Hunting Season is Here...Save These Dates!

As the acorns begin dropping, my thoughts quickly turn to the upcoming hunting seasons. Remember these important dates:

Squirrel Hunting Season Opened August 1
Squirrel hunters are now the first guys in the woods. The season already opened August 1 and runs through February 15, 2012. Bag limit is 5 squirrels per day. The season is closed during the firearm deer season.

Dove Hunting Opens September 1
Illinois’ first segment of the Dove season runs September 1 through October 28, 2012. Daily bag limit is 15 birds, with 30 the possession limit. Most state sites require a permit.

Hunter Safety Courses
Ready to introduce your youngster to the great outdoors? Illinois Safety Courses are the best way to start. Register now for upcoming hunter safety courses sanctioned by the IDNR. There are plenty of upcoming 2-day classes offered throughout Chicagoland and the suburbs during September, October, and November.  It’s Illinois State law that anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 may not be issued an Illinois hunting license unless they pass the course (or have a previously issued license).  For a list of locations and dates nearest you, CLICK HERE.

Fall Mushroom Hunting
Sheephead mushrooms usually start popping up around September 9. A little rain and warm temps will help create prime conditions. Check for updates.

Firearm Deer Permits
Permit applications will be accepted from Aug. 14 through Sept. 10 for random daily drawings for 2012 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits.  For details, check the IDNR website at

Illinois Crossbow Season
The long-anticipated open crossbow archery season officially opens December 3, 2012 and runs through January 20, 2013.  Check back here for more details and updates.

2012-13 Waterfowl Season
The Illinois DNR recently announced proposed season dates. The new seasons and dates are based on a five-year plan that was developed last year and continues through the 2015 season. Illinois Waterfowl Regular Season Dates for 2012-13 are:
North Zone
Youth – Oct. 13-14
Duck – Oct. 20 – Dec. 18
Canada goose – Oct. 20 – Jan. 17, 2013
Central Zone
Youth- Oct. 20-21
Duck – Oct. 27 – Dec. 25
Canada goose – Oct. 27 – Nov. 12 and Nov. 20 – Jan. 31, 2013
Get full season dates and details CLICK HERE.

For more details, specific rules and regulations visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website at


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