Register for Illinois Conservation Congress: Registration is open online for regional discussions regarding important conservation issues as part of the 2013 Illinois Conservation Congress. Register at www.dnr.illinois.gov/ConservationCongress
. The regional meetings are scheduled at:
• John A. Logan College, Carterville – February 19 and 20
• Heartland Community College, Normal - February 26 and 27
• WIU Quad Cities Campus, Moline - March 4 and 5
• South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago – March 12, 13 and 14
• Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville – March 21 and 22
Buy 2013 Illinois Licenses: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses are available now from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website Online Services page at 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 2013 licenses will be valid through Mar. 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.
Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters may apply for the third lottery for 2013 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx
The application deadline for the third lottery for spring turkey permits is Monday, Feb. 11.
Spring Youth Turkey: Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area online permit applications will be accepted online through Monday, Feb. 18. For more information on 2013 spring turkey hunting, check the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx
Spring Youth Turkey Season County Permits will be available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors beginning on March 5.
Apply Now for Outdoors Access for Youth Turkey Hunting: The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) is now taking applications from young hunters for 2013 spring turkey hunting. Youth hunters will be assigned a hunt site in one of the 23 counties in which private property has been leased by IDNR. Most assigned hunting areas are at least 40 acres in size and all have been evaluated for turkey activity and the high possibility of a good hunting experience for the youth. Eligible youth hunters must be under the age of 16 at the time of the hunt and must have completed a hunter safety education course. Applicants can apply for two of the three turkey seasons for which IRAP has leased sites for the spring of 2013 – Youth Season, 3rd Season and 4th Season. For more information, go to www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/irap
Fall Turkey Harvest: Wild turkey hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 1,330 birds during the 2012 Fall Archery and Fall Firearm Wild Turkey seasons. The preliminary harvest compares with a total wild turkey harvest of 1,316 birds during the 2011 seasons. The fall archery season was Oct. 1, 2012-Jan. 20, 2013 while the fall firearm season was Oct. 20-28, 2012. Fifty-one counties were open to fall firearm turkey hunting, while 96 counties were open to the fall archery turkey season. The top five firearm counties for fall turkey harvest were Jo Daviess (73), Pope (34), Jefferson (34), Union (32) and Williamson (32). The top five archery counties for fall turkey harvest were Fulton (27), Jefferson (26), Peoria (24), Jo Daviess (23), and Cass and Ogle (19 each). For complete county harvest totals for fall wild turkey hunting, check the IDNR website at: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/2012FallWildTurkeyHarvestCountyList.pdf
Register for Free Hunter and Boating Safety Education Courses: Register now for Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR. There are plenty of classes scheduled, and since classes fill up quickly, check the IDNR website today for class dates and locations. Class schedules are updated frequently. The website link for all IDNR Safety Education course information is www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety
Youth Pheasant Hunt March 2: Young hunters ages 10-15 can apply now for the Pere Marquette Youth Pheasant Hunt scheduled for Sat., March 2 at Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey Co. Young hunters will participate in a wingshooting clinic during the morning, with the youth pheasant hunt after lunch. Permits for the Pere Marquette youth hunt are available through the IDNR Controlled Pheasant Hunting Internet Reservation System at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/controlled_hunt/default.asp
Fishing Information Booklet: The 2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in PDF format through the IDNR website at: www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing
. Regulations in the guide are effective April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2015. Illinois Free Fishing Days for 2013 are June 7-10.
Super Saturdays: The Illinois State Museum hosts “Mosaics, Murals, and More: African American Artists” as part of the ISM ‘Super Saturdays’ program series on Sat., Feb. 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Children and their families are invited to the Museum in Springfield to celebrate Black History Month by discovering African American artists, and exploring artwork from the Museum's collection to gain inspiration for their own works of art. For more information on the free event, call 217-782-6044.
Science Series: The Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center is the location for the monthly science lecture entitled “Ancient City Under Present-Day East St. Louis: The Results of the New Mississippi River Bridge Project” on Wed., Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. IDOT chief archaeologist Brad H. Koldehoff will discuss results of five years of excavations in East St. Louis in preparation for the realignment of Interstate 70, which will cross a new bridge into downtown St. Louis. The massive investigation revealed the remnants of an ancient city buried beneath a post-industrial landscape. For more information, phone 217-782-0061. The ISM Research and Collections Center is located at 1011 E. Ash in Springfield.
Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Programs: Enjoy watching bald eagles on the Illinois River and the Mississippi River near Pere Marquette State Park this winter by participating in one of the park’s popular Bald Eagle Days tours. The site interpreter at Pere Marquette presents informative programs about bald eagles with all programs beginning at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 618-786-3323. Programs are on select dates through Feb. 27. To check the schedule of program dates, go to the Pere Marquette State Park web page and click on “Bald Eagle Days” at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R4/PEREMARQ.HTM
Camping Reservations: Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2013. Reservations 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/
Earth Day in the Parks: Teachers can apply now for the 2013 Earth Day in the Parks program, which promotes stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. During April and May, students and their teachers from throughout Illinois will come to participating Illinois state parks to take part in natural resources stewardship activities such as planting native trees and wildflowers; building and installing nesting/roosting boxes; removing invasive exotic species; and building brush piles for wildlife. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness, and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work. Some classes may want to perform additional volunteer work at the park. Applications to participate in Earth Day in the Parks are accepted through Feb. 28. For details, go online to http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm
Celebrate Cultural Diversity: Families are invited to celebrate cultural diversity at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., Feb. 23 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. They will learn about the heritage and traditions of various world cultures through hands-on crafts, international displays, live performances, and more. For more information, call 217-782-5993. The Museum is located at 502 S. Spring Street, Springfield, in the State Capitol Complex.
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