Illinois DNR Newsbits - December 2011

Chris McCloud
Stacey Solano
Illinois DNR Newsbits - December 2011
Firearm Deer Permits:  Remaining Illinois firearm and muzzleloader season deer permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors until quotas are exhausted or the seasons close.  Find a vendor at this link:

Late-Winter and CWD Deer County Permits:  2011-2012 Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer county permits will be available over the counter (OTC) through DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning on Tues., Dec. 13.  County permits for the CWD Deer Season will also be available OTC beginning on Dec. 13.  The dates for the seven-day Late-Winter and CWD deer seasons are Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012 and Jan. 13-15, 2012.  Detailed information sheets including lists of open counties and public land open sites for these seasons are available on the IDNR website at these links:

Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits:  Illinois resident and non-resident combination archery deer permits, antlerless-only archery deer permits, and archery fall turkey hunting permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.  Find a vendor at this link:

Registration ends Dec. 9 for Youth Goose Hunt:  The registration deadline is Dec. 9 for the 12th annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt sponsored by the IDNR on Dec. 26-27 at private waterfowl hunting clubs in Peoria, Fulton and Knox counties.  Those interested in the youth hunt must phone 217/785-8060 to register for a lottery drawing. The deadline to register is Fri., Dec. 9.  First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. The hunt is open to youth ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt.  All applicants must have successfully completed a hunter safety education course, 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 FOID card.

Spring Turkey Applications:  Resident and non-resident hunters may apply for 2012 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. The link to the online permit application can be found on the IDNR website Spring Turkey page:
The application deadline for the second lottery for 2012 spring turkey permits is Jan. 11, 2012 (Non-residents may apply beginning Dec. 6).  Youth Spring Turkey Special Hunt Area online permit applications will be accepted online from Jan. 17, 2012-Feb. 20, 2012.  For more information on 2012 spring turkey hunting:

IRAP Youth Turkey Hunting:  IDNR will offer expanded youth hunting opportunities during the 2012 Spring Wild Turkey Season through the new federally-funded Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP). Interested youth turkey hunters should download an application for an IRAP Youth Turkey Hunting permit through the IDNR website at Applications and other information may also be found at many county Soil and Water Conservation Districts offices throughout the state.  Hunters will need to chose the county in which they wish to hunt and a random drawing may be held for each county/site. Youth hunters can request up to two turkey permits for the upcoming spring season. Check the IDNR website to see which counties have IRAP youth turkey hunting available as well as how many hunting sites there are per county. For more information on IRAP, contact Tammy Miller at or go to IRAP�s website at

Target Hunger Now:  Hunters are encouraged to donate whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program � part of the IDNR �Target Hunger Now!� initiative.  Participating meat processors turn the donated deer into ground venison for delivery to food banks and charities in Illinois.  For more information on �Target Hunger Now!� and the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, check the IDNR website at, phone 217/785-5091, email or write to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

New Website:  The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) is pleased to announce that the website has changed to  The new website provides up-to-date information on ACRCC actions to protect the Great Lakes from bighead and silver carp.  You can go directly to or, if you go to, you will be redirected to

IDNR to Host Open House on Stratton Lock and Dam Lock Expansion and Sluice Gate Structure Replacement:  The IDNR will host an open house on Wednesday, Dec. 14 to display alternatives for lock expansion and sluice gate structure replacement at William G. Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry.  The open house will be held on Dec. 14 from 4-7 p.m. at the William G. Stratton Lock and Dam, 2910 W. State Park Road in McHenry. The Boat Lock at Stratton Dam was constructed in 1960. The lock at Stratton Dam does not have the capacity to handle current demands for boat passage due to the increasing size of boats and the number of boats utilizing the lock. Wait times at the lock on the weekends and holidays can be two hours. The lock needs to be enlarged. Repair parts are becoming hard to find while at least one of the lock actuators needs to be replaced every year. The sluice gate structure at Stratton Lock and Dam was constructed in 1939. The useful life of the gates has expired.  Severe deterioration of the gates has led to problems operating the gates. Maintaining water levels in the Chain O�Lakes requires that the gates be replaced. Removing the ice in the winter is dangerous. Parts for the motors are hard to replace. At the open house, alternatives investigated to expand the lock will be displayed. Alternative gate configurations will also be displayed.  Staff from the IDNR Office of Water Resources and the design consultant, Hanson Professional Services, Inc., will be available to discuss alternatives and answer questions. Public comment will be accepted for inclusion in alternative selection.

Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Programs:  Enjoy watching bald eagles on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers near Pere Marquette State Park this winter by participating one of the park�s popular Bald Eagle Watching tours.  The site interpreter at Pere Marquette presents informative programs about bald eagles on select dates through early March.  All programs begin at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 618/786-3323.  To check the schedule of program dates, go to the Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days webpage at

Trails Honor:  Congratulations to IDNR Greenways and Trails Section manager Dick Westfall, who was named the �Illinois Trail Person of the Year� at the 2011 Mid-America Trails and Greenways Conference held recently in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  The IDNR Greenways and Trails Section works on development of trails for the IDNR and assists partners in trail development throughout the state.  Dick Westfall has been instrumental in developing Illinois� unique long-distance bike trails, including the 500-mile Grand Illinois Trail, the 400-mile Route 66 Trail, and the 600-mile Mississippi River Trail.  These statewide trails consist of off-road bike trails connected by on-road bike routing, and are partnerships among governments and private organizations.  Dick has also promoted expansion of IDNR partnerships with local governments and organizations, working to develop a statewide network of greenways and trails, which was a goal established at the first Illinois Conservation Congress in 1992.

OutdoorIllinois:  For the latest news about Illinois' natural resources, pick up the December 2011 issue of OutdoorIllinois, the IDNR monthly magazine. Leading the stories this month is a reminder that winter weather brings a need to heighten one�s awareness of safety practices when enjoying outdoor activities. The December issue also contains stories on new property at Apple River Canyon State Park, fishing for pike, wild food recipes, the bufflehead, identification of wood by its grain, and the 35th anniversary of the IDNR volunteer hunter safety education program. OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at $15 for a one-year subscription. For a summary of feature magazine articles, listen in on monthly podcasts at OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at only $15 for a one-year, 12-issue magazine subscription that includes an information-packed annual calendar in the December issue. Visit or call 1-800-720-3249 to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted. For information on advertising in OutdoorIllinois, call 217/785-8610 or e-mail
One Dozen Holiday Gifts:  Need 12 gift ideas for that special outdoorsman or outdoorswoman? How about a one-year gift subscription to OutdoorIllinois magazine? For just $15, friends and family members will receive 12 full-color issues of OutdoorIllinois, packed with state park features, how-to outdoors tips, hunting and fishing tales, IDNR news updates and plenty more. It is easy to subscribe: In Illinois, order toll-free at 1-800-720-3249 or online at

Annual Wall Calendar:  Looking for the perfect gift to keep sportsmen abreast of hunting, trapping and fishing season dates or keep families informed of programs and events in Illinois state parks? The newly released 2011 OutdoorIllinois wall calendar may be just what you need. Included as part of the December magazine, the calendar and December magazine may be purchased for $3, or a full year of the magazine is just $15. To place an order in Illinois, call toll-free at 1-800-720-3249 or online at

ICF Sportsman�s Raffle:  Tickets are still available for the 2011 Illinois Conservation Foundation Sportsman�s Raffle with a first-place prize of up to $100,000.  Tickets for the raffle are $100 each.  Ticket sales have been extended and the grand prize will be presented at a drawing in Sangamon County on Thursday, December 15, 2011. Proceeds from the raffle will support youth conservation education and outdoor recreation programs at the ICF Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, Illinois.  Raffle tickets are $100 each and are available online at and by mail at Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL  62702-1271.  The raffle is being conducted in accordance with the Raffles Act.  All business operations of the raffle take place exclusively in Sangamon County.

Super Saturdays:  The Illinois State Museum�s monthly �Super Saturdays� event for December is �Let it Snow! - Winter Crafts� on Sat., Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  Children are invited to the Museum to celebrate winter with winter art. �Super Saturdays� are recommended for children ages 4-8 and are free events.  For more information, phone 217/782-6044 or check the ISM website at  The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield. 

Archaeology Lecture:  The Illinois State Museum�s monthly Science Series program is �Unraveling a Mystery: Recent Excavations at the Hickory Hill Site in Southern Illinois� on Wed., Dec, 14 at 7 p.m. at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash St., Springfield.  The free program will be presented by Dr. Mark J. Wagner, SIU Center for Archaeological Investigations.  From about 1834 until 1864, the state-owned Hickory Hill site in Gallatin County represented the home of John Hart Crenshaw, a prominent southern Illinois salt maker who employed both African-American slaves and indentured servants before the Civil War.  The program will summarize findings of archaeological investigations at the site. For more information, phone 217/782-0061 or check the Museum website at

Two New Posters:  The Illinois Prairies Coloring Poster from the IDNR Division of Education has been reprinted. It may be ordered at Illinois Birds: Volume II, Wood-warblers is the second poster produced as a cooperative effort between the IDNR Division of Education and the Illinois Audubon Society. This 24� x 36� poster has photographs of all the wood-warblers known to nest in the state, as well as information about each species. Order the poster at

Public Notice:  The IDNR Office of Water Resources has published a notice that an application has been received from Civil Constructors, Inc. of Freeport for a permit authorizing temporary causeways in the Rock River in conjunction with the Morgan Street Bridge replacement in Rockford. The plans show the placement of a 50-ft. wide causeway extending 1,200 feet into the Rock River from the west bank of the river during removal of the existing bridge.  The causeway will be in place for approximately one month. Upon completion of removal, there will be two causeways extending from each bank into the Rock River to remain in place until an estimated bridge completion date at the end of 2013, after which all temporary workings will be removed.  Comments on the application will be accepted until Dec. 22, 2011 by the IDNR Office of Water Resources, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271. 

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