2014 Illinois Licenses Available Jan. 20: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses and usage stamps for 2014 will be available starting Jan. 20 from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov
, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2014 licenses and usage stamps purchased beginning Jan. 20 will be valid through Mar. 31, 2015 unless otherwise noted.
2014 Calendar: There’s still time to buy the beautiful 2014 Illinois Conservation Foundation wall calendar. If you relied on the former OutdoorIllinois wall calendar, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of this calendar. Proceeds from the sale of the 2014 ICF wall calendar will support youth conservation education programs in Illinois. The 9” x 12” calendar contains stunning photography of Illinois wildlife and natural resources, and can be purchased for $15 (two for $29, or three for $41.25). Order online at www.ilcf.org
or by phone at 217-785-2003. Checks and money orders can be mailed to the Illinois Conservation Foundation, ATTN Wall Calendar, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
Science Series: The next Illinois State Museum Science Series program on Wed., Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. is Camels, Carnivores, and Old Collections: Recent Adventures in Iowa Paleontology. The program, presented by Ill. St. Museum Assistant Curator of Geology Chris Widga, will examine how the fossil records of Illinois and Iowa are forever intertwined. The presentation will highlight recent research and discoveries on both sides of the Mississippi River, including giant camels from western Iowa, two new records of large extinct wolves, and ongoing investigations of a multi-mammoth site in Mahaska County, IA. The program is free and open to the public at the ISM Research and Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash, Springfield.
Illinois Deer Management Survey Results: The Illinois DNR Division of Wildlife Resources has released survey results from stakeholders regarding Illinois' deer management program. IDNR obtained answers to the survey during a series of open house meetings during June 2013, and from individuals unable to attend an open house through an online survey. In addition, the Illinois Natural History Survey conducted several scientific surveys of hunters and non-hunters, and the report for that is also available. The survey results, and other information regarding Illinois deer management, can be found on the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/wildlife/Pages/DeerOpenHouse.aspx
Late-Winter/CWD Deer Seasons: Deer hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 5,361 deer during the first segment of the 2013-14 Late-Winter/CWD Deer Seasons on Dec. 26-29, 2013. The harvest total during the same segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons in 2012-13 was 7,744 deer. The final segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons will be conducted on Jan. 17-19, 2014. Unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, and youth deer permits issued for an open county are valid during that period, provided they were issued for an open county. For those without those valid unfilled deer permits, permits for the Late-Winter Deer Season and the Special CWD Deer Season are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license vendors. The top five counties’ harvest for the first segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons: Jefferson (248), Jo Daviess (224), Randolph (206), Pike (200), and Wayne (183).
Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters may apply for the second lottery for 2014 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 second lottery for spring turkey permits is Jan. 13.
Hunters Reminded to Mail in Free Upland Permit Harvest Card: Hunters that received a 2013-2014 free upland permit to hunt at an IDNR state site are asked to return those cards to the IDNR by Feb. 15, 2014. The cards and data allow IDNR biologists to better understand upland wildlife populations and assess hunter success at state sites. Hunters must return these cards to the IDNR, or they will forfeit hunting privileges at all Free Upland Hunting sites for the following year.
Hunting Digest Contest: The IDNR is soliciting pictures of live wildlife that are hunted or trapped in Illinois to be used for the 2014-15 Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations. The contest is open to people of all ages, as long as they’re a resident of Illinois. The selected picture will be placed on the front cover of the digest, and the photographer’s name will be identified on the inside page. The top three pictures will be presented to the public at the end of March through an online survey to pick the winner, and the winning photographer will be sent 10 copies of the printed digest. Entries must be submitted by March 1, 2014. For contest details, check the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/HuntingTrappingDigests.aspx
Chicago Outdoor Sports Show: Stop by and visit with IDNR staff and Conservation Police officers, and buy your 2014 licenses, at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources booth during the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show. The annual show is at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, on Jan. 22-26. For more show information: www.chicagosportsmenshow.com/
Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo: Visit with Illinois DNR staff during the 2nd annual Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo, Jan. 23-26 at the Schaumburg Convention Center at I-90 and I-290 (Route 53), Schaumburg. For more information: www.sportshows.com/chicago/index.html
Super Saturdays: The theme for the next “Super Saturdays” at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield is “Tusks, Teeth, and Tundra: Ice Age Giants” on Sat., Jan. 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Families are invited to learn about extinct giants you won't find in any zoo: mammoths, mastodonts, giant ground sloths, and other Ice Age beasts. Activities are ideal for children ages 3-8. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, phone 217-782-6044. The Ill. St. Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield.
Camping Reservations: Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many Illinois state parks and other IDNR sites for 2014. 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/
Winter Gathering: Enjoy a traditional Native American Winter Gathering at Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, IL on Sat., Jan. 25, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors can participate in a variety of activities and demonstrations, including storytelling, music, group games and dances, doll making and beading. The event is free, but donations are welcome. For more information, phone Dickson Mounds at 309-547-3721.
Eagle Day Festival: The annual Eagle Day Festival at Dickson Mounds Museum is Sat., Feb. 8 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The event includes activities at Dickson Mounds Museum, as well as in Lewistown and Havana. Activities include art and poetry competitions, crafts for kids, live raptor programs, and bird watching. The event is sponsored by Dickson Mounds Museum, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Illinois Springfield’s Therkildsen Field Station, the Illinois Natural History Survey, the Fulton and Mason County Arts Councils, the Havana and Lewistown Chambers of Commerce, the Havana Public Library District and Nature Center, and the Emiquon Audubon Society. The event is free, but donations are welcome.
Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants: School teachers are encouraged to apply now for the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program. Pre-K through 12th grade teachers may apply for up to $500 to cover the costs of transportation and substitute teachers for a field trip to one of Illinois’ natural resources sites. The field trip must occur in the calendar year that the funds are received. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. For detailed instructions and the application form, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm
. Funding for this program is provided by the Independence Tube Corporation in Chicago and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation in Skokie.
Earth Day in the Parks: Applications are being accepted through Feb. 28 for Earth Day in the Parks events this spring. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm
to download the application form and to see the list of participating Illinois state parks. Teachers are invited to apply to involve their students in natural resources stewardship activities this spring. A grant from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund helps support Earth Day in the Parks.
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