Saturday, January 8, 2011

Illinois Department of Natural Resources January Newsbits

Highlighting IDNR programs and events for the month of January

Archery Seasons open through Jan. 16: The archery deer and turkey seasons in Illinois continue through Jan. 16. Illinois archery deer hunting permits (combination archery and antlerless-only archery permits) and fall wild turkey archery permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct permit sale locations throughout the state. To find the nearest DNR Direct agent, use this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Late-Winter and Special CWD Deer Permits: County permits for the 2010-11 late-winter antlerless-only firearm deer season and the special CWD deer season are still available through DNR Direct permit sale locations for the final segment of the season, Jan. 14-16. To find a permit sale vendor, check the IDNR website at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Muzzleloader Harvest: Hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 3,276 deer during the 2010 muzzleloader-only deer season on Dec. 10-12. Hunters harvested 4,704 deer in 2009. The top counties for muzzleloader season harvest were Pike (116), Fulton (84), Jo Daviess (82), LaSalle (77), and Bureau and Jefferson (tied with 74). The record year for muzzleloader season deer harvest was 2006 with 5,973 deer taken.

Spring Turkey Second Lottery Deadline is Jan. 11: Hunters who are first-time applicants, rejected applicants, and non-residents can apply through Jan. 11 for the second lottery for 2011 Illinois spring wild turkey season permits online through DNR Direct, available through this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx.

Spring Youth Turkey Hunt Special Hunt Area Permits: The application period will open online on Jan. 18 for 2011 Spring Youth Turkey Hunt permits for IDNR Special Hunt Areas. Spring Youth Turkey Hunt season dates are Mar. 26-27 in the South Zone and April 2-3 in the North Zone. The application period for 2011 Spring Youth Turkey Hunt permits for IDNR Special Hunt Areas is Jan. 18-Feb. 21. For a list of IDNR Special Hunt Areas and other details on the 2011 Spring Youth Turkey Hunt, go to the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx. (Over-the-counter county permits for the 2010 Spring Youth Turkey Hunt will be available beginning Mar. 1 at IDNR license and permit agent locations).

2011 Illinois Licenses Available Jan. 17: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2011 will be available starting Jan. 17 from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/LicenseInfo.aspx or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2011 licenses purchased beginning Jan. 17 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2012 unless otherwise noted.

Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Programs: Enjoy watching bald eagles on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers near Pere Marquette State Park this winter by participating in one of the park’s popular Bald Eagle Viewing tours. The site interpreter at Pere Marquette presents informative programs about bald eagles on select dates throughout January, February and early March. All programs begin at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (618)786-3323. To check the schedule of program dates, go to the Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days webpage at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R4/Bald_Eagle_Days.htm

Starved Rock Eagle Weekend: Visitors are invited to the annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on Jan. 22-23 at Starved Rock State Park and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, free activities are scheduled from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Starved Rock Lodge and at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center at Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Utica.

IDNR at Outdoor Show: The IDNR will welcome visitors to the 2011 America’s Outdoor Fishing, Hunting and Action Sports Show, Jan. 26-30 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Stop by booths 1105, 1106 and 1107 to buy 2011 Illinois hunting, fishing and sportsmen’s licenses, have FOID card application photos taken, pick up the latest Illinois deer, turkey and morel pins, talk to IDNR biologists about hunting and fishing in Illinois, and talk to IDNR Conservation Police officers about hunting regulations and hunting safety.

OutdoorIllinois: Illinois is one of the few places in the world where conditions permitted the fossilization of soft-bodied organisms, and the Mazon Creek fossils are highlighted on the cover and as a feature story in the January 2011 OutdoorIllinois magazine, the official publication of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The featured site for the month is Morrison-Rockwood State Park in Whiteside County. Before heading afield to collect shed antlers, readers will want to review a timely article on the legalities of where collecting may take place and what sheds may be sold. Other articles include a feature on animal control officers, a national research project conducted by Millikin University on bird-feeding preferences, the American eel and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment program.

For a summary of feature magazine articles, listen in on monthly podcasts at www.dnr.illinois.gov/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.silver@illinois.gov.

Super Saturdays: Children ages 4-8 are invited to the Illinois State Museum on Saturday, Jan. 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for a “Spectacular Sculpture” Super Saturdays event. Youngsters will be able to learn more about how sculptures are made and what they are made of – and make their own spectacular sculptures out of various objects. ISM Super Saturdays events are free. For more information, phone (217) 782-6044. The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.

Science Series: The Illinois State Museum’s January Science Series program is “Heavy Metal: Brent Kington's Toys and Akan Asante Goldweights,” on Wed., Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Thorne Deuel Auditorium on the lower level of the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. The program is the finale to the L. Brent Kington: Mythic Metalsmith exhibition at the museum. Presented by Dr. Jonathan E. Reyman, curator of anthropology at the ISM, the program will include discussion of some of the Asante influences on Kington's toys in the context of a wider look at the museum's collection of goldweights, their history, and use among the Asante people of Ghana. The ISM gallery will be open before and after the presentation. The program is free. For more information, call (217) 782-0061.

Earth Day in the Parks: Registration is now open for the 2011 Earth Day in the Parks program. Participating state parks will offer students the opportunity to get their hands dirty and experience nature as they perform duties such as removing invasive exotic plants, planting native trees and wildflowers, and building and installing bird nesting boxes. Application information and a list of participating parks and projects are posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 28. For more information, contact the IDNR Division of Education at dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov or (217) 524-4126.

Field Trip Grants: January 31 is the application deadline for the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program. The grants from the IDNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation provide teachers with the opportunity to receive up to $500 to take their students on a field trip to study some aspect of Illinois’ biodiversity. All funds for this program are donated to the ICF. Major support is provided by the Independence Tube Corporation of Chicago and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie. To access the application form, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm. For more information, contact the IDNR Education Section at dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov or (217) 524-4126.

Snowmobile Safety: January 16-22 is International Snowmobile Safety Week. For information on snowmobile safety in Illinois, click on http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/PressRelease/Snowmobilesafety-2010-2011.pdf or go to the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/safety/snowmobile.htm.