2013 Illinois Licenses Available Jan. 21: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2013 will be available starting Jan. 21 from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website www.dnr.illinois.gov/online/Pages/default.aspx or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2013 licenses purchased beginning Jan. 21 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.
Late-Winter/CWD Deer Seasons: Deer hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 7,749 deer during the first segment of the 2012-13 Late-Winter/CWD Deer Seasons on Dec. 27-30, 2012. The harvest total represented an 18.3 percent increase over the same portion of the season in 2011-12, despite nine fewer counties being open to those seasons this year. During the 2011-12 Late-Winter/CWD seasons, hunters harvested 6,550 deer from open counties. The final segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons will be conducted on Jan. 18-20, 2013. Unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, and youth deer permits issued for an open county are valid during that period, provided they were issued for an open county. For those without those valid unfilled deer permits, permits for the Late-Winter Deer Season and the Special CWD Deer Season are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license vendors (see below). The top five counties’ harvest for the first segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons: Pike (411), Fulton (389), Jo Daviess (351), Adams and Jefferson (tie - 256). For a list of all participating county harvest totals, go to the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/deer-LW-CWD-firstsegment-Jan2013.pdf
Spring Youth Turkey: Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area online permit applications will be accepted online from Jan. 15-Feb. 18. For more information on 2013 spring turkey hunting, check the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx
Spring Youth Turkey Season County Permits will be available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors beginning on March 5.
Apply Now for Outdoors Access for Youth Turkey Hunting: The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) is now taking applications from young hunters for 2013 spring turkey hunting. Youth hunters will be assigned a hunt site in one of the 23 counties in which private property has been leased by IDNR. Most assigned hunting areas are at least 40 acres in size and all have been evaluated for turkey activity and the high possibility of a good hunting experience for the youth. Eligible youth hunters must be under the age of 16 at the time of the hunt and must have completed a hunter safety education course. Applicants can apply for two of the three turkey seasons for which IRAP has leased sites for the spring of 2013 – Youth Season, 3rd Season and 4th Season. For more information, go to www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/irap. Youth are encouraged not to miss out and apply early.
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 Days tours. The site interpreter at Pere Marquette presents informative programs about bald eagles with all programs beginning at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 618/786-3323. Programs are on select dates through early March. To check the schedule of program dates, go to the Pere Marquette State Park web page and click on “Bald Eagle Days” at this link:
Starved Rock Bald Eagle Watch Weekend: Visitors are invited to the annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on Jan. 26-27 at Starved Rock State Park in Utica and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock and Dam), hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, IDNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More details are available online at
Kaskaskia Eagle Trek: Families are invited to attend the HeartLands Conservancy Eagle Trek on Sat., Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam, 4800 Lock and Dam Road, Modoc, IL. The free event features eagle watching, World Bird Sanctuary programs, lock and dam tours, and children’s activities. Sponsors include the IDNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, HeartLands Conservancy, Southwestern Illinois College, Kaskaskia Regional Port District, Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc., Chester Tourism Committee, and CLIFFTOP.
Chicago Outdoor Sports Show: Stop by and visit with IDNR staff and Conservation Police officers, and buy your 2013 licenses, at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources booth during the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show, at the Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL, January 23-27. For more show information: www.chicagosportsmenshow.com/
Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo: Visit with Illinois DNR staff and learn more about efforts to combat aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp, during the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo, Jan. 24-27 at the Schaumburg Convention Center at I-90 and I-290 (Route 53), Schaumburg. For more information: www.sportshows.com/chicago/index.html
Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet: Tickets are now available for the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet, the evening of Thursday, Jan. 31 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. Proceeds from the Hall of Fame Banquet assist in funding Illinois Conservation Foundation youth scholarships. For reservations or more information, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/785-2003, or check the ICF web site at www.ilcf.org.
Camping Reservations: Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2013. Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at www.reserveamerica.com using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Programs/Camping/
Follow the IDNR: Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. Find us at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/about/Pages/SocialNetworking.aspx
Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants: School teachers are encouraged to apply now for the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program. Pre-K through 12th grade teachers may apply for up to $500 to cover the costs of transportation and substitute teachers for a field trip to one of Illinois’ natural resources sites. The field trip must occur in the calendar year that the funds are received. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. For detailed instructions and the application form, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm. The IDNR, Illinois Conservation Foundation, Independence Tube Corporation, and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation all sponsor this program.
Earth Day in the Parks: Teachers can apply now for the 2013 Earth Day in the Parks program, which promotes stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. During April and May, students and their teachers from throughout Illinois will come to participating Illinois state parks to take part in natural resources stewardship activities such as planting native trees and wildflowers; building and installing nesting/roosting boxes; removing invasive exotic species; and building brush piles for wildlife. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness, and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work. Some classes may want to perform additional volunteer work at the park. Applications to participate in Earth Day in the Parks are accepted through Feb. 28. For details, go online to http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm