IDNR Newsbits - December 2016

Tim Schweizer
IDNR Newsbits - December 2016
Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits:  Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 15, 2017.  Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link:
Archery, Firearm, Muzzleloader, and Late-Winter/CWD Seasons CWD Sampling: Deer hunters statewide are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling from adult deer they harvest.  Check the IDNR website at this link for locations that are serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads through Jan. 15, 2017:

Donate to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger: Hunters are encouraged to donate whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program to help Illinois families in need. Participating meat processors turn the donated deer into ground venison for delivery to food banks and charities in Illinois. For more information on the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, including a list of participating meat processors, check the IDNR website at

Horseshoe Lake Controlled Pheasant Hunting Begins Dec. 16:  Due to a scheduling conflict, the controlled pheasant hunting season at Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison Co. will begin on Friday, Dec. 16 instead of the originally scheduled Dec. 9 start date. For more information on controlled pheasant hunting dates and reservations for Horseshoe Lake State Park, contact T. Miller at 217-793-6146.

Youth Goose Hunt:  Youth interested in participating in the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the IDNR, can register now for the hunt, which is scheduled for Jan. 15-16, 2017. To register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, phone 217-785-8060 by the registration deadline of Friday, Dec. 30.  The youth goose hunt will be held at private waterfowl hunting clubs in the Canton area in Fulton Co. A lottery drawing involving all youth who phone in to register will be conducted on January 3, 2017, and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.  First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. The hunt is open to youngsters ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt.  All applicants must possess a valid Illinois hunting or sportsman's license, have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number, and have a 20-gauge or larger shotgun. Youth hunt participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must possess a valid firearm owner's identification (FOID) card.

Spring Turkey Applications:  Hunters may now apply for the second lottery for 2017 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits. The application deadline for the second lottery for 2017 spring turkey permits is Jan. 11, 2017. Go to the IDNR website for more information at

Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days:  Bald Eagle Days programs at Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey Co. are scheduled throughout the winter.  Reservations are required.  Check the schedule and make reservations today.  For details, see the brochure at this link:

ICF 2017 Calendar:  The Illinois Conservation Foundation’s annual Outdoors in Illinois 2017 wall calendar is available for holiday gift giving. Proceeds from the sale of the beautiful 2017 calendar will support a variety of youth education programs at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center, and the traveling Torstenson Education Station. The 9x12 calendar contains stunning photography of Illinois, and it can be purchased for $15 through the ICF website at or by phone at 217-785-2003.

Winter Craft Day:  Indulge your creative side at the Illinois State Museum’s Winter Craft Day on Sat., Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Children can make an ornament and experiment with watercolor to make a winter-inspired work of art. Springfield MakerSpace will provide a jewelry-making activity using metal stamping and 3D printing. Winter Craft Day activities are recommended for children ages 5 and older with an adult.  The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 S. Second St., Springfield.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon until 4:30 p.m.

Winter Woodland Wonders Nature Hike:  Join the site interpreter at Argyle Lake State Park to explore the trails of the park in search of the many wonders of winter just waiting to be discovered. Hike topics include how animals survive in winter, identifying tracks and other wildlife signs, winter tree identification, and the mysteries of snow and snowflakes. Join the hike at Argyle Lake on Sat., Dec. 10 starting at 10 a.m.; meet at the visitor center at Argyle Lake State Park, 640 Argyle Lake Park Road, Colchester, IL 62326.
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