BY SAM VAN CAMP
Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses are available now from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website Online Services page at www.dnr.illinois.gov/online/Pages/default.aspx, or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).
The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2013 licenses will be valid through March 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.
The 2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in PDF format through the IDNR website at: www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing. Regulations in the guide are effective April 1 through March 31, 2014. Illinois Free Fishing Days for 2013 are June 7-10.
Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2013. Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica 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/
Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area online permit applications will be accepted online through Monday.
For more information on 2013 spring turkey hunting, check the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx Spring Youth Turkey Season County Permits will be available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors beginning on March 5.
IRAP looking for young hunters
The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) is now taking applications from young hunters for 2013 spring turkey hunting. Youth hunters will be assigned a hunt site in one of the 23 counties in which private property has been leased by IDNR.
Most assigned hunting areas are at least 40 acres in size and all have been evaluated for turkey activity and the high possibility of a good hunting experience for the youth. Eligible youth hunters must be under the age of 16 at the time of the hunt and must have completed a hunter safety education course.
Applicants can apply for two of the three turkey seasons for which IRAP has leased sites for the spring of 2013 — Youth Season, third season and fourth season. For more information, go to www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/irap.
Mushroom season almost here
Spring is just around the corner and I’m already being asked about the mushroom season ahead. Some readers of this column have told me they fear the lack of winter rain and snow will play havoc with the mushroom season.
Mushroom spores emerge from the top layers of soil and can grow with ample rainfall at proper times. A good mushroom season does not depend on how much rain there is in the deep soil layers but rather on good warm rains with no real high temperatures.
The last few seasons we have had a limited amount of rainfall at the proper times coupled with extremely warm temperatures in April; hopefully we won’t get a repeat of the last several years.
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