IDNR Newsbits January 2016

Chris Young
IDNR Newsbits January 2016
2016 Illinois Licenses Available Jan. 18:  Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses and usage stamps for 2016 will be available starting Jan. 18 from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The automated license system is available 24 hours a day. The 2016 licenses and usage stamps purchased beginning Jan. 18 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2017 unless otherwise noted.

Youth Hunting License:  A change in Illinois law for the 2016 Illinois license year allows any resident youth hunter age 18 and under (formerly 16 and under) to purchase a Youth Hunting License, which does not require the hunter to have a Hunter Education Card.  A youth hunter with this license must hunt while supervised by a parent, grandparent, or guardian who is 21 years of age or older and has a valid Illinois hunting license. The youth hunter shall not hunt or carry a hunting device unless the youth is accompanied by and under close personal supervision of these individuals.  2016 Illinois hunting and fishing licenses will be available from IDNR license and permit vendors beginning Jan. 18.

Late-Winter/CWD Deer Season Reminder:  Hunters are reminded that the Late-Winter Antlerless-only and Special CWD deer hunting seasons conclude on Jan. 15-17.  There will be 27 counties open for Late-Winter season and 14 counties open for the Special CWD season.  Hunters should check the information page on the IDNR website to make sure the county they intend to hunt is open for the Late-Winter or Special CWD season:

2016 Calendar:  There’s still time to buy the beautiful 2016 Illinois Conservation Foundation Wall Calendar.  Order online at or by phone at 217-785-2003. Checks and money orders can be mailed to the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days:  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 informative programs about bald eagles are conducted on select winter dates.  All programs begin at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m., and reservations are required by calling 618-786-3323.  To check the dates on the Bald Eagle Days flyer:

Eagle Days – Old Chain of Rocks Bridge:  The Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival is scheduled for Sat. and Sun., Jan. 16-17.  Hours both days are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Visitors can view eagles through spotting scopes from the historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge at Granite City.  The World Bird Sanctuary will present education programs throughout the festival.  The Eagle Days event is cohosted by the IDNR, Missouri Department of Conservation and other partners.

Bald Eagle Watch Weekend:  The annual Starved Rock Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is the last weekend of January on Jan. 30-31, with activities from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. both days.  Activities are planned for the Illinois Waterway Lock and Dam Visitor Center, Starved Rock Visitor Center and Starved Rock Lodge.  Bring your smartphone and participate in the IDNR Bald Eagle Watch InstaMeet at the lodge.  The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend is hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, IDNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock Audubon and Starved Rock Foundation. #EagleWknd #OutdoorIllinois

INPC Meeting:  The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will meet on Tues., Jan. 26, 2016 beginning at 10 a.m. at IDNR Headquarters, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.  The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8686.

Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters may apply for the second lottery for 2016 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online.  The application deadline for the second lottery is Jan. 11.  Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link:

Illinois Sportsman’s Raffle:  Tickets are available for the Illinois Sportsman’s Raffle, raising money for the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s youth outdoor education and conservation programs. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold. Tickets cost $100 each, or buyers can purchase three for $250. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000, with $5,000 to a first-place winner, $2,500 to second place and eight additional $1,000 winners.  Raffle tickets may be purchased online at, by check to ICF, #1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, or by calling the Foundation at 217-785-2003.  If all 2,000 tickets are not sold, prizes will be adjusted to reflect the percentage of tickets sold.  All business transactions and operations of this raffle take place exclusively in Sangamon County, Illinois. This raffle is being conducted in accordance with the Raffles and Poker Runs Act, 230 ILCS 15/0.01 et seq. and the Sangamon County Raffle Ordinance. All funds are held in private accounts at the ICF. The drawings will take place on Jan. 29, 2016.

Fishing Information Booklet:  The 2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available in PDF format through the IDNR website:
Regulations in the guide will be effective from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.  Anglers and would-be anglers take note: Illinois Free Fishing Days for 2016 will be during the Father’s Day weekend on June 17-20.

Frog and Toad Survey:  IDNR will host a Frog and Toad Survey Orientation on Sat., Feb. 6 from 1-3 p.m. at the Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center.  Volunteers are needed to help conduct surveys of the frogs and toads of the Cache River watershed during their breeding seasons.  At the orientation, volunteers will learn about the 19 frog and toad species in southern Illinois, and receive data sheets for a chosen route, survey protocol, and other information.  The surveys are to be conducted four times from February through June.  Individuals and families are welcome to participate. The Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center is at 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, IL 62923. 

Camping Reservations: Make your reservations now for campsites and shelters for many Illinois state parks and other IDNR sites for 2016. Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at

Bald Eagles:  Check out the Bald Eagles in Illinois webpage for more information on events this winter at
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