IDNR Newsbits - September 2017

Ed Cross
IDNR Newsbits - September 2017
Resident Archery Deer Permits:  Resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor link here:

Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits:  Illinois Non-Resident Archery Deer combination permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.  The Illinois Archery Deer Season is Oct. 1, 2017 through Jan. 14, 2018 (except closed during firearm deer season in counties open to firearm deer hunting).

Bobcat Permits:  Hunters and trappers may apply for an Illinois Bobcat Hunting and Trapping Permit online through Sept. 30. Applicants must submit a $5.00 non-refundable fee. A total of 1,000 permits will be allocated during a lottery and mailed to successful applicants. Any leftover permits will be sold online on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply for the permit, go to the DNR Direct license and permit system at
Season dates are Nov. 10, 2017 through Feb. 15, 2018 (except bobcat hunting is closed during firearm deer season in counties open to firearm deer hunting).

Youth Deer Permits:  Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Youth Deer Hunt is Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 7-9, 2017.

Firearm Deer Permits:  Over-the-counter sales of remaining 2017 Illinois Firearm Deer Permits will begin on Oct. 17.  Permits will be sold until quotas are exhausted or until the close of the season, whichever occurs first.  Individual hunters can purchase one or more permits beginning Oct. 17, subject to availability.

Ham N’ Beans at Bryant Cottage:  Bryant Cottage State Historic Site will host the 28th annual Ham N’ Beans Homecoming Lunch on Fri., Sept. 8 from 11a.m. until 1p.m. Visitors will get to catch up and reminisce over a bowl of ham n’ beans with cornbread. The lunch is free, and donations are welcomed. The lunch will be held outdoors on the Bryant Cottage lawn.  In the event of inclement weather, check the Bryant Cottage Facebook page for updates. The event is made possible by volunteers from local churches and other community members. Bryant Cottage State Historic Site is located at 146 E. Wilson Ave. in Bement. 

Lewis and Clark Music Festival:  The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford, IL hosts the annual Lewis and Clark Music Festival on Sat., Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the site’s Interpretive Center.  The Harmans, a popular bluegrass group, will be playing from 11 a.m. until 12 noon in the theater.  Local favorite musicians will be located throughout the building, playing fiddles and dulcimers. Scott Miller, world champion bones player, will also perform at the festival.  Admission and parking are free. Also on Sept. 9, the annual Lewis and Clark Frontier Dog Walk is planned between 9 a.m. and 12 noon.  Participants may enjoy a two-mile walk along the river levee. The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site is located at 3500 New Poag Rd., Hartford, IL  62048, phone 618-251-5811.

Sandburg Songbag:  Turas, the popular Peoria Celtic band, returns to the Sandburg Songbag Series on Sun., Sept. 10, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg. 
Turas plays a wide variety of Irish/Celtic music. The performance by Turas will be in the Sandburg site’s barn, 313 E. Third Street, Galesburg. A donation of $5 per person is suggested.  The concert is sponsored by Pat and Kelly Kane, the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association, and the IDNR. 

Illinois State Parks Guide:  The 2017-18 Illinois State Parks guide is available in print and online.  The booklet is a useful guide for planning a fall color weekend, an eventful day in a state park picnic area, a weekend at a state park lodge or campground, a hike or ride on a state trail, or hunting and fishing trips to a state fish and wildlife area.  The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at this link:
Copies of the state parks guide can be ordered through the IDNR online publications page:

Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permits:  Hunters may apply online for the Illinois 2017 Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permit program.  The second lottery application period deadline is Sept.14 for those unsuccessful resident applicants from the first lottery, residents who didn’t apply in the first lottery, and non-residents.  The third lottery application period (open to everyone) will be Sept. 15-28.

Oil and Gas Advisory Board:  The Illinois Oil and Gas Advisory Board will meet on Thurs., Sept. 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the Illinois Oil and Gas Association, 824 Ill. Rt. 15, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864.  For more information, phone 217-782-3718.

Youth Hunt at Coffeen Lake:  IDNR will conduct a drawing on Sept. 9 at Coffeen Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area’s Upland Management Unit for three youth to hunt deer at the site during the Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Season on Oct. 7-9.  Youth must apply by sending a postcard with name, birth date, mailing address and phone contact information to the Coffeen Lake SFWA site office, PO Box 517, Coffeen, IL 62017 before Sept. 8. For more info:  618-423-2215.

Illinois Bowfishing Festival:  Bring the family to the Illinois Bowfishing Festival and Conservation Shoot at Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area near Morris on Sat., Sept. 16.  The all-day festival will feature Asian carp cooking and recipe demonstrations, bowfishing ranges and fishing clinics, and other kids and family activities.  Admission is free.  Day and night bowfishing tournaments will be held in conjunction with the festival.  For more information, email

Nature Trek:  Dickson Mounds Museum hosts “Nature Trek: Drones” on Sat., Sept. 23 from 10:00-11:30 a.m.  The Nature Conservancy’s Doug Blodgett will share some basic information about drones and, weather permitting, demonstrate a few of their capabilities for collecting aerial imagery. The program is free and registration is not required.  Donations are appreciated.  Participants should dress appropriately for the outdoors and bring lawn chairs or camping chairs if desired. The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. For more information, call 309-547-3721 or check the Museum website:

INPC Meeting:  The 227th Meeting of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will be held on Tues., Sept. 12, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Peoria Park District Noble Center, 1125 W. Lake Avenue., Peoria, IL 61614.  For more information, contact the INPC at 217-785-8686.

Music at the Museum:  The acoustic duo Patchouli, comprised of Wisconsin songwriter Julie Patchouli and guitarist Bruce Heckles, will perform at the Music at the Museum concert series at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Thurs., Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for Museum Society members.  More information:

Poets in the Parlor:  The public is invited to attend three poetry events in the coming months at the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site in Springfield.  The “Poets in the Parlor” poetry readings on Sept. 17, Oct.29, and Nov. 12 will provide an opportunity for guests to listen to and discuss poetry in the home of the artist Vachel Lindsay.
Sept. 17, 2 p.m.: Kirk’s Garage Poetry Group
Oct. 29, 2 p.m.: Anna Leahy
Nov. 12, 2 p.m.: Karen Craigo
The Vachel Lindsay Home, open on weekends and by appointment, is located at 603 South 5th Street in Springfield.  Visit the State Historic Sites at Springfield Facebook page for information on additional events or call 217-524-3971.

Wine and Ale with Abe:  The Vandalia Historical Society invites the public to a special event – “Wine & Ale with Abe” – at the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site on Sat., Sept. 30 from 12 noon until 6 p.m.  The event is a fundraiser in support of the Statehouse Window Restoration Project. Guests at “Wine & Ale with Abe” can enjoy a variety of wine and beer, great local food, live music, displays and shopping opportunities from local vendors, and a relaxing afternoon on the Statehouse lawn. The $20 tasting fee includes 10 tasting tickets and a choice of a signature wine or pilsner glass. Tickets will be available at the Vandalia Statehouse, and lawn chairs and blankets are welcomed and encouraged.  Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend.

Volunteer Opportunities:  Central Illinois residents are invited to a Volunteer Recruitment Fair on Sat., Sept. 16 (1-3 p.m.) at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, and on Sun., Sept. 17 (1-3 p.m.) at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.  Staff will discuss volunteer opportunities at the Museum, Old Capitol, other state historic sites in Springfield, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, the Iles House, African American History Museum in Springfield, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Author Event at the ISM:  Join authors Michael Jeffords and Susan Post as they discuss their new book “Curious Encounters with the Natural World: From Grumpy Spiders to Hidden Tigers” on Thurs., Sept. 21 at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield beginning at 4:30 p.m. The event will include food trucks, a cash bar, music, and a book signing. A presentation by the authors will begin at 6 p.m. Jeffords and Post have circled the globe collecting images of the natural world, and they will share their stunning photographs and their insights.  The event is sponsored by the Illinois State Museum, Lincoln Memorial Garden, Illinois Audubon, and the Springfield Audubon Society. It is free and open to the public. 

Archery Deer Hunting at Frank Holten SP:  Archery deer hunting applications are available for the special drawings at Frank Holten State Park, East St. Louis, IL.  Prospective applicants can obtain an application either online or from the site office.  The online link is available here:
Park-specific applications will offer 11 weekly hunting intervals. Applicants will prioritize their hunting weeks and will be selected randomly in a lottery drawing to be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. Frank Holten State Park, located in St. Clair County, offers approximately 300 acres of hunting area. The hunting area consists of bottomland forest acres. For additional questions or to pick up an application, contact Frank Holten State Park, 4500 Pocket Road, East St. Louis, IL 62205, phone 618-874-7920.

JEPC Trapping Permits:  A public drawing for the allocation of trapping permits at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area will be held at Saturday, Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the site headquarters, located approximately five miles southeast of Chandlerville. One permit for each of the five trapping zones will be allocated through a lottery-type drawing.  All persons attempting to enter the drawing must be in attendance and have a current 2017 trapping license in their possession. DP (Dog Proof) Traps, live traps, and traps of similar action may be used.  Homemade dog-proof traps must be designed with a foothold trap no larger than a #2 in an enclosed wood, metal, or durable plastic container with a single access opening of no larger than 1.5 inches in diameter.  All body-gripping traps must be totally submerged. For more information, contact Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area at 217-452-7741.

Sangchris Lake Trapping Permits:  A public drawing for the allocation of Sangchris Lake State Park trapping permits will be held 1:00 p.m., Sat., Oct. 14.  Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the site headquarters, located approximately six miles southeast of Rochester. One permit for two trapping zones will be allocated through the drawing procedure (the Sangchris subimpoundment area will be included as another zone open to trapping).  Two names will be allowed on the permit, and only those individuals listed will be allowed to trap.  All persons entering the drawing must have a current 2017 trapping license in possession. For more information, contact Sangchris Lake State Park at 217-498-9208. 

Carlyle Waterfowl Site Tour:  A site tour is planned for the Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area on Sun., Oct. 22.  Managed by the IDNR, Carlyle Lake SFWA is known as one of the top waterfowl hunting areas in the state.  It is located at the northern end of Carlyle Lake and is almost 10,000 acres in size, with various types of wetland habitat. The guided tour, by personal vehicle, will give hunters and other interested individuals a chance to view the area prior to the upcoming waterfowl season, which opens with the South Central Zone on Nov. 11.  The tour will be conducted by the site staff and will include Sub-impoundments 1 and 2.  Information will be provided on site regulations, hunting opportunities, crops planted, and habitat projects undertaken in the last year. Those wishing to take the tour are asked to meet at Parking Lot #1, located south of the site office, at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 22.  For more information, phone 618-425-3533.

Camping Reservations:  Make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at using a credit card.
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