2013 Illinois Licenses:2013 Illinois hunting, fishing and sportsman’s combination licenses are required as of April 1. The 2013 licenses are available from DNR vendors, online at www.dnr.illinois.gov/online/Pages/default.aspx or by calling (888) 673-7648. The 2013 licenses are valid through March 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.
Firearm/muzzleloader deer permits: Resident deer hunters in Illinois can apply online through April 30 for the first lottery drawings for 2013 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader-only deer season permits through DNR Direct. Click on “Online Services” tab at www.dnr.illinois.gov. Application forms in PDF format are available at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer. The first lottery drawings for firearm and muzzleloader-only deer permits are for Illinois residents only. Resident hunters can apply in both the firearm and muzzleloader-only lotteries. The 2013 Illinois firearm deer seasons are Nov. 22-24 (first season) and Dec. 5-8 (second season). The 2013 muzzleloader-only permits may be used Dec. 13-15 (and in the second firearm season, Dec. 5-8).
Safety reminder: Mushroom collectors and other visitors to Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas and other DNR-managed sites with spring turkey hunting programs in April and May are reminded that hunting areas are closed to activities other than turkey hunting from one-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. daily during the spring turkey season.
Mushrooms: No license is required for mushroom collecting in Illinois, although collectors always need landowner permission and, on public sites, must adhere to approved collecting regulations and hours. Collection of mushrooms is allowed in many DNR state parks and recreation areas but is prohibited in any area designated as a dedicated nature preserve. Areas under the jurisdiction of the IDNR that offer spring turkey hunting will not be open to mushroom collecting until after 1 p.m. daily to ensure the safety of all hunters/collectors. Restrictions will apply until the close of the wild turkey hunting seasons on May 9 in the Southern Zone and May 16 in the Northern Zone. Mushroom hunters are urged to call ahead to the state site they intend to visit to learn of any site-specific regulations regarding mushroom collecting.
Spring trout opens April 6: The 2013 spring trout fishing season opens at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. Trout anglers must have an Illinois fishing license and inland trout stamp. For details and a list of locations stocked for opening day, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov/news or www.ifishillinois.org.
Hunter and boating safety education: Check the schedule and sign up for 2013 Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses at www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety.
Camping reservations: Make campsite and shelter reservations at DNR sites at www.reserveamerica.comusing a Visa or MasterCard. For information visit http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/camping/camprsvp.htm.
Donate now to ICF: When buying 2013 Illinois hunting, fishing or sportsman’s licenses, add a donation to the Illinois Conservation Foundation to support youth hunting and fishing programs. A donation of $5 to the ICF will help recruit the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Since 2008, those buying their hunting, fishing, and sportsman’s licenses have donated more than $435,000 to support youth hunting and fishing programs by adding a donation to the ICF. Visit www.ilcf.org.
Living with Wildlife in Illinois: Spring and summer bring human-wildlife interactions and occasional conflicts. Visit the Living with Wildlife in Illinois website, http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/. It includes information on preventing wildlife damage, native wildlife in the state, and contact information for DNR wildlife staff, conservation police and nuisance wildlife. The DNR does not lend traps or remove wildlife from properties. Landowners can find DNR-licensed nuisance wildlife control operators on the website. These operators will remove nuisance animals from property or buildings, usually for a fee.
Register for wing-shooting clinics: The DNR and participating partners sponsor wing-shooting clinics throughout Illinois to improve shooting skills. Youth/women’s clinics are designed to teach firearm and hunter safety, wing-shooting fundamentals and practical wing-shooting. Hunter clinics are designed to enhance skills and impart sound practice techniques. The clinics are on many weekends from spring through late October. For a schedule, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/programs/wingshooting/WingshootingDates.htm.
Volunteers sought: The DNR is seeking volunteers at Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside, and at Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam, McHenry. For information call Stacy Iwanicki at (815) 344-1294 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.