2013 Illinois Licenses Reminder: Outdoors enthusiasts are reminded that Illinois’ new license year begins April 1. Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2013 are available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website www.dnr.illinois.gov/online/Pages/default.aspx or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The 2013 licenses will be valid through Mar. 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.
Add a Donation to the ICF: When buying your 2013 Illinois hunting, fishing, or sportsman’s license, add a donation to the Illinois Conservation Foundation to support youth hunting and fishing programs. Your additional $5.00 donation 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. Please join them, or donate anytime to the Illinois Conservation Foundation at www.ilcf.org.
(The ICF is an IRS registered 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation and all funds are held in private accounts).
Spring Turkey Applications: Random daily drawings for resident and non-resident hunters for 2013 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey permits begin March 11. The link to the online permit application can be found on the IDNR website Spring Turkey page: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx
2013 Spring Youth Wild Turkey Hunt: Over-the-counter sales of county permits for the Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season begin at 8:30 a.m. on March 5. The dates for the 2013 Spring Youth Wild Turkey season are March 30-31 in the Southern Zone and April 6-7 in the Northern Zone. For permit application and other information, check the IDNR website at this link: www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting
Register for Illinois Conservation Congress: There is still time to register online for the remaining regional discussions regarding important conservation issues as part of the 2013 Illinois Conservation Congress.
Register at www.dnr.illinois.gov/ConservationCongress. Upcoming regional meetings are scheduled at:
• South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago – March 12, 13 and 14
• Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville – March 21 and 22
Resident Firearm/Muzzleloader Deer Applications: Resident Illinois deer hunters can apply online beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tues., March 12 (through April 30) for the first lottery drawings for 2013 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader-only deer season permits through DNR Direct. Just click on the Online Services tab on the IDNR website home page at www.dnr.illinois.gov. Application forms in PDF format will be available online in April. The first lottery drawings for firearm and muzzleloader-only deer permits are for Illinois residents only. The deadline to apply for the first lottery drawings for 2013 firearm deer permits and muzzleloader-only deer permits is April 30. 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).
Hunter and Boating Safety Education: Check the schedule online and sign up now for 2013 Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR. There are plenty of classes scheduled, but they fill up quickly. Check the IDNR website 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.
New Fishing Booklet: The 2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information guide is 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.
Wildlife Preservation Grant Applications: Applications are now being accepted through 5 p.m. on April 1 for the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund grant programs, which are administered through the IDNR Division of Natural Heritage. These programs are funded through a voluntary check-off designation to the Wildlife Preservation Fund on the state income tax form. Each of the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Grant Program packets for Fiscal Year 2014 includes a program explanation, instructions for completing the application form, and an application form. The application packet can be found on the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/grants/index.htm. The packet is also available by request by calling 217-782-2602 or by e-mail at DNR.SPECIALFUNDS@illinois.gov.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Registration opens March 6 for the IDNR ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ Workshop on June 7-9 at the Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Illinois. ‘Becoming an Outdoors Woman’ workshops are designed to provide introductory instruction and experiences in many outdoor-related activities and skills. Examples of classes include canoeing, archery, handguns, nature jewelry, mammal trapping, wild edibles, basic fishing, rifle, outdoor cooking, and many more.
Class instruction is offered in a fun, non-competitive, and hands-on environment. BOW workshops are very popular, so register early. The cost of $215 per person includes housing, meals, classes, use of equipment, transportation during the event, and much more. Registration will begin March 6 online at www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/bow.
Camping Reservations: Now’s the time to make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America 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/camprsvp.htm
ISM Science Series: The Ill. St. Museum’s monthly Science Series program on March 6 is “The Grand Island Archaeology: Twelve Years of Research on Lake Superior's South Shore.” The free program will begin at 7 p.m. on March 6 at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash, Springfield. The program will be presented by Dr. James Skibo of Illinois State University. Grand Island is the largest island on the south shore of Lake Superior, and has been continuously occupied from 2,000 B.C. to the present. For more information on the lecture, phone 217-782-0061 or www.museum.state.il.us/events.
Super Saturdays: The Ill. St. Museum’s ‘Super Saturdays’ program for children on Sat., Mar. 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. is “Illinois Women from A to Z.” Women have always played an important role in our state. Celebrate "Women's History Month" at the ISM and learn about the many contributions women have made in our state from Art to Zoology. The Museum is located at 502 S. Spring St. in Springfield (in the State Capitol Complex). For more information on this free event, phone 217-782-6044 or check the website at www.museum.state.il.us/events.
Junior Collector's Day: The Ill. St. Museum in Springfield hosts its Junior Collector’s Day event on Sat., Mar. 9 from 1-3 p.m. Come to the Museum and explore the collections of area children and teens, including rocks and minerals, coins, toys, and more. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 years old can display a collection and meet other young collectors. There is no fee, but registration is required. Contact Nina Walthall at email@example.com or 217-782-0061. The event is free and open to the public. The Ill. St. Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex at 502 S. Spring St. in Springfield.
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