Illinois hunting: Dove opener, updated, still down (adjusted)

SHARE Illinois hunting: Dove opener, updated, still down (adjusted)

(NOTE: Adjusted the chart so it is all hunters, doves, dph).

Across public sites in Illinois, it was a down opening day for dove hunters, even with a couple additions to the top-end averages.

There was even one blank and one near-blank for the opener, the first I ever remember that happening on opening day.

One of the traditional hotspots, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, did much better on Day 2, the opener for hunting the even fields. On Wednesday (Day 2) on the even fields, 118 hunters killed 1,182 doves for an average of 10.0 doves per hunter, best I heard of in the state. Day 2 included 46 limits.

On opening day, the odd fields at Jim Edgar Panther Creek were hunted and results were way down (4.8 doves per hunter) and there were only 12 limits.

Only one site was close to the Day 2 numbers at Jim Edgar Panther Creek and that was Edward R. Madigan SFWA, where 30 hunters took 288 doves for an average of 9.6 birds per hunter.

Most years, both of those averages would be good, but not at the top.

This is not most years. 

Both surpassed Green River State Wildlife Area where 119 hunters took 891 doves for an average of 7.5 doves per hunter on opening day.

Here are the numbers I updated with the two additions at the top around the state, focused on northeast Illinois sites.

Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Day 2, even fields): 118 hunters, 1,182 doves, 10.0 doves per hunter

Edward R. Madigan SFWA: 30, 288, 9.6

Green River SWA:119, 891, 7.5 

Kankakee River SP:44, 316, 7.2

Matthiessen SP:99, 505, 99, 5.1

Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA:136, 657, 4.8

Des Plaines SFWA:87, 347, 87, 4.0

Silver Springs SFWA:75, 159, 2.1

Iroquois County SWA:63, 119, 1.9

Shabbona Lake SP:51, (most hunters left early, only one group stayed), 2, 0

Chain O’Lakes SP:16, 0, 0

Marseilles SFWA:No draw, check-in at gates. No sunflowers or millet. No numbers on opening day. NOTE: The site is NOT open Friday, Saturday or Sunday over the Labor Day weekend.

Mazonia SFWA:Closed this year for dove hunting.

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