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

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Highlighting Illinois DNR Programs and Upcoming Events for the Month of DecemberIllinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits

Late-Winter Deer Season Application Deadline Extended:  The IDNR has reopened the online application system for permits for the Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Hunting Season.  Hunters may apply for the permits in select counties through the online DNR Direct Permit System through Mon., Dec. 8.  (No paper applications for these permits can be accepted at this time).  The Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season is Jan. 16-18, 2009.  Due to a change in designating some northern Illinois counties for the upcoming Late-Winter season, some hunters missed the previous application deadline on Nov. 14.  To accommodate those and other hunters, the online application system has been reopened through Dec. 8.  Hunters can access DNR Direct online through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us.  Click on the DNR Direct button on the right side of the home page.  The Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season is open to Illinois residents only.    

Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger:  The 2008-09 Illinois deer hunting seasons continue with the second segment of the firearm season, Dec. 4-7; the Muzzleloader-only Deer Season, Dec. 12-14; and, the Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season in select counties Jan. 16-18, 2009. The archery deer season also continues through Jan. 15, 2009.  Deer hunters are encouraged to support the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program by donating whole deer they harvest for processing into ground venison that is provided to Illinois food banks. A list of participating meat processors is available through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/legislation/isah/. Tax-deductible monetary donations to help pay for ISAH meat processing costs may be made through the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

CWD Deer Season: Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry, and Winnebago counties and the 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 are 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 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/.  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.

Spring Turkey: Applications are being accepted for the second lottery for 2009 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Hunting permits.  The deadline to apply for the second lottery is January 12.  For more information, go to the Hunting link on the IDNR web site home page.  The 2009 spring turkey hunting dates are:

South Zone
1st Season:  April 6-April 10
2nd Season:  April 11-April 16
3rd Season:  April 17-April 22
4th Season:  April 23-April 29
5th Season:  April 30-May 7

North Zone
1st Season:  April 13-April 17
2nd Season:  April 18- April 23
3rd Season:  April 24-April 29
4th Season:  April 30-May 6
5th Season:  May 7-May 14

2009 Calendar:  The IDNR 2009 wall calendar, produced in conjunction with OutdoorIllinois magazine, is available as part of 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. Single copies of the December issue are $3 and are available at the License and Permit counter at the IDNR Springfield headquarters, at various Illinois booksellers and selected IDNR sites.  Call 217/785-0975 or send a check or money order payable to OutdoorIllinois to IDNR, 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.

New Deal:  “The New Deal in Illinois Archaeology” is the subject of the monthly program on archaeology at the Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center in Springfield on Wed., Dec. 10 from 7-8:30 p.m.  The year 2008 marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program, which included more than a dozen large-scale archaeological excavations in Illinois.  Presenter Mary R. McCorvie of the U.S. Forest Service will provide an overview of the program, highlighting some of the people involved in the projects and the sites at which they worked.  Designed to provide work for Illinois’ unemployed rural work force, the WPA investigations also established field methods and techniques that are still used today.   The program is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 217/782-0061.  The ISM Research and Collections Center is located at 1011 E. Ash, Springfield. 

Holidays Around the World:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield celebrates “Holidays Around the World” as part of the monthly Super Saturdays programs for children at the museum in Springfield on Sat., Dec. 13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Activities are ongoing throughout the day and feature take-home crafts.  Parents and families are encouraged to participate. For more information, call 217/782-6044.  The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex at the corner of Spring and Edwards in Springfield. 

Fort Massac Olde Tyme Christmas:  Celebrate the holiday season at the Olde Tyme Christmas program on Sun., Dec. 14 from 1-4 p.m. at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis. The Olde Tyme Christmas is a celebration with fort re-enactors representing the French, early American and Civil War traditions of Christmas, along with music and refreshments in the visitor’s center.  The program is free and open to the public.  For more information, phone 618/524-4712.

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program: The deadline to apply for Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants from the IDNR Division of Education is Jan. 31. An application form can be downloaded through the IDNR web site at www.dnr.state.il.us. The grant popular program offers funds for teachers to take students out of the classroom to study Illinois’ biodiversity.  

The program makes awards of up to $500 per teacher available. For more information, contact the IDNR Division of Education at 217/524-4126. Funding for the program is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

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:  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.

Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Programs:  Visit Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton this winter to enjoy an informative program on bald eagles.  Eagles may be spotted in the tree tops along the Illinois River in the months of December, January, February and March. The site interpreter at Pere Marquette presents informative programs about bald eagles on select dates throughout the winter, beginning with programs on Dec. 22 and 23.  Visitors will learn to distinguish between immature and mature bald eagles, what eagles eat, why they spend winter months in the area, and much more.  All programs will begin at the park’s visitor center at 8:30 a.m.  There will be a short video presentation followed by an observational drive to view the wintering bald eagles.  Pre-registration is required for the free programs.  Phone 618/786-3323 for the complete schedule and to register.