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Illinois deer hunting season news round-up

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Youth Firearm Deer Hunt: The Illinois Youth Either-Sex Firearm Deer Hunt is Oct. 10-11.  Permits for this season will be available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning in mid-September.  For a list of Illinois public hunting areas open for the Youth Either-Sex Firearm Deer Hunt, check the IDNR web site at this link:

Sahara Woods Archery Deer Changes: The IDNR will conduct a new site drawing for the 2009-2010 archery deer hunting program at the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in Saline Co. west of Harrisburg. Hunters interested in bow hunting at Sahara Woods must be present for the site drawing on Sat., Sept. 12. Groups of up to four hunters will be eligible to enter the drawing with one entry per group. Registration will open at 8 a.m. with the drawing beginning at 10:30 a.m. No one may register for the drawing after it begins. A total of 150 Sahara Woods archery deer hunting site permits for the entire archery deer season will be issued. The drawing will be open to resident and non-resident hunters. Non-residents must have obtained an Illinois non-resident archery deer permit at the time of the drawing to be eligible to participate in the site drawing. The registration and drawing on Sept. 12 will be held at the Sahara Woods SFWA site office, 1210 Tipple Road, Carrier Mills, IL. For more information on the archery deer hunting program and the site drawing for Sahara Woods, contact Eric McClusky at (618)276-4405.

Coffeen Upland Unit Youth Deer Drawing: The IDNR will conduct a drawing on Sept. 20 for three youth to hunt deer during the Youth Firearm Deer Season, October 10-11.  The special youth hunt will take place at the Coffeen Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area’s Upland Management Area.  Participating youth must have a valid Montgomery County Youth Firearm Deer Permit.  To be eligible for the drawing, the youth’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and Montgomery County Youth Firearm Deer Permit number must be printed on a 3" x 5" postcard and received at the site office by the close of business on Sept. 18. Late entries will not be accepted.   Entrants for the youth hunt are not required to be present at the drawing. The site mailing address is: Coffeen Lake SFWA, P.O. Box 517, Coffeen, IL  62017. For more information contact the site office at (217)537-3351 or

Youth Deer Hunt Changes at Kaskaskia River SFWA: The IDNR will sponsor the annual Special Youth Deer Hunt on the Baldwin Lake rest area at Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area on Oct. 10-11 with a different procedure than has been used in recent years.  Instead of a pre-registration, the 26 deer hunting locations at the site will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  The special hunt area is between Baldwin Lake and the Doza Creek Waterfowl Management Area. The main gate at Baldwin Lake will be open until 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 for youth hunters and accompanying adults to select a deer hunting location and erect a deer stand. (Blaze orange required while at the site).  Hunting must be from an elevated stand at least six feet high and within 10 yards of the selected signed and numbered hunting location. Additional rules about the hunt and maps of the special hunt area and hunting locations will be available at the site’s check station next to the Baldwin Lake office on Oct. 9 and during the special two-day hunt.  Participating youth must have either a St. Clair County or Randolph County Youth Deer Hunt permit and follow statewide regulations for the youth hunt.  In addition to this special hunt at the Baldwin Lake rest area, the rest of the Kaskaskia River SFWA and Turkey Bluffs SFWA south of Chester are also open during the youth hunt.  For more information, call Brian Mahan at (618) 295-2877.

Piatt Unit Archery Deer Hunting: The Weldon Springs State Park Piatt County Unit has new regulations in place for bow hunters for the 2009-2010 archery deer season. In the past, hunters were required to apply to be entered into a drawing for a one-week hunt at the site. This year, the drawing has been eliminated in order to better accommodate hunters and improve deer management at the site. Hunters are required to sign in and out on the site check-in sheets located at each parking area at the Piatt County Unit to provide vital data to the IDNR. Also, deer stands must be removed daily. The Piatt County Unit regulations also continue to require that hunters harvest a doe prior to taking a buck from the site. All other regulations for the site, including season dates, hunting hours and licensing are according to statewide regulations.  At the Piatt County Unit, all hunters that harvest any deer must check in their deer at the Allerton Park archery check station. Researchers from the University of Illinois have been collecting important information on the local deer herd. Tissue samples, age, weight, and body measurements are being taken to assist research on Lyme disease, chronic wasting disease, and deer population dynamics. For more information on checking in deer from the Piatt County Unit, contact Drew Becker at (217)649-2648. The check station is located at 646 Allerton Road, with hours of operation from 8 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The check in procedure for deer taken from the site takes only a few minutes while providing very valuable information to researchers.
DesPlaines SFWA Permits: Hunters interested in archery deer hunting at DesPlaines State Fish and Wildlife Area can call and arrange to pick up the 2009 archery deer hunting parking permits for the site through Nov. 30 at the site office located at 24621 North River Road, Wilmington, IL 60481. Hunters who want a parking permit for Des Plaines SFWA must call the site office at 815/423-5326 in advance to make an appointment to obtain the permit.  Archery deer hunters wanting a parking permit are required to have a 2009 hunting license and habitat stamp.

Public Hunting Areas Report: The Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report is now available on the IDNR web site at this link:
The report provides Illinois public land hunting effort and harvest data for the 2008-09 hunting season.  The report includes data on trends in wildlife harvest, public land use, and sites available for hunting opportunities throughout Illinois.  The IDNR currently offers 187 public land sites for hunting.

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