Illinois DNR Newsbits - Jan. 2019

Ed Cross
Illinois DNR Newsbits - Jan. 2019
Spring Turkey Applications:  Think spring by applying now for the second lottery for 2019 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits. The application deadline for the second lottery is Jan. 11. Go to the IDNR website for more information at

Controlled Pheasant Season Extended at Four Sites:  IDNR is extending the Controlled Pheasant Hunting Seasons at four IDNR sites.  Hunters can make reservations now for additional hunting opportunities. The four sites with additional controlled pheasant hunting are the Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area in Clinton Co., the Iroquois County Conservation Area, the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass Co., and the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Franklin and Jefferson Counties.  The controlled pheasant hunting season at the Iroquois County site has been extended through Jan. 13; at Eldon Hazlet, Jim Edgar Panther Creek and Wayne Fitzgerrell, the season has been extended through Jan. 31.  For hunting reservations, go online to:

Collections Saturday at ISM on Jan. 5:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield invites families to learn more about collecting on Sat., Jan. 5 at the “Collections” Super Saturday event from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Participants will discover how to begin, care for, and display a collection whether it be rocks and minerals, toys, baseball cards, stamps, or coins. Activities include decorating a treasure box, a scavenger hunt, and more. The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.  For more information:

Music at the Museum Jan. 10:  The opening “Music at the Museum” concert of 2019 on Thurs., Jan. 10 at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield will feature Bryan Bowers, who for five decades has combined instrumental virtuosity with warmth, eloquence, and expression. Wholly self-taught, Bowers was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 1993. Music at the Museum is a monthly concert series produced by Chris Vallillo featuring the best in contemporary and traditional folk and acoustic music of all styles. Concerts are held the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum auditorium. Tickets are available at the door. For more information on the featured acts and a full series schedule, visit

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 are conducted on select winter dates.  Upcoming programs are on Jan. 5, 28, 29, and 31; Feb. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, and 25; and March 4 and 8. The programs are free, but registration is required by calling 618-786-3323.
Late-Winter/CWD Deer Season Jan. 18-20:  The Illinois Late-Winter Antlerless-only and Special CWD deer hunting seasons conclude on Jan. 18-20.  There will be 20 counties open for the final segment of the Late-Winter season and 15 counties open for the final weekend of 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:        

Eagle Days on Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Jan. 19-20:  The Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival is scheduled for Sat. and Sun., Jan. 19-20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Visitors can view eagles through spotting scopes from the historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge at Granite City.  Check here for more details:

Winter Nature Trek on Jan. 26: Spend the day outdoors on a winter Nature Trek at The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown from 10 a.m. until 12 noon on Sat., Jan. 26.  Did you know glaciers contributed to the formation of the Illinois River Valley? Learn about how the last Ice Age shaped the present-day landscape.  Participants will meet at the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, 11316 North Prairie Road, Lewistown, to begin the tour through the Emiquon Preserve. Information will be presented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Dickson Mounds Museum staff members. Participants must dress appropriately for the outdoors, provide their own drinks and snacks, and be able to hike comfortably with an elevation gain and across uneven terrain.  For more information, call 309-547-3721.

Starved Rock Bald Eagle Watch Weekend Jan. 26-27:  The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend in and around Starved Rock State Park is set for Jan. 26 and 27.  Activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. both days at the Illinois Waterway Lock and Dam Visitor Center, Starved Rock Visitor Center and Starved Rock 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, Starved Rock Foundation, Ameren Illinois and the Illinois Raptor Center. For more details:

INPC Meeting:  The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will meet on Tues., Jan. 29, 2019 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources headquarters, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.  The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8686.

Ice Fishing Safety:  Ice fishing can be great fun, but you need to take ice fishing safety seriously.  Review important ice fishing safety information on the I Fish Illinois website:

Fulton-Mason Eagle Day Feb. 2:  Join us for the annual Fulton-Mason Eagle Day event on Sat., Feb. 2 with activities including live raptor programs, hands-on activities and crafts for kids, and bird watching in various locations in Lewistown and Havana, Illinois. The event is free and for all ages. The World Bird Sanctuary's Raptor Awareness programs will be held at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. in the Dickson Mounds Museum auditorium.  Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 9 a.m. at Dickson Mounds on the day of the event. Seating is limited.  Admission is free. Fulton-Mason Eagle Day is sponsored by the City of Lewistown, City of Havana, Forbes Biological Station, Havana Oktoberfest Committee, Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway, Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds, Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, The Nature Conservancy, USFWS Illinois River Refuges Complex, Lewistown Chamber of Commerce, Spoon River Electric Coop, and Plum Hill Vacation Rental Properties. Activities and displays will be contributed by the Astoria High School Environmental Club, Havana Park District, Emiquon Audubon, Mason County Arts Council, the University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information:

Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic: Mark your calendars for Feb. 22-24 when the annual National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic comes to Illinois for the first time at the Schaumburg Convention Center. The event includes programs, seminars, displays and vendors with a focus on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting, dog training, and wildlife habitat management and restoration. Staff and volunteers from the IDNR and Illinois Conservation Foundation will be there to answer questions and discuss programs. For more information:

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants:  Teachers in Illinois can apply now (through Jan. 31) for the annual Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program. Funding for the program is donated by the Independence Tube Corporation in Bedford Park, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation in Skokie, and the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation in Wilmington.  Application details for these nature field trip grants are online at and the application deadline is Jan. 31.

Camping Reservations: It is not too early to make reservations for campsites and shelters for many Illinois state parks and other IDNR sites for 2019. Reservations can be made online through the Reserve America website at using a Visa or MasterCard.
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