Illinois DNR Newsbits - December 2017

Ed Cross
Illinois DNR Newsbits - December 2017
Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits:  Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 14, 2018.  Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link:        
Archery Fall Turkey Harvest Update:  Through Dec. 4, Illinois archery turkey hunters harvested a preliminary total of 604 turkeys, compared to 435 during the same period in 2016. The top county harvest totals through Dec. 4 were Jefferson (22), Fulton (20), Cass (19), Rock Island (17), and Jo Daviess/Knox (14). The season opened Oct. 1 and concludes on Jan. 14, 2018. Up-to-date archery harvest figures by county/state sites can be tracked on the IDNR website at

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. 14, 2018:

Late-Winter/CWD Season Information:  For details on the upcoming 2017-18 Late-Winter Antlerless-only and Special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer seasons, click on this link:
For a map of Late-Winter season and Special CWD season open counties:

Upcoming Holiday Events at Dana-Thomas House:  The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site in Springfield hosts a number of special holiday events this month, including:
• Holiday Walks on Wed., Dec. 6, 13, and 20 from 3-8 p.m. with guided 30-minute tours of holiday decorations at the Dana House starting at 4:30 p.m.; Music at the Dana House provided the Eddy Flute Choir
• Illinois Symphony/Innigkeit String Quartet performance in the Dana House Gallery on Sat., Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.
• Beth Anderson Flute Choir Concert, Dana House Gallery, on Sat., Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.
• Luminaria Open House on Sun., Dec. 17, 5-9 p.m.; Pick up tickets and enter at the front door on Lawrence Avenue; Music provided the Eddy Flute Choir.
The Dana-Thomas House is located at the corner of Fourth and Lawrence in Springfield.

Vandalia Statehouse Christmas Open House Dec. 9:  The oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois is putting on its best holiday duds and throwing its doors open to the public on Sat., Dec. 9 for a Christmas Open House. The first 100 families to visit will receive free Christmas ornaments. Visitors to the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will find the building illuminated by more than 250 candles and trimmed with decorations from the time when a young Abraham Lincoln served there. The free festivities are scheduled for 6:00-8:30 p.m. The Vandalia Historical Society will provide cookies and cider. For more information about the site and its programming, call 618-283-1161.

Mt. Pulaski Courthouse Christmas Parade on Dec. 9:  Mt. Pulaski's Community Pride Organization will sponsor a Christmas Parade beginning at 6 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 9. When Santa arrives at the Mt. Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site at the end of the parade, he will greet all the children who would like to see him from 6:30-7:30 p.m. On Sun., Dec. 31 at 7 p.m., the Service of Remembrance will be held for the eighth time at the Mt. Pulaski Courthouse.  As participants stand in front of the Courthouse, the names of all those community members who have passed away during 2017 will be read.  After each name is read, the old school bell on the Courthouse lawn will be tolled.  The service was begun on New Year's Eve of 2010 as Mt. Pulaski was beginning its year-long 175th anniversary celebration. For more information, phone 217-792-3919.  The Mt. Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site is located at 113 S. Washington St., Mt. Pulaski, IL 62548. 

Bryant Cottage Christmas Tea and Open House Dec. 9:  Bryant Cottage State Historic Site in Bement will welcome the holiday season with the 32nd annual Holiday Open House and a Christmas Tea fundraiser on Sat., Dec. 9. One-hour Christmas Tea sessions are available at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. and are limited to six children per session. Organizers request that children are accompanied by an adult. A minimum donation of $5 per person is suggested. All donations go to benefit the Bryant Cottage. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 217-678-8184. Visitors will get to experience holiday traditions in the 19th century style from 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 9. Guests will enjoy exploring the period decorations throughout the Bryant home, lit only by candlelight. A large Christmas tree will be decorated in handmade ornaments similar to those of the 19th century. Musician Sarah Henry will provide live holiday music with her dulcimer and other instruments.

Waterfowl Program at Dickson Mounds on Dec. 9:  Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, is hosting a special “Wonderful Waterfowl” program on Sat., Dec. 9 from 1-3 p.m.  Participants may learn about the different ducks, geese, and swans that live on or pass through the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge. Viewing of live ducks and information about current research conducted by the Forbes Biological Station will also be part of the program. Kids ages 15 and under may participate in a Youth Duck Call Contest. Discount Sales of Matanzas Beach is providing a prize for the winner. Participants may journey down with a refuge ranger to view the wildlife at the South Globe parking lot after the activities at the Museum.  Binoculars and spotting scopes will be available for use. Participants should dress appropriately for this outdoor activity. This program is in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex and Forbes Biological Station. Registration is required for the Youth Duck Call Contest. Call 309-535- 2290 or email to register or for more information.

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. 14-15, 2018. To register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, phone 217-785-8060 by the registration deadline of Friday, Dec. 29.  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 2, 2018, 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 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits. The application deadline for the second lottery for 2018 spring turkey permits is Jan. 11, 2018. 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, beginning Dec. 28.  Reservations are required.  Check the schedule and make reservations today.  For details, see the brochure at this link:

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

Music at the Museum on Dec. 14:  Eric Lambert and Josh McPartland are featured at the monthly “Music at the Museum” concert on Thurs., Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. From the Chicago area, Eric is an international-touring artist with a career spanning over 40 years.  He will be joined by mandolinist Josh McPartland. Tickets are available at the door. For more information on the featured acts and a full series schedule, visit

Winter Family Fun Day at the ISM on Dec. 16:  Bring the whole family to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., Dec. 16 from 1-4 p.m. for fun and games inspired by the “Toy Box: Inspiration through Play” art exhibition at the ISM. Visitors will enjoy playful crafts, a photo scavenger hunt in the Museum, building block challenges, board games, and more. Snacks and hot cocoa will be provided. Families can also enter to win a prize basket full of family games and activities. Sponsored by Bank of Springfield. For additional information please contact or phone 217-558-6696.
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