Illinois hunting: Field conditions and prospects at some Illinois public sites

Here is the annual list of field conditions and prospects for dove hunting at public sites in northeast Illinois and select Downstate sites.

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A dove sits on a wire with starlings above the weed seeds along a ditch in a collar county. Credit: Dale Bowman

A dove sits on a wire with starlings above the weed seeds along a ditch in a collar county.

Dale Bowman

Here is the annual ranking of field conditions and prospects for dove hunting at nearby and some Downstate public sites. Opening day in Illinois is Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Please click here for the details of the changes in procedures this year. Only hunters with permits will be hunting the first five days. Permit holders should have received a letter with specific details. Mine arrived Monday.

The bigger question than the field conditions may be the weather, specifically what the weekend cold snap will do and if the remnants of Laura will have any impact.

Des Plaines SFWA: Best nearby sunflowers.

Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA: Permit holders will hunt all six fields daily so all hunters will be over sunflowers. Seeing birds. As of now, there is a plan for a drive-by draw for days 6-10.

Iroquois County SWA: Decent sunflowers with some ragweed, doves “using site hard at the moment” earlier in the week.

Matthiessen SP: Sunflowers drying well. Permit-holders will be allowed through the gates, which have been closed since the derecho.

Shabbona SP: Decent crop of sunflowers, millet and wheat, some ragweed.

Kankakee River SP: Decent sunflowers, some ragweed.

Silver Springs SFWA: Optimistic, some birds, good drying sunflowers.

Green River SWA: Good sunflowers at five fields

Chain O’Lakes SP: Good pearl millet.

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