BY SAM VAN CAMP
The 2012-2013 season marks the first Illinois trapping season for river otters since 1929.
This success story was made possible by restoration efforts in Illinois and other states in the lower Midwest. Federal laws require each otter pelt to be tagged before it is sold, which will be new to most Illinois trappers. A simple and convenient system has been set up, and more information is available on the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/trapping/Pages/RiverOtterTrapping.aspx
Resident hunters may now apply for the first lottery for 2013 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx.
The application deadline for the first lottery for 2013 resident spring turkey permits is Dec. 1. Non-residents may apply for 2013 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey permits beginning Dec. 4.
Hunters are encouraged to donate whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program – part of the IDNR ‘Target Hunger Now!’ initiative. Participating meat processors turn the donated deer into ground venison for delivery to food banks and charities in Illinois.
For more information on ‘Target Hunger Now!’ and the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, check the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/ISAH/Pages/default.aspx or by email tracy.shafer@Illinois.gov or write to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
Interested youth can register now for the 13th annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt sponsored by the IDNR on Dec. 26-27 at private waterfowl hunting clubs in Peoria, Fulton and Knox counties. Youth hunters must phone in to 785-8060 to register for a drawing to participate in the hunt. The registration deadline is Dec. 7. The drawing will be conducted on Dec. 10 and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.
For information on prospects for the 2012-13 pheasant, quail and rabbit seasons in Illinois, check the IDNR web site for the annual hunting prospects reports prepared by the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources. The links to the reports are available through the IDNR web site at: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/uplandgame/Pages/PheasantQuailAndRabbitAnnualStatusReports.aspx
Hunters are reminded that Free Site Hunting Permits (windshield cards) to hunt upland, forest game and waterfowl at IDNR sites are available online from the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov. Click on ‘Hunting/Trapping’ and then ‘Public Hunting Areas’ to print these permits.
Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are still available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors – through Dec. 2 for firearm and through Dec. 9 for muzzleloader-only deer hunting (or until quotas are exhausted). Find a vendor near you at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.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