑6424
Southern Illinois: Mark Yehling at 618/462‑1181

Outdoor Illinois CalendarOI Calendar:  The 2009 IDNR wall calendar, produced in conjunction with OutdoorIllinois magazine, once again will be available in the December issue of OI. The traditional favorite among readers measures 17 by 11 inches and includes seasonal photography from Illinois’ great outdoors by OI photographer Adele Hodde. The calendar grids feature information on fishing and hunting seasons, activities in state parks, reminders about license/permit/grant application deadlines and much more. Each month features a text-free image you’ll be tempted to save even after the calendar becomes history. Included in the 2009 lineup:

  • JANUARY: white-fronted geese and Canada geese take flight at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
  • FEBRUARY: federally endangered trumpeter swans at Pyramid State Park.
  • MARCH: a juvenile great-horned owl near Springfield
  • APRIL: wild geraniums at Mississippi Palisades State Park
  • MAY: a thirteen-lined ground squirrel at Chain O’Lakes State Park
  • JUNE: browsing whitetails in east-central Illinois
  • JULY: Halloween pennant dragonfly at Pyramid State Park
  • AUGUST: water snakes at Sanganois Conservation Area
  • SEPTEMBER: autumn colors amid cliffs at Ferne Clyffe State Park
  • OCTOBER: a whitetail hoofing it in central Illinois
  • NOVEMBER: ice-covered fungi at Giant City State Park
  • DECEMBER: a Virginia opossum takes a snowy stroll at Beaver Dam State Park

Single copies of the December issue are $3 and will be available after December 1 at the License and Permit counter at the IDNR Springfield headquarters, at various Illinois booksellers and selected IDNR sites. Interested persons also may call 217/785-0975 or send a check or money order payable to OutdoorIllinois to:  Illinois Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 19225 Dept. NL, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271. An even better value, especially as a gift for that outdoor enthusiast on your gift-giving list, is an annual subscription to OutdoorIllinois for $15 for a one-year (12 issues) subscription. Call 1-800-720-3249 or visit www.dnr.state.il.us/OI to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. OutdoorIllinois is an indispensable guide to Illinois’ natural, cultural and recreational resources.

Oil and Gas Board Meeting:  The next meeting of the Illinois Oil and Gas Advisory Board will be held on Wed., Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Illinois Oil and Gas Association building located at 824 East Highway 15 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, call 217/782-7756.