Illinois DNR Newsbits - May 2019

Illinois DNR Newsbits - May 2019
Firearm Deer Permit Applications:  Resident and non-resident deer hunters can apply for the second lottery drawing for 2019 Illinois Firearm Deer and Muzzleloader-only Deer permits. The deadline to apply for the second lottery is June 30.  For more information, check the IDNR website at

Oil and Gas Board Meeting on May 2:  The Illinois Oil and Gas Advisory Board will meet on Thurs., May 2 at 10 a.m. at the Illinois Oil and Gas Association building, 824 E. IL Highway 15, Mt. Vernon, IL.  The meeting is open to the public.  For more information, phone 217-785-8688. 

Mushroom Collecting:  Reminder to mushroom collectors – no license is required, but mushroom collectors must have landowner permission and on public sites must adhere to approved collecting regulations and hours.  Collection of mushrooms is allowed at many IDNR sites, but it is prohibited in any area designated as a dedicated nature preserve.  Areas under the jurisdiction of the IDNR that offer spring turkey hunting are not open to mushroom collecting until after 1:00 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season to ensure the safety of all site visitors.  Be sure to call ahead to the state site you intend to visit to learn of any site-specific regulations regarding mushroom collecting.

IRAP Fishing Opportunities:  It’s time to go fishing. Consider this your invitation to step away from the daily grind and into the fresh air. Fishing is a great way to have fun with family and friends and to make some amazing memories. The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) has some fantastic private “fishing holes” for the public to explore. Just go to IRAP’s website, register and make a reservation or two:

Spring Into Spring May 4:  Families are invited to “Spring into Spring” during the Super Saturday event on Sat., May 4 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.  Families can learn more about the science behind the changing seasons with fun and engaging crafts, games, and activities. For more information, phone 217-782-6044.  Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum are sponsored by Bank of Springfield.

Songbag May 5 at Sandburg Home in Galesburg:  Ian & M3, a local duo playing funky, jazzy blues, will perform May 5 at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg as part of the Sandburg Songbag Concert Series.  Ian Johnson and Manuel Lopez III’s friendship, musically and personally go back more than 10 years.  They have played hundreds of shows together with various bands and now as a duo. They have their own style, playing all genres of music from rock to pop to funk to jazz. The May 5 Songbag performance will be in the Sandburg site’s Barn at 313 E. Third Street in Galesburg. The show starts at 4:00 p.m. A donation of $5 per person is suggested.  The 2019 Sandburg Songbag concerts are made possible thanks to a grant from the Mark and Celia Godsil Family Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of the Galesburg Community Foundation, and the Community Impact Fund at the Galesburg Community Foundation.   The concert is presented by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and the IDNR. 

Camping Reservations:  Make your 2019 Illinois state park campsite reservations now.  Just go to the Reserve America website at and be all set for your camping trips in the weeks and months ahead.

Native American Storytelling:  Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site will be participating in the St. Louis Storytelling Festival with a free presentation on Sat., May 4, at 2:00 p.m. by Robert Lewis, an award-winning Native American storyteller, author and artist of Cherokee, Navaho and Apache descent. On Sunday, May 5 at 2:00 p.m., Cahokia Mounds will feature a special free lecture by Dr. Gary Stickel, tribal archaeologist for the Kizh Tribe of California. He will give a presentation on “The Kizh Tribe of the Los Angeles area and its hero, Toypurina, the ‘Joan of Arc’ of California.” For more information:

Native American Skills Kids Workshop May 11:  At Dickson Mounds Museum in Fulton Co. on Sat., May 11 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, a new Kid’s Workshop “Native American Skills-From Forest to Food” will focus on ancient Native American skills for hunting.  Participants will learn to track animals, create and throw a spear using an atlatl, and cook food over an open fire. The program will include a flint-knapping demonstration as well as a fire-starting demonstration to showcase the primitive skills required to survive. Registration is required by May 8 and space is limited.  The workshop is for kids ages 9-16 years old and parents/adult guardians are welcome to participate.  Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register or for more information.

Music at the Museum May 9:  Singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Joel Mabus performs at the Illinois State Museum’s “Music at the Museum” concert of Thurs., May 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the ISM in Springfield. Mabus is a maverick in the folk music world who defies any easy pigeonhole. He picks a mountain banjo to accompany an ancient ballad, sings a witty song about modern life, plays a sweet Irish melody on guitar, swings a hot jazz number, and then reaches deep for a soulful expression of values in a troubled world. He tops it all with a fiddle tune or old Carter family song -- all skillfully blended into a seamless flow. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information on the featured acts and a full “Music at the Museum” series schedule, visit

INPC Meeting:  The 232nd meeting of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will be held on Tuesday, May 14 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Crystal Lake Park District Rotary Building, 431 N. Walkup Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. The meeting is open to the public.  For more information, phone the INPC at 217-785-8686.

Lockport Swing Thing May 14:  The Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery invites families to dance away the evening from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Tues., May 14 for the “Lockport Swing Thing” at the gallery at 201 West 10th St. in Lockport. No dance experience is necessary.  DJ RJ and Ms. Jessica will offer a one-hour lesson followed up by a two-hour open dance.  The event always features a unique playlist of music that is sure to bring you onto the floor.  For more information, call the gallery at 815-838-7400.

Brown Bag Program May 15:  Bring your lunch and join us for the monthly Brown Bag program at the Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center in Springfield on Wed., May 15 at 12:00 noon for “Homesteading:  The Free Land Idea” presented by Lorna Shuman, Curator of Education at the Illinois State Museum.  Homesteading, extolled and romanticized in history, was not the rosy dream portrayed in popular literature and film. The law transferred millions of acres from the public domain to private hands. With the hope that giving free people free land would increase the nation's wealth, this major legislative act passed under Lincoln’s presidency and had far-reaching implications that changed the face of the United States. The program is free.  The ISM Research and Collections Center is at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. For more info:  217-558-6696.

New Salem Centennial Open House:  Plan to attend the Centennial Open House on Sat., May 18 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site in Menard Co.  On May 22, 1919, the acreage commonly known then as “Old Salem Hill” where the village of New Salem once stood was conveyed to the State of Illinois.  Help commemorate the 100th anniversary at the Centennial Open House at the log cabin village.

Be A Hero – Remove, Drain and Dry:  As the busy Illinois boating season begins, remember to “Be a Hero, Transport Zero” to limit the spread of aquatic invaders into Illinois waterways.  Remove plants, animals, and mud from all equipment.  Drain all water from your boat and gear.  Dry everything thoroughly with a towel.

Always Wear Your Life Jacket While Boating:  National Safe Boating Week is May 18-24.  Life jackets save lives, and Illinois law requires that life jackets or life vests (personal floatation devices, PFDs) be available for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft.  State law also requires that anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway, unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property.  Illinois law also requires persons of any age to wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft.  For more information:

Don’t Bother Wildlife Babies:  Spring brings new life to the landscape in Illinois, and it is a season when people may come in contact with young wildlife.  Young animals are often left alone while their parents are away searching for food. Do not touch or move young animals unless you are absolutely sure that it is an orphan or severely injured. Many species return to their young near dusk and dawn. A young animal that looks well-fed and clean is probably not orphaned. If the animal does need help, contact a wildlife rehabilitator for advice.  Find contact information on the Wildlife Illinois website at

Free Fishing Days:  Illinois Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 14-17, 2019.  For more information on fishing in Illinois:

Stratton-Bolger Lock and Dam Open for 2019 Season:  The IDNR William G. Stratton-Thomas A. Bolger Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry has opened for the 2019 boating season (as of May 1). Due to ongoing construction, the lock will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during May and June (except open on Memorial Day, May 27).  Lock tenders will operate the facility on Wednesdays through Sundays from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 midnight during May and June. Seven-days-a-week operations begin July 1 (through Sept. 30) from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight.  From October 1-31, operating hours will be 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. daily.  The lock is closed for the season each year from Nov. 1 through April 30.

Museum After Hours May 24:  Enjoy a Friday evening at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield for the “Museum After Hours:  Prohibition” event from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Fri., May 24. We're turning the Museum into a speakeasy to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition). Whether you're a wet or a dry, come in your best 1920s garb and enjoy live music, games and trivia, and Prohibition-related objects from the ISM collection. James Armstrong will provide live music. Drinks will include beer from Obed and Isaac's Microbrewery, wine from Danenberger Family Vineyards, and non-alcoholic beverages. Food will be available for purchase. Tickets will be available at the door.  All proceeds support educational programming at the Illinois State Museum. For more information, please email or call 217-782-6044.
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