goose season to close Monday
in Central Illinois Quota Zone and
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SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Department of Natural
Resources Director Joel Brunsvold announced Friday that the Central Illinois
Quota Zone and Central Zone will close to Canada goose, white-fronted goose
and brant hunting at sunset on Monday (Jan. 24).
Illinois is required by federal
regulations to close the goose season before exceeding the quota in
any quota zone. The entire Central Zone was scheduled to close Jan.
31 but is closing early due to projections that the Canada goose
harvest quota in the zone will have been reached by Jan. 24.
Illinois monitors the Canada goose harvest to project when zone
quotas will be reached. This season's quota for the entire Central
Zone is 33,700 geese, with 17,500 of those allocated to the Central
Illinois Quota Zone.
hunting conditions improved dramatically in central Illinois right
after Christmas, and many hunters have been taking their limit,"
said John Buhnerkempe, chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources.
"With hunters taking advantage of the opportunity, we are getting
close to the quota and will need to close Canada goose hunting in
the Central Zone and Central Illinois Quota Zone seven days earlier
With the early closure, hunters will
have had a 79-day regular goose season plus a 15-day September
season in the Central Zone this year. Because Illinois monitors the
goose harvest and closes seasons before exceeding quotas, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Mississippi Flyway Council allow
Illinois to offer more extensive goose hunting opportunity during
the regular season.
The early closing of the Canada
goose season in the Central Illinois Quota Zone and the Central Zone
will also close the season for hunting white-fronted geese and brant
and will close the regular season for hunting light geese -- snow,
blue and Ross' geese -- in the zones. The duck season in the Central
Zone closed on Dec. 28.
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The end to the regular season for
hunting light geese triggers an early start to the conservation
order light goose season in the zones. Beginning Jan. 25 and
continuing through March 31 in the entire Central Zone, Illinois
will allow the use of electronic goose calls and unplugged shotguns
for hunting light geese. There will be no daily bag limit for
hunters taking light geese, and hunting hours will be from a
half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.
Federal law prohibits states from
opening a conservation order light goose season until all regular
waterfowl seasons are closed. Illinois is implementing the
regulations as part of a federal conservation order intended to
protect arctic habitat from an overpopulation of light geese. The
conservation order light goose season opened Jan. 10 in the North
Zone and is scheduled to open Feb. 1 in the South Zone.
The Canada goose season closed Jan.
9 in the Northern Illinois Quota Zone and the North Zone and is
scheduled to close Jan. 31 in the Southern Illinois Quota Zone and
the South Zone, unless the quota is reached earlier.
Canada goose harvest reports are
available toll-free by calling (877) 249-3679.
Department of Natural Resources news release]