Big bucks and small game: Illinois Hunting Report 11-04-08

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Hunters lined up for the opening of upland game on Saturday, despite near-record heat.


This crew was working fields in the border of Iroquois and Ford counties near Paxton.

The other big news is big bucks are beginning to move, as witnessed by the 13-pointer Brandon Lipke bagged in 70 degrees on Sunday, earning him the fall’s first Buck of the Week.

In other good news, crop harvest is picking up, though it remains behind. By Sunday, corn was 66 percent harvested; while soybeans are nearing completion at 90.

During the hunting seasons, the extended online Illinois Hunting Report, which comes at the end of the Midwest Fishing Report in the Sun-Times on Wednesday, is posted here on Tuesdays.

If you have suggestions, email me at or post in the comments.

Full report follows.


District 5 State Police will open their range in Lockport on Saturday, Nov. 15 for hunters to sight in shotguns. Call (815) 726-6377 to make reservations.


As noted above, big bucks are beginning to move, especially in the northern part of the state. Fishing guide “Jimmy T” Templin, who’s also an avid bow hunter, said the big bucks are responding to rattles.

Considering the forecast for the weekend, this might be the best weekend of the year for big bucks.

Archery season runs through Jan. 15, except during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.

First firearm season is Nov. 21-23; second is Dec. 4-7.

Hunters who wish to donate their deer to Illinois Sportsman Against Hunger should go to for deer processors in the program.


Remember the changes. Canvasbacks are closed for the year. The daily bag on wood ducks increased to three. Scaup bags are split, daily bag of one, except for 20 days, in each zone, see zone reports for two-scaup dates.

The daily limit of six ducks may include no more than four mallards (two hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, one black duck, and one pintail. The daily bag on Canada geese is two.

The DU Migration Map is posted here .


Scaup bag in the north is now two daily through Nov. 23. White-fronted geese are now open in the north too.

Staff at Heidecke, open Wednesday-Sunday, reported 26 hunters on Sunday bagged 20 ducks, mostly mallards with three three-ringnecks and a goldeneye. On Saturday, 36 hunters bagged 25 ducks and two geese.

William Powers is open seven days.


Staff at Braidwood, daily draws Wednesday through Sunday, reported that last week 88 hunters bagged 90 ducks and seven geese.

Mazonia South reported 20 ducks and three geese bagged while the main unit had 18 ducks and three geese.

The first Canada goose season in the central ends Sunday. White-fronted geese season doesn’t open until Nov. 21 in the central.

Scaup bag is one daily, except two beginning Tuesday, Nov. 11 and running through Nov. 30.


Season for cock pheasant, gray partridge, quail and rabbits opened with some difficulty for hunters and dogs in the heat. The dogs had trouble picking up the scent on Saturday in part because they were panting so hard.

One good thing is the slow harvest of crops may extend the time where hunters have good success.


Second season ends Nov. 16.


North zone hunting season opens Wednesday, Nov. 5 and runs through Feb. 10. South zone season opens Monday, Nov. 10 and runs through Feb. 15.


Hunting season for red and gray foxes is opens Monday, Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 31, except during the firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.


Raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink, muskrat, fox (red and gray), coyote and badger seasons open Wednesday, Nov. 5 and run through Jan. 20 in the north. In the south, the seasons open Monday, Nov. 10 and run through Jan. 25.


In the north, the season opens Wednesday, Nov. 5 and runs through March 31. In the south, the season opens Monday, Nov. 10 and runs through March 31.


First archery season ends Nov. 20; second season is Nov. 24-Dec. 3, third is Dec. 8-Jan. 15.


Season, for Sora and Virginia rails only, runs through Nov. 14.


Season ends Dec. 1.


Season ends Dec. 21.


Season ends Feb. 15, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.


Season runs through Feb. 28.


Season ends March 31, except it is closed during firearm deer seasons in applicable counties.


For IDNR hunting info, click here.

For the Illinois 2008-09 Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, click here.

For the 2008-09 Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, click here.

For the Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report, click here.

For Illinois crop reports (generally posted Monday afternoons), click here.

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