2012 Illinois Licenses Available Jan. 16: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2012 will be available starting Jan. 16 from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website www.dnr.illinois.gov/online/Pages/default.aspx
or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2012 licenses purchased beginning Jan. 16 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2013 unless otherwise noted.
Late-Winter and CWD Deer County Permits: 2011-2012 Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer county permits and county permits for the CWD Deer Season are available over the counter (OTC) through DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The final segment of the Late-Winter and CWD seasons is Jan. 13-15. Detailed information sheets including lists of open counties and public land open sites for these seasons are available on the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer/Pages/ResidentLateWinterAntlerlessDeerHunting.aspx
Archery deer and archery fall turkey permits are also available OTC through the end of those seasons on Jan. 15.
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: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx
The application deadline for the second lottery for 2012 spring turkey permits is Jan. 11. Youth Spring Turkey Special Hunt Area online permit applications will be accepted from Jan. 17-Feb. 20. For more information on 2012 spring turkey hunting: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx
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 http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP
. Hunters will need to choose 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 IRAP permits for the upcoming spring season. Check the IDNR website to see which counties have IRAP youth turkey hunting available. For more information on IRAP, contact Tammy Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to IRAP website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP
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 Days 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 http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R4/Bald_Eagle_Days.htm
Eagle Days: See bald eagles from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, Granite City during the annual Eagle Days event on Jan. 14-15 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Families and all eagle lovers are invited to watch eagles soaring along the Mississippi River between Illinois and Missouri, with spotting scopes on the bridge and educational programs every 20 minutes from 10 a.m.–2:40 p.m. both days. Hosted by the IDNR, Missouri Dept. of Conservation, and The Confluence; find more information at http://www.confluencegreenway.org/eagledays.php
Starved Rock Eagle Weekend: Visitors are invited to the annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on Jan. 28-29 at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, IDNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More details are available online at http://www.illinoisaudubon.org/MAINLINKS/EVENTS/baldeagleweekend.html
Science Series: The Illinois State Museum’s monthly science series lecture for January is ‘End of Time: Maya, Aztec, Pawnee, and Pueblo Views of the End of the World’ on Wed., Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. The free program will be presented by Dr. Jonathan Reyman, curator of anthropology at the Illinois State Museum. The program will be held at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash, in Springfield. For more information, phone 217/782-0061.
Super Saturdays: The Illinois State Museum hosts youngsters for a ‘Super Saturdays’ program ‘Gems to Jewels’ on Sat., Jan. 14 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Super Saturdays offer free, thematic activities that take 30 to 40 minutes to complete and feature take-home crafts. Parents and families are encouraged to participate. Registration is not required. For more information, phone 217/782-6044 or check the Illinois State Museum website at www.museum.state.il.us/events
. The museum is located at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.
Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet: Tickets are now available for the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet, the evening of Thursday, February 9 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. Proceeds from the Hall of Fame Banquet assist in funding Illinois Conservation Foundation youth scholarships and other ICF initiatives to encourage youth participation in outdoor recreation and natural resources protection. For reservations or more information, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/785-2003, or check the ICF web site at http://www.ilcf.org
Camping Reservations: Campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites for 2012 can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at www.reserveamerica.com
using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/camping/camprsvp.htm
Follow the IDNR: Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. Find us at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/about/Pages/SocialNetworking.aspx
Snowmobile Reminders: Snowmobile owners are reminded that changes to the Illinois Snowmobile Registration and Safety Act approved in 2010 have taken effect. Fees for all new snowmobile registrations, transfer renewals, and renewals are $30 (old registration application forms will be accepted as long as the new fee is remitted). The amended Act also requires that non-residents purchase a snowmobile trail use sticker if the snowmobile is not registered in Illinois. The fee for a yearly snowmobile trail use sticker is $25 for a person who is not a resident of Illinois and who operates a snowmobile within Illinois if the snowmobile is not registered in Illinois. Trail passes are available at DNR Direct license vendors throughout the state. The law also includes a mandatory liability insurance provision. For more details, check the IDNR website: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation/snowmobile/Pages/Information.aspx
Field Trip Funding: The IDNR Division of Education in cooperation with the Illinois Conservation Foundation offers Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants for teachers in Illinois. Grants are to be used to take students on a field trip to study the natural resources of the state. For complete details, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm
. The maximum grant award per teacher is $500. The application deadline is Jan. 31. Funding is provided by the Independence Tube Corporation of Chicago and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie.
Earth Day in the Parks: School teachers are encouraged to apply now for the 2012 Earth Day in the Parks program from the IDNR. Applications will be accepted thru Feb. 28. Earth Day in the Parks is a natural resources stewardship event for students held at Illinois state parks. The application form is online at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm
Grants from the Illinois Conservation Foundation and Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund help to fund Earth Day in the Parks.
OutdoorIllinois: The cover of the January 2012 issue of the IDNR monthly magazine OutdoorIllinois features a river otter drinking from a winter stream. The river otter is one of the species that has benefitted in Illinois from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. The federal program is funded through small taxes on sporting equipment and was established 75 years ago. The featured site this month is Oakwood Bottoms, a greentree reservoir in Jackson Co. that is one of largest tracts of contiguous bottomland hardwoods in Illinois. Additional stories include a muskie escapement research project, the new Millennium Reserve Project, volunteers preparing trails for the upcoming season, light goose hunting, feral cats, the history of maple syrup, Salmon Unlimited volunteers working to better the Lake Michigan fishery and more. For a summary of feature magazine articles, listen in on monthly podcasts at www.dnr.state.il.us/OI
. 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 email@example.com