Hunting seasons drawing to an end

January 14, 2010 at 06:43 PM
Late-winter details Here's a list of counties open to the late-winter, antlerless-only hunt and a list of state sites that will be open to the hunt. LW_counties.pdf LW_Sites_open.pdf LW_Info_sheet.pdf LW_counties_map.pdf

These are bittersweet days for many hunters. After this weekend, only a few species will be fair game in Illinois.

Pheasant and quail seasons end Friday in the South Zone, though rabbit season will remain open in that zone through Jan. 22.

Even the nearly four-month long deer season ends Sunday, as archery and the second segment of the late-winter firearm hunts both conclude.

Warmer weather this weekend should give more hunters a chance to get out and bag one last doe, should they choose. Permits are available over the counter for some Illinois counties. Unfilled firearm permits can also be used, provided the county for which they were issued is open to hunting.

Through Monday, archery hunters had shot 62,801 deer compared to last year’s total of 63,620 at the same time. Of those, 50.3 percent were does. Top counties are Pike 3,472, Fulton 1,766, Jefferson 1,471, Adams 1,379 and Peoria 1,274. Archery hunters are reminded that they can hunt this weekend if they wear blaze orange. But archery hunters are not allowed to carry a firearm.

Beyond that, hunting is legal for Canada geese (through Jan. 31 in the Central and South zones), fox (through Jan. 31), squirrel (through Feb. 15), crow (through Feb. 28), raccoon (through Feb. 10 in the North Zone, Feb. 15 in the South), woodchuck, coyote and skunk.

Looks like it will be time to get out the crow decoys or the predator calls.