Illinois DNR Newsbits for January 2018

Ed Cross
Illinois DNR Newsbits for January 2018
Spring Turkey Applications:  There is still time for hunters to apply for the second lottery for 2018 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits. The application deadline for the second lottery is Jan. 11. Go to the IDNR website for more information:                     

Music at the Museum Jan. 11:  In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Chris Vallillo will take the stage and perform his show “Oh Freedom!” along with master percussionist Rocky Maffit at the Illinois State Museum’s Music at the Museum event on Thurs., Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. The show will feature 11 pivotal songs of the Civil Rights Movement, along with first person accounts of how the music was used in this epic struggle for American freedom. 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 p.m. in the Museum auditorium in Springfield. 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.  The programs are free, but registration is required by calling 618-786-3323. To check the schedule of program dates, go online to

Late-Winter/CWD Deer Season Jan. 12-14:  The Illinois Late-Winter Antlerless-only and Special CWD deer hunting seasons conclude on Jan. 12-14.  There will be 22 counties open for Late-Winter season and 15 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:

Eagle Days on Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Jan. 13-14:  The Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival is scheduled for Sat. and Sun., Jan. 13-14 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:

Fear of Smell:  The Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center will host a noon-hour talk on Wed., Jan. 17 on “The Fear of Smell and the Smell of Revolution: Contemporary Olfactory Arts.” This free-admission Brown Bag Lecture program will be presented by Dr. Larry Shiner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Illinois Springfield.  Since the millennium, there has been an increase in the number of artists using smell in their art. Dr. Shiner, author of “The Invention of Art,” will present a brief survey of contemporary olfactory art and share his research in preparation for his upcoming book on the subject. The Brown Bag lectures are held at the ISM Research and Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. Phone 217-558-6696 for more information.

ICF Scholarships:  Illinois high school seniors can apply by Jan. 19 for the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s 2018 Conservation Achievement Scholarship program.  The ICF awards scholarships to outstanding high school seniors in Illinois who demonstrate effective, voluntary, long-term dedication to the preservation, protection or enhancement of the state’s natural resources. Detailed instructions and the 2018 application form can be accessed through the ICF website at:

Nature Trek-A Glacial Perspective on Jan. 20: 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. 20.  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.  The program is sponsored by the Emiquon Partnership. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. All ages are welcome.

INPC Meeting:  The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will meet on Tues., Jan. 23, 2018 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.

Dickson Mounds Winter Gathering Jan. 27:  Participate in a traditional Native American Gathering at Dickson Mounds Museum on Sat., Jan. 27. Enjoy a variety of activities and demonstrations, including storytelling, music and dancing. Vendors will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Lunch will be available from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Activities will be held from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. All ages are welcome. Dickson Mounds Museum is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. For more information call 309-547-3721. 

Starved Rock Bald Eagle Watch Weekend Jan. 27-28:  The Bald Eagle Watch Weekend in and around Starved Rock State Park is set for Jan. 27 and 28.  Activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. – 4 p.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:

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. 3:  Join us for the annual Fulton-Mason Eagle Day event on Sat., Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Activities include live raptor programs, hands-on activities and crafts for kids, and bird watching in various locations in Lewistown and Havana, IL.  The event is free and for all ages. The event is sponsored by the City of Havana, City of Lewistown, Forbes Biological Station, Havana Jaycees, Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds, Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Illinois River Refuges Complex and Lewistown Chamber of Commerce. Activities and displays are contributed by Astoria High School’s Environmental Club, Emiquon Audubon, Fulton County Arts Council, Havana Park District, Illinois River Scenic Byway, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carterville, FWCP Wilmington Substation, University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute's Traveling Science Center and the University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists and 4-H club.

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 never too early to make your reservations for campsites and shelters for many Illinois state parks and other IDNR sites for 2018. Reservations can be made online through the Reserve America website at using a Visa or MasterCard.
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