BY SAM VAN CAMP
---- — Controlled pheasant hunting oppor tunities will be available at 19 Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites this fall, and the 2013-14 season dates and permit reservation information are now available online.
Fifteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while four other sites continue to be operated in a public/private partnership arrangement between the IDNR and concessionaire T. Miller, Inc.
“The controlled pheasant hunting program provides an upland game hunting experience for thousands of hunters in Illinois each year, as well as a great chance for youth hunters to have success,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “We hear from many hunters who appreciate the program, and now is the time for hunters to start planning for the upcoming season.”
The online permit reservation system for the 15 IDNR-operated sites opens on Aug. 5 and permit information, season dates, and other information are now available. Detailed information and permit reservations are available for the four sites managed by T. Miller, Inc. Hunters need to review the application instructions and season information accessible online prior to submitting an application.
On IDNR-operated sites, the daily permit fee for the controlled pheasant program is $30 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters. The daily permit fee applies to each hunter. Hunters will be required to pay for reserved permits in advance over a secure Internet system using an American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card. The credit card account will be billed when hunters submit an application. A transaction fee of $2.50 will be assessed for each application, except for applications submitted for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt.
The public/private partnership controlled pheasant hunting areas are Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County, Silver Springs State Park in Kendall County, Ramsey Lake State Park in Fayette County, and Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County. Information about controlled pheasant hunting at these sites is available on the concessionaire’s website at www.tmillerinc.com or via a link on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.
Of the 15 sites operated by the IDNR, five provide only the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt opportunity for young hunters between the ages of 10-15. Those five sites are the Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County, Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in DeWitt County, Edward Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area in LoganCounty, Sangchris Lake State Park in Christian and Sangamon Counties, and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Randolph County.
Nine sites provide lengthy hunting seasons for hunters, as well as special hunting days for young hunters. Those nine sites are Johnson Sauk Trail State Park in Henry County, the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area in Will County, Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County, the Iroquois County State Wildlife Area, Moraine View State Recreation Area in McLean County, Sand Ridge State Forest in Mason County, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County, Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area in Clinton County, and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Jefferson and Franklin Counties.
Planning to hunt this fall but never taken a hunter education course? Now is the time to sign up for a course. You’ll need that Hunter-Ed certificate to acquire your license. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1980 needs to complete a Hunter-Ed course before they can purchase their hunting license. Experienced hunters may also wish to take the course as a refresher on safety tips.
For more information check out the IDNR’s Hunter Safety Website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/HunterSafety.aspx.
Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org