Grand American: The World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta is the venue for the 115th Amateur Trapshooting Association Grand American Trapshooting Championships, Aug. 6-16. For more information on this premier shooting sports event, go to the ATA website at www.shootata.com
Visit Conservation World: Enjoy free youth and family entertainment and activities at Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 8-17 in Springfield. Kids can try to catch a fish or practice their skills at the BB and archery ranges. Visitors will find plenty to do, and a shady place to sit on a park bench and relax while visiting Conservation World – open from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. each weekday and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. each weekend day of the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 8-17.
Firearm Deer Permits: Permit applications will be accepted from Aug. 12 through Sept. 8 for random daily drawings for 2014 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits. For details, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer
Hunters can check on the status of their firearm deer permit application in the first and second lottery drawings at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer/Pages/OnlineDeerPermitInquirySystem.aspx
Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Permits: Hunters may apply for the second lottery for Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun permits through the deadline on Aug. 25. The season dates are Oct. 25 – Nov. 2. For more information: www.dnr.Illinois.gov/hunting/turkey
Resident Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits: Resident combination archery deer permits, resident antlerless-only archery deer permits, and resident archery fall turkey hunting permits are now available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Archery Deer Reminder: Illinois 2014 Resident Either-Sex Archery Deer Permit applications will be accepted through Aug. 30. The application is available online at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/ResidentEitherSexArcheryDeerHuntingPermitForm.pdf
Non-Resident Deer and Turkey Permits: The remaining non-resident 2014 Illinois combination archery deer permits, as well as non-resident antlerless-only archery deer permits and non-resident archery fall turkey permits are now available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Youth Deer Permits: Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are now available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, by phone at 1-888-673-7648 (1-888-6PERMIT), or online at www.dnr.illinois.gov
through Aug. 31 (OTC only after Aug. 31). The Youth Deer Hunt is Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11-13.
Upland Game Permits: Hunters may apply through Aug. 31 for the Illinois 2014 Free Upland Game Hunt Permit program. Applications must be made online, and successful applicants will receive a confirmation by mail. The online application information is available at this link: www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/uplandgame
Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permits: Resident hunters may apply online from Aug. 12-27 for the first lottery for the Illinois 2014 Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permit program. The second lottery deadline will be Sept. 9 for those unsuccessful resident applicants from the first lottery, residents who didn’t apply in the first lottery, and non-residents. The third lottery deadline will be Sept. 23. All initial applications must be made online at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx
Controlled Pheasant Permits: Information is now available online for hunters to apply for 2014-15 Illinois controlled pheasant hunting opportunities available at 20 IDNR sites. Sixteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while four other sites are managed by concessionaire T. Miller, Inc. For application information, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov
Powerton Closed Aug. 18-20: Powerton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County will be closed Aug. 18, 19 and 20 at the request of lake owner NRG Energy for levee maintenance and repairs. No public access will be allowed during this time. Powerton Lake will reopen on Aug. 21 at 6 a.m.
Super Saturdays: The Illinois State Museum’s Super Saturday program on Aug. 9 is ‘Sharktacular.’ Millions of years ago, our state was covered by a shallow sea teaming with sharks. Activities for children ages 3 to 8 will help them learn more about these ancient animals, and how they are related to sharks of today. The Super Saturdays program is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 9, and it is free for children and families. For more information, phone 217-782-6044. The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.
Buggy Night: Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown is hosting a new family program on Saturday night, Aug. 9 at 8:00 p.m. “Buggy Nights” will explore what bugs are active at night. Bug enthusiast Jim Wiker will demonstrate how to attract an array of bugs and instruct participants on how to identify them. The program is free, and will be a great family and Scout troop activity. The Dickson Mounds Museum is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. For more information call 309-547-3721.
Pere Marquette State Park Rendezvous: Visitors can step back in time, to the days when frontier fur trappers met with fur traders and buyers, during a reenactment festival at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, IL on Sept. 6-7. The second annual Pere Marquette State Park Rendezvous will be a traditional Pre-1840 Rendezvous, with buckskinned re-enactors portraying primitive traders and campers. There will be period demonstrations, black powder and longbow shoots, tomahawk throwing, camp music, and food common to days on the Illinois frontier. The public is invited and admission is free to the Pere Marquette State Park Rendezvous, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 6 and 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 7. For more information, contact Pere Marquette State Park at 618-786-3323.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop: The IDNR invites women to register now for the next ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ workshop, Sept. 26-28 at Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton. BOW workshops are designed to provide introductory instruction in outdoor-related activities. Classes are conducted in a casual and non-competitive atmosphere by experienced instructors. The cost is $170 per person, which includes the workshop, meals, class supplies and equipment, overnight lodging, prizes and more. Registration is limited, so sign up today. Workshop and registration materials can be found on the IDNR website at www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/bow
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 safety and the fundamentals of wingshooting. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and provide sound wingshooting practice techniques. Upcoming clinics will be conducted on weekends from mid-August through late October. For a complete schedule, check the webpage at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/wingshooting/WingshootingDates.htm
ICF Gala: Save the date and join the Illinois Conservation Foundation in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ICF during the Illinois Conservation Foundation Gala on Sat., Oct. 4 at the Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale. The gala will include recognition of the Class of 2014 for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame and remarks by renowned conservation advocate Rob Keck. For tickets, sponsorships, or more information, contact the ICF at 217-785-2003 or www.ilcf.org
ESPB Meeting: The Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board will meet on Fri., Aug. 15 at 9:00 a.m. at the Glacial Park Lost Valley Visitor Center, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, IL 60072. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8687.
INPC Meeting: The 218th meeting of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will be held on Tues., Sept. 9 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Ballard Nature Center, 5253 East Highway 40, Altamont, IL 62411. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, phone 217-785-8686.
ICF 2015 Calendar: Orders are being accepted for the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s second annual Illinois wall calendar. The beautiful 2015 calendar will be available for shipment no later than Sept. 1. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar support a variety of youth education programs in Illinois, such as outreach efforts at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center, and the new 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 www.ilcf.org
or by phone at 217-785-2003.
Boating Infrastructure Grants: Local governments, privately-owned marinas and boatyards have until Sept. 19, 2014 to apply for grants available to provide temporary docking facilities for large boats through the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program. Funds for the program come from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels through the Sport Fishing and Boating Safety program, and can provide up to 75 percent of an approved project’s cost. The program is intended to enhance boating for transient, non-trailerable recreational boats - those 26 feet long or longer. The applicant must provide the other 25 percent of a project’s cost. Eligible facilities must accommodate boats of 26 feet or longer, must be used by transient boaters who do not stay more than 10 consecutive days, and must be open to the public. Projects could include boat slips, mooring buoys, navigational aids, safe harbors and initial dredging to provide transient boats with safe channel depths. All proposals must be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Federal Aid/Special Funds Section. For additional information, call the Federal Aid/Special Funds Section at 217-782-2602.
Sox-Twins Game Benefits ICF: Join the Illinois Conservation Foundation for a night at the ballpark. Get discounted ICF Grand Slam Group tickets for the Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on Sat., Sept. 13, and the White Sox will make a donation to the ICF. Game time is 6:10 p.m., and there’s a free postgame fireworks show. It’s the Twins at the Sox on Sept. 13, benefitting the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Order tickets online at www.whitesox.com/idnr