Illinois Department of Natural Resources Newsbits

IDNR programs and upcoming events for March

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[March 05, 2014]  SPRINGFIELD The notes below highlight March programs and events presented by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

2014 Illinois licenses reminder: Outdoors enthusiasts are reminded that Illinois' new license year begins April 1. Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman's combination licenses for 2014 are available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website (click here), or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The 2014 licenses will be valid through March 31, 2015, unless otherwise noted. When buying a 2014 Illinois hunting, fishing or sportsman's license, add a donation to the Illinois Conservation Foundation to support youth hunting and fishing programs. An additional $5 donation to the ICF will help recruit the next generation of outdoors enthusiasts.

Spring turkey applications: Random daily drawings for resident and nonresident hunters for Illinois spring wild turkey permits begin March 10. The link to the online permit application is available on the IDNR website "Spring Turkey Hunting" page.

Spring wild turkey youth hunt: Over-the-counter sales of county permits for the spring youth wild turkey season began on Tuesday. The dates for the season are March 29-30 in the Southern Zone and April 5-6 in the Northern Zone. For a permit application and other information, check the IDNR website (click here).

Spring trout season opens April 5: The spring trout fishing season in Illinois will begin at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 5. The catchable trout program is made possible through the sale of inland trout stamps to those anglers who participate. Unless exempt, anglers must have a valid Illinois fishing license and an inland trout stamp. A list of sites for the spring catchable trout program is available on the IDNR website (click here). Note that an earlier announcement incorrectly included Gebhard Woods State Park as a spring trout location; Gebhard Woods is not open to spring trout fishing.

Fishing booklet: The 2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available in PDF format through the IDNR website at Regulations in the guide are effective through March 31, 2015. Illinois Free Fishing Days for 2014 are June 6-9.

Hunter and boating safety education: Hunter safety education and boating safety education courses from the IDNR are posted on the IDNR website, where class schedules are updated frequently. Sign up for a safety course today. The website link for all IDNR safety education course information is

Wingshooting clinics: IDNR and cooperating co-sponsors will conduct 31 wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois from March through early November this year. Most of the clinics are on weekends. Wingshooting clinics are on IDNR sites, cooperating gun clubs, hunting preserves and farms. Youth and women's wingshooting clinics are about learning to safely shoot a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability. Boys and girls, typically in the 10-15 age group, and women, are eligible to participate. Hunter wingshooting clinics are hands-on and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on sporting clays courses specifically designed for teaching typical hunting situations. For this year's wingshooting clinic schedule and more information, check the IDNR website (click here).

Hunting and concealed carry: IDNR reminds Illinois concealed carry permit holders that they must comply with current wildlife code laws and regulations while hunting in Illinois. The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement has prepared a fact sheet with common questions and answers (PDF) to help guide concealed carry permit holders who hunt on or use IDNR properties. The fact sheet is on the IDNR website at

Super Saturdays: The next "Super Saturdays" program at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield is "Eagles, Falcons, and Hawks: Not Just Sports Teams" on March 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program on raptors will include crafts, activities and live raptors from the Treehouse Wildlife Center. The free program is for children and families. For more information, call the museum at 217-782-6044. The museum is in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.

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Science series: The March Science Series program at the Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center in Springfield is "Spanish Entradas and Indian Roads: The 16th Century Interior of the U.S. Southeast" on Wednesday, March 12, at 7 p.m. Dr. Kathryn Sampeck of Illinois State University will present the program on recent archaeological work that has recovered abundant remains of 16th-century settlements. For more information, phone 217-782-0061. The center is at 1011 E. Ash in Springfield.

Wildlife preservation grant applications: Applications are now being accepted through 5 p.m. on April 1 for the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund grant programs, which are administered through the IDNR Division of Natural Heritage. These programs are funded through a voluntary checkoff designation to the Wildlife Preservation Fund on the state income tax form. Each of the grant program packets for fiscal 2015 includes a program explanation, instructions for completing the application form and an application form. The application packet is available on the IDNR website at The packet is also available on request by calling 217-782-2602 or by email at

"Becoming an Outdoors-Woman": Registration is now open for the IDNR "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" workshop on June 6-8 at the Lorado Taft Field Campus in Oregon, Ill. "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" workshops are designed to provide introductory instruction and experiences in many outdoor-related activities and skills. Class instruction is offered in a noncompetitive, hands-on environment. These workshops are very popular, so register early. The cost of $220 per person includes housing, meals, classes, use of equipment, transportation during the event and much more. Registration information is online at

Bird watching at Emiquon: Novice and seasoned birders are invited to a morning of bird watching at the Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown on Saturday, March 29, from 7 to 10 a.m. Binoculars will be available. A light brunch will be available at the Dickson Mounds Museum after the bird watching. For more information, phone 309-547-3721.

Memorial open water swim at Lincoln Trail State Park: Make plans to participate in or attend the Geoffrey Keller Memorial Open Water Swim on Saturday, June 21, at Lincoln Trail Lake at Lincoln Trail State Park, Marshall. The inaugural event will be in honor of the late Geoffrey Keller and in support of malignant hyperthermia awareness. For more information, call the Lincoln Trail State Park office at 217-826-2222, or check the website (click here).

Camping reservations: Now's the time to make campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at, using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website (click here).

Follow the IDNR: Keep up-to-date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. To find links, click here.

[Text from Illinois Department of Natural Resources file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

Follow the IDNR on Facebook and Twitter.

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