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Pheasant hunting levels restored

[DEC. 30, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Many of the pheasants that escaped from flight-holding pens at two Department of Natural Resources wildlife propagation centers as a result of a Thanksgiving week snowstorm have been recaptured. In the weeks since the storm, staff at the Des Plaines and James C. Helfrich Centers recovered more than half of the escaped pheasants. These two wildlife propagation centers incurred substantial damage in that storm. Damage resulted in breeches in the facilities, leading to the escape of the pheasants.

For the remainder of the hunting season, hunter numbers and pheasants released at each controlled pheasant hunting site will be restored to the levels in place prior to the snowstorm. The sites include Johnson Sauk Trail State Park in Henry County, the Des Plaines Conservation Area in Will County, Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County, Moraine View State Park in McLean County, Sand Ridge State Forest in Mason County, the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County, Eldon Hazlet State Park in Clinton County, and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in Jefferson and Franklin counties.

The department's online reservation system for controlled pheasant hunting remains available. The reservation system is located on the Internet at Reserved permits can be obtained up to 48 hours before each hunt date. Hunters are encouraged to secure a reserved permit; however, standby permits are also available at each site.

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Three other controlled pheasant hunting sites operated by a concessionaire were unaffected by the storm and remain open. Those sites are 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 hunting on these sites is also available at or by contacting the concessionaire, T. Miller Inc., P.O. Box 7002, Springfield, IL 62791-7002; phone (217) 793-6146.

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources news release]

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