Illinois DNR Newsbits for Nov. 2015

Chris Young
Illinois DNR Newsbits for Nov. 2015
Upland Hunting: For information on prospects for the 2015-16 pheasant, quail and rabbit seasons in Illinois, check the IDNR website for the annual hunting prospects reports prepared by the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources.  The links to the reports are available through the IDNR website at:

Remaining Firearm Deer Permits:  Remaining Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors through Dec. 6, or until quotas are exhausted.  Find a vendor near you at this link:

Late-Winter and CWD Deer Special Hunt Area Applications:  Hunters may apply online through Nov. 24 for site-specific permits for designated IDNR Special Hunt Areas for the Late-Winter and CWD Deer Hunts.  The online application system will be available through the IDNR website at  A list of Special Hunt Areas:

CWD Special Hunt Area Sites
Apple River Canyon State Park (SP) – Thompson/Salem Units SP in Jo Daviess County
Castle Rock SP in Ogle Co.
Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area (SNA)/Heidecke State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA)/Morris Wetland in Grundy Co. – Check-in by 5 a.m. *
Hanover Bluff SNA in Jo Daviess Co.
Lowden-Miller State Forest in Ogle Co.
Kishwaukee River SNA in DeKalb Co.
Rall Woods (Falling Down Prairie) SNA in Jo Daviess Co.
Starved Rock SP – includes Starved Rock SP, Mathiessen SP, Margery C. Carlson SNA, Mitchell’s Grove SNA and Sandy Ford SNA in LaSalle Co.
Tapley Woods SNA in Jo Daviess Co.
Wards Grove Nature Preserve in Jo Daviess Co.
White Pines SP in Ogle Co. - Check-in by 5 a.m. *
Winston Tunnel SNA in Jo Daviess Co.

Late-Winter Special Hunt Area Sites
Franklin Creek SNA in Lee Co. – Check-in by 5 a.m.*
Sahara Woods in Saline Co.

* Permit hunters at these sites must sign in at the site check station by 5 a.m.; standby hunting available afterward, as space allows.

Permits for these sites are limited and will only be available through the online application through Nov. 24 (paper applications are not available).  Hunters may submit only one online Special Hunt Area application.  Unfilled 2015 site-specific firearm, muzzleloader or youth permits for these sites are not valid during the Late-Winter Firearm season and CWD Deer season (except at sites where standby hunting is available).  Late-Winter and CWD Deer season dates are December 31, 2015 through January 3, 2016 and January 15-17, 2016. For a Late-Winter and CWD deer hunting information sheet, with details on sites open to deer hunting with county permits during Late-Winter and CWD seasons, check the IDNR website at this link:

Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits:  Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 17, 2016.  Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link:

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. 17, 2016:

Donate to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger: Hunters are encouraged to donate whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program to help Illinois families in need. Participating meat processors turn the donated deer into ground venison for delivery to food banks and charities in Illinois. For more information on the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, including a list of participating meat processors, check the IDNR website at

Spring Turkey Applications:  Resident hunters may now apply for the first lottery for 2016 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link:  The application deadline for the first lottery for 2016 resident spring turkey permits is Dec. 1, 2015.  

Online Free Site Hunting Permits:  Hunters are reminded that Free Site Hunting Permits (windshield cards) to hunt upland, forest game and waterfowl at IDNR sites are available online from the IDNR website at
Hunters are encouraged to follow the link to windshield card sites page. For information or assistance, hunters should contact the site where they intend to hunt.

Hunting Regulations:  For information on Illinois hunting seasons and regulations, click here for the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2015-16:
For information on waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations in Illinois, click on the Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 2015-16 here:

ICF 2016 Calendar:  The Illinois Conservation Foundation’s annual Illinois Wall Calendar is now available. Proceeds from the sale of the beautiful 2016 ICF Wall Calendar support a variety of youth education programs in Illinois, such as outreach efforts at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center, and the Torstenson Education Station, a traveling trailer equipped with hands-on equipment that teachers and youth group leaders can use to support a number of programs. Order the calendar through the ICF website at or by phone at 217-785-2003.

2015 Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants:  School teachers and youth group leaders can apply for grants of up to $1,000 through the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program, administered by the IDNR and Illinois Conservation Foundation.  Get students involved in the planning, development, and maintenance of projects to help native wildlife like monarch butterflies. Funding is provided by the Jadel Family Foundation, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30, 2015.  Grant application information is available at
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