Free Fishing Days: The 2011 Illinois Free Fishing Days are scheduled for June 10-13. During Illinois Free Fishing Days, anyone may fish without the need to have a sport fishing license, inland trout stamp or salmon stamp.
Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair: Families are invited to the 20th annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair on Sat., June 11 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton. Fishing poles, bait and supplies are provided during the free event, with information stations, educational activities, music, and entertainment. The event is hosted by the IDNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, phone 618/786-3323, ext. 1.
State Parks Magazine: The latest edition of the Illinois State Parks booklet is now available. The free booklet can be ordered (or downloaded in PDF format) online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications
Apply Now for Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits: The online lottery application period is now open for Non-Resident Illinois Archery Combination Deer permits for the 2011-12 deer season. The deadline to apply is June 30. Non-resident hunters can apply for the lottery through DNR Direct Online License Sales at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/online
or by phone at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). Non-residents may apply for one combination archery permit per season. Antlerless-only archery permits will be available throughout the season over the counter at local license agents, by phone or through DNR Direct Online License Sales. The upcoming Illinois archery deer season is Oct. 1, 2011-Jan. 15, 2012 (except closed in firearm deer counties on Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4). For more information on Illinois deer hunting, check the IDNR web site at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer
Fall Turkey Permits: Permit applications are now being accepted for the first lottery for 2011 Illinois Fall Shotgun Wild Turkey season. The season dates are Oct. 22-30. The application deadline for the first lottery drawing (Illinois residents only) is July 5. Hunters may apply online through DNR Direct at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/online
. For more information on the fall wild turkey season: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey
Proposed Illinois Duck Zone Lines and Season Dates for Next Five Years Posted on IDNR Website: The IDNR has scheduled public waterfowl open house meetings this month in regions of the state where hunters have a high potential to be impacted by possible changes in season structure and zone boundaries. A new zone may be added in southern Illinois and there is a need to gather more information to determine the best location to place the new zone lines for the hunters affected. Comments collected at the open houses will supplement information already provided by hunters throughout the state on the annual random waterfowl hunter survey. Additionally, hunter opinions will be used in conjunction with aerial survey data, weather data, and input from IDNR field staff to make decisions regarding the best season dates and zone lines for a majority of hunters.
Each open house meeting is from 5-8:30 p.m.:
• Monday, June 6 – PASA Park, Barry (located off I-72, exit 20, west of Pittsfield in Pike Co.)
• Tuesday, June 7 – Community Building in Olney City Park, 502 White Squirrel Circle (off Rt. 130), Olney
• Wednesday, June 8 – John A. Logan College (Clifford Doc Batteau Room F-103), 700 Logan College Rd., Carterville
• Thursday, June 9 – Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) regional office, 1102 Eastport Plaza Dr., Collinsville (north off of I-55 at exit 11)
• Wednesday, June 15 – Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area hunter check station, 24621 River Rd., Wilmington (west off of I-55 at exit 241)
Hunters in any part of the state are welcome to attend the open houses. Waterfowl hunters who are not able to attend one of the public forums are encouraged to review information and proposals on the IDNR website posted at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl
. Input from hunters who review this information will be considered during development of final recommendations.
Hunters who do attend the meetings will find additional detailed information regarding the IDNR’s goals for setting zone lines and season dates, federal options allowed for duck zones, along with important pros and cons of each option, aerial waterfowl survey results, Illinois Waterfowl Hunter Survey results, information on average freeze up dates, proposed duck and goose season dates for the next five years, and maps showing existing and proposed new duck zone lines. Meeting attendees will also be given two short surveys to gather opinions regarding proposed zone lines and season dates.
Those who cannot attend one of the open house meetings are encouraged to give their opinions regarding duck zone lines and proposed season dates for ducks and geese by reviewing information at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl
and by providing comments by e-mail at DNR.firstname.lastname@example.org
through June 30.
Take the Kids Outside: June is “Leave No Child Inside Month” in Illinois and the IDNR encourages youth and families to get outdoors. Go fishing or hiking – visit a state or local park – or simply enjoy nature in your own backyard. For information on youth and family activities: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LNCI
U.S. Open and Willie Nelson: The World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta welcomes the 2011 ATA U.S. Open Trapshooting Championships on June 9-12. For more information on the U.S. Open, phone 618-295-2700 ext. 8352. Willie Nelson’s ‘County Throwdown Tour 2011’ makes a stop at the WSRC on Sat., June 11, with gates opening at 1 p.m. For concert tickets, or for information on the free concert on Fri., June 10, check the website at www.countrythrowdown.com
. Tickets are also available at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex’s Great Outdoors Company, Inc. gift shop and the 17th Street Bar and Grill.
ISM Science Series: “Social Networks and Social Lives: An Examination of Free African-American Pioneers in Illinois” is the topic of the June program in the Illinois State Museum’s free Science Series on Wed., June 8 at 7 p.m. at the museum’s Research and Collections Center in Springfield. Presenter Annelise Morris will examine Pinkstaff, Illinois, a community near the Wabash River in Lawrence County founded in the early 19th century by a small group of free African Americans fleeing prejudice in South Carolina and Kentucky. The ISM Research and Collections Center is located at 1011 East Ash Street in Springfield. For more program information: http://www.museum.state.il.us/events
Backyard Wildlife: In celebration of "Leave No Child Inside" Month, the June ‘Super Saturdays’ program for children at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield will focus on the creatures that live in their backyards. The event is on Sat., June 11 with program times from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for youngsters to search for wildlife on the museum grounds, make animal crafts, and learn about wildlife in Illinois. At 11 a.m., Springfield storyteller Cathy Mosley will captivate children and their families with nature stories. For more program/event information: http://www.museum.state.il.us/events
or phone 217/782-6044.
Boating Infrastructure: Local governments, privately-owned marinas and boatyards have until August 31 to apply for grants available to provide temporary docking facilities for large boats through the federal 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 IDNR Federal Aid/Special Funds Section. For additional information, call 217/782-2602.
OutdoorIllinois: Featured on the cover of the June 2011 issue of OutdoorIllinois is a Ray Mathis photograph of Moraine Hills State Park, one of the publicly-owned parks in northeastern Illinois included within the proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge study area. A feature article provides details on the process underway to examine the potential for creating an urban refuge to span the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Other features this month include delicious recipes for preparing Asian carp, the making of a hybrid striped bass fishery at Clinton Lake, selecting native plants for your landscape, barn owls and the Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair. 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
Take a Shot: Get your camera ready and look through your photo album; it’s time for the annual OutdoorIllinois photo contest. The 2011 contest is our 12th contest, and the February 2012 issue of OutdoorIllinois, where all winning images will be published, will be our eighth-annual photographic issue. New this year is a special category celebrating how Illinoisans are returning to the basics and involving the children in their families in nature. Other categories are: mammals, birds, invertebrates, other fauna (reptiles, amphibians, aquatic organisms), scenic/landscape, flora (plants, mushrooms), natural resource recreational activities and young shutterbugs (same categories as above but taken by persons 12 years of age or younger). The photo contest is open to all Illinois residents and entries are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 5, 2011. Contest guidelines are available in the May 2011 issue of OutdoorIllinois and are posted at www.dnr.state.il.us/OI
Online Free Site Hunting Permits – East Central Illinois Sites: Hunters are reminded that Free Site Hunting Permits (windshield cards) to hunt upland, forest game and waterfowl at east central Illinois IDNR sites are now available online from the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov
. Navigate to ‘Hunting/Trapping’ and then ‘Public Hunting Areas’ to print these permits. Hunters are encouraged to view the link to hunter fact sheets also available at the site. Watch the IDNR homepage link for new sites being added to this online service in 2011. For information or assistance, hunters should contact the site where they intend to hunt. For most species, hunters will be required to return to this website prior to February 15 each year to record harvest information.
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 will be conducted on weekends throughout the summer and early fall. For a complete schedule, check the webpage at this link: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/wingshooting/wingshootinghome.htm
Upcoming clinics (and information phone numbers) include:
• June 4-5 – Hunter Wingshooting Clinic, Des Plaines SFWA (Will Co.), 217/785-8129
• June 11 – Youth/Women Wingshooting Clinic, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741
• June 18-19 – Hunter Wingshooting Clinic, Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club (Lee Co.), 815/857-2320
• June 25-26 – Youth/Women Wingshooting Clinic, St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club (Kane Co.), 630/363-6180
• Aug. 20-21 – Youth/Women Wingshooting Clinic, Raycraft Farm (Piatt Co.), 217/935-6860
• Aug. 20-21 – Youth/Women Wingshooting Clinic, Shabbona Lake SRA (DeKalb Co.), 815/758-2773
• Aug. 27-28 – Hunter Wingshooting Clinic, Raycraft Farm (Piatt Co.), 815/935-6860
Butterflies: The Illinois State Museum invites families to a celebration of butterflies at the museum in Springfield on Sat., June 25 from 11 a.m. - 3p.m. Families and children attending will see live butterflies and specimens from the museum's collections, learn how to attract butterflies to their yards, learn the differences between moths and butterflies, make crafts, and play games. The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 S. Spring in Springfield. For more information, phone 217/782-5993.
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