Illinois Department of Natural Resources  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2010

NATURAL RESOURCES NEWSBITS  

Reminder to Hunters and Anglers:  The new license year for Illinois fishing, hunting, and sportsmen combination licenses began on April 1.  Illinois licenses are available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR web site (www.dnr.state.il.us), or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). DNR Direct makes buying licenses, habitat stamps, and waterfowl stamps convenient and easy. By going online, license buyers can use American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or E-Check and print their own license or receipt – and the system is available 24 hours a day. The 2010 annual licenses are valid through Mar. 31, 2011 unless otherwise noted.

Resident Firearm/Muzzleloader Deer Applications:  Resident Illinois deer hunters can apply for the first lottery drawings for 2010 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader-only deer season permits through DNR Direct (click on the Online Licenses button on the IDNR web site home page at www.dnr.state.il.us).  Application forms in PDF format are also available on the IDNR web site.  The first lottery drawings for firearm deer permits and muzzleloader-only season deer permits are for Illinois residents only.  The deadline to apply for the first lottery drawing for 2010 firearm deer permits and muzzleloader-only deer permits is April 30.  Resident hunters can apply in both the firearm and muzzleloader-only lotteries.  The 2010 firearm seasons are Nov. 19-21 (first season) and Dec. 2-5 (second season). The 2010 muzzleloader-only season is Dec. 10-12.

Youth Turkey Hunt:  The 2010 Illinois Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season closed with a preliminary harvest total of 737, compared with a harvest total of 617 in 2009.  The South Zone harvest this spring was 297, compared with 254 last year.  The North Zone harvest was 440 birds, compared with 363 wild turkeys taken by hunters in the North Zone in 2009.  The 2010 Spring Youth Wild Turkey Hunt was conducted on Mar. 27-28 in the South Zone and April 3-4 in the North Zone.

Safety Reminder:  Mushroom collectors and other visitors to Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, and other IDNR-managed sites with spring turkey hunting programs in April and May are reminded that hunting areas are closed to activities other than turkey hunting from one-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season.  The turkey hunting area restrictions are in place for the safety of site visitors and hunters.

Free Fishing Days:  The 2010 Illinois Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 11-14. For more information on fishing in Illinois, check out the 2010 Illinois Fishing Information guide at http://www.dnr.state.il.us/fish/digest/ or check the website www.ifishillinois.org.  Organizations planning special Free Fishing Days events can contact Tom Munroe at 217/524-5861 or by e-mail at tom.munroe@Illinois.gov for information on promoting fishing.

Help Mother Earth:  Youngsters will be encouraged to observe Earth Day every day during the April edition of “Super Saturdays” at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., April 10.  The theme for the program is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reject,” with activities for kids ages 4-8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Parents and families are encouraged to participate. Registration is not required for this free event. For more information on Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum, call 217/782-6044.  The museum is located at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.

Emiquon Program:  The Illinois State Museum Science Series program for April is “Archaeological and Geological Investigations of the Emiquon Refuge Restoration Project, Fulton County, Illinois” on Wed., April 14 at 7 p.m.  The free program will be held at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash, Springfield.  Dr. Alan Harn of the Dickson Mounds Museum will present the program on the work done since 2003 when Dickson Mounds Museum and The Nature Conservancy began a comprehensive archaeological investigation of the newly developing Emiquon preserve.  Nearly 70 new archaeological sites have been found within the refuge.  For more information on the program, phone 217/782-0061.

CSI Springfield:  The Illinois State Museum will present “CSI: Springfield,” the annual Carrol Hall Science Series program for students in grades 6 – 8 on Sat., April 17 at 1 p.m. Students will have a chance to meet real crime scene investigators, lift fingerprints, identify bones, and learn how forensic scientists use blood spatter and maggots to solve crimes.  Registration for this free program is required by April 13. Students can register by contacting Elizabeth Bazan at ebazan@museum.state.il.us or 217/782-5993.

Register for Youth Conservation Congress:  High school youth (ages 14-17) are invited to participate in the first Youth Conservation Congress at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield on June 27 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  Students will learn about conservation issues and careers in Illinois. Activities will be hands-on, and the agenda will focus on Community Conservation, Wildlife Management, and Invasive Species. Students will develop a personal action plan to incorporate conservation activities into their everyday lives.  High school students must register in advance (registration deadline is May 15), and the first 100 students will be accepted. The event is free, and lunch will be provided by the Illinois Sportsmen’s Caucus. Registration is available at this link:  http://www.dnr.state.il.us/nrab/ycc.htm. For more information, phone 217/785-0075.  

Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop:   Women interested in the outdoors are encouraged to sign up for the annual IDNR “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” workshop on June 11-13 at the Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Illinois.  BOW is designed to give women introductory experiences and instruction in various outdoor activities, ranging from the shooting sports to outdoor recreation to nature crafts and skills. Program instructors emphasize the basics in instruction while providing information on equipment, associated clubs or organizations, and additional training opportunities.  The cost is $195 and includes housing, meals, class instruction, use of equipment in classes, giveaways, and more. Registration packets can be downloaded through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/bow.

ENTICE Workshops:  School teachers are encouraged to register now for 2010 ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) educator workshops from the IDNR.  Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for the workshop schedule, to register, and for more information.  The workshops provide background information, supplemental resources, networking with other educators, and the opportunity to work with natural resources professionals.  Continuing Professional Development Units are available to all ENTICE participants.

Youth Calendar:  The IDNR is dedicated to fostering and maintaining youth participation in outdoor activities.  Illinois state parks and educational programs offer exciting and unique opportunities that will connect people with nature and the outdoors.   For information on youth and family activities, check this link on the IDNR web site:  http://www.dnr.state.il.us/youthprograms/

Raffle with $100,000 First Prize:  There is still time to buy tickets for the Illinois Sportsman’s and Parks Raffle benefitting the Illinois Conservation Foundation and the Friends of Illinois Parks.  The drawing for the $100,000 grand prize is on Friday, May 14.  Tickets for the raffle are $100 each and are available by calling 217/785-2003 or check the web site at www.isp-raffle.com.

OutdoorIllinois:  The cover of the April 2010 issue of the IDNR monthly magazine, OutdoorIllinois, foretells of the upcoming eruption of woodlands with sun-loving wildflowers and magenta-colored blossoms on Eastern redbuds. The featured site this month is Hidden Springs State Forest, a site created 40 years ago by a flood that never happened. Additional stories include the Illinois High School Association’s bass fishing competition, Illinois’ national recreational trails, the benefits of less mowing, an investigation into a frog-killing fungus, a spring wild turkey hunting preview, and more. 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 dnr.state.il.us/OI 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 michelle.silver@illinois.gov.

Wingshooting Clinics:  The IDNR and participating partners sponsor wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois to help improve the shooting skills of participants. Youth/Women's clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm and hunter safety and the fundamentals of wingshooting. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and provide sound wingshooting practice techniques. The clinics are conducted on weekends throughout the spring, summer and early fall.  For a complete schedule, check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us. Upcoming clinics include:

  1. April 24-25 – Youth and Women’s Clinic – Moraine View State Recreation Area, Leroy (phone 309/724-8032)
  2. May 1-2 – Hunter Clinic – Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Chandlerville (217/452-7741)
  3. May 15-16 – Youth/Women Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217/785-8129)
  4. May 22-23 – Youth and Women’s Clinic – World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta (phone 866/850-2564)
  5. June 5-6 – Hunter Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217/785-8129)
  6. June 12-13 – Hunter Clinic – Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (815/857-2320)
  7. June 12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Chandlerville (217/452-7741)
  8. June 26-27 – Youth/Women Clinic - St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, Elburn (630/363-6180)

OHV Hearing:   The OHV Advisory Board will conduct a public hearing on the 2010 Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Program applications on Tues., May 4 at 12:30 p.m. at the IDNR Headquarters, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield.  Applicants for OHV grants will make presentations and answer questions from the advisory board.  The meeting is open to the public.  For more information, call 217/782-7026.  

INPC Meeting:  The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will conduct its 205th meeting on Tues., May 4 at the Henry Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 State Route 37 South, Cypress, IL.  The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public.  For more information, call 217/785-8686.

ESPB Meeting:  The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board will meet on Fri., May 14 at 10 a.m. at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, 30239 South State Route 53, Wilmington, IL.  The meeting is open to the public.  For more information, phone 217/785-8687.