Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits: Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 20, 2019. Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Archery, Firearm, Muzzleloader, and Late-Winter/CWD Seasons CWD Sampling: Deer hunters statewide are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling from adult deer they harvest. Check the IDNR website at this link for locations that are serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads through Jan. 20, 2019: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/CWD/Documents/CWDSamplingLocations.pdf
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Late-Winter/CWD Season Information: For details on the upcoming 2018-19 Late-Winter Antlerless-only and Special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer seasons, click on this link:
For a map of Late-Winter season and Special CWD season open counties:
No Trespassing: IDNR reminds outdoors enthusiasts that the property acquired recently to expand recreation at Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks (the former Lone Star/Buzzi Unicem USA property) is not open to the public at this time. The entire 2,629-acre parcel will remain closed to the public while the property is evaluated for future recreational opportunities, and planning and installation of recreation facilities occurs. Violators face arrest for criminal trespass to State supported land, which is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. Any questions may be directed to Starved Rock State Park at 815-667-4726.
Vandalia Statehouse Christmas Open House Dec. 8: The oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois is putting on its best holiday duds and throwing its doors open to the public on Sat., Dec. 8 for a Christmas Open House. The first 100 families to visit will receive free Christmas ornaments. Visitors to the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will find the building illuminated by more than 150 candles and trimmed with decorations from the time when a young Abraham Lincoln served there. The free festivities are scheduled for 5:00-7:30 p.m. The Vandalia Historical Society will provide cookies and cider. For more information about the site and its programming, call 618-283-1161.
Davis Mansion Holiday Event Dec. 8: The 2018 “Christmas at the Mansions” event on Sat., Dec. 8 in Bloomington will include special holiday tours of the historic David Davis Mansion, home of Judge David Davis and his wife Sarah and their family as they celebrate a “Charles Dickens Christmas.” Holiday revelers will also be invited to tour the stately Ewing Manor and a “Mystery House” in Bloomington as part of the “Christmas at the Mansions” event in which all three homes will be elegantly decorated for Christmas. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $17.00, and tickets purchased on the day of the event on Dec. 8 will be $20.00. Tickets may be purchased at the David Davis Mansion Visitors Center, or online at www.christmasatthemansions.com.
Arrival at Camp Dubois Event Dec. 8-9 at Lewis and Clark Site: The 215th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s arrival at their Illinois winter camp will be celebrated during “Arrival at Camp River Dubois” scheduled for Dec. 8-9 at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site. Activities will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Interpretive Center and the replica of Camp River Dubois. The event is free and open to the public. The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for free public tours and is located along Illinois Route 3 north of I-270 in Hartford, IL.
Youth Goose Hunt: Youth interested in participating in the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the IDNR, can register now for the hunt, which is scheduled for Jan. 20-21, 2019. To register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, phone 217-785-8060 by the registration deadline of Friday, Dec. 28. The youth goose hunt will be held at private waterfowl hunting clubs in the Canton area in Fulton Co. A lottery drawing involving all youth who phone in to register will be conducted on Jan. 2, 2019, and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail. First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. The hunt is open to youngsters ages 10-17 at the time of the hunt.
Spring Turkey Applications: Hunters may apply from Dec. 4, 2018 through Jan. 11, 2019 for the second lottery for 2019 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits. Go to the IDNR website for more information at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/TurkeyHunting.aspx
IRAP Spring Turkey Hunting: Youth and adult hunters can apply now for 2019 Spring Turkey Hunting opportunities through the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP). The IDNR has leased about 15,000 acres of private land for 2019 spring turkey hunting through IRAP. Public access for turkey hunting on those properties in 39 counties is available free of charge. To participate as a youth hunter (must be under 18 years of age), hunters must fill out an IRAP application and send it in by Feb. 26, 2019 to be eligible for the youth drawing. A total of 172 sites are available in 39 counties for the two-weekend youth season (March 30-31 and April 6-7, 2019). Another 344 sites are available for 2019 Illinois Spring Turkey Season segments 3 and 4 to youth and adult turkey hunters. These sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/default.aspx
Music at the Museum on Dec. 13: Enjoy a special holiday concert from the husband and wife duo Curtis and Loretta at the Illinois State Museum’s “Music at the Museum” event on Thurs., Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the ISM in Springfield. Curtis and Loretta’s harmonies on stringed instruments of all kinds frame both their poignant original songs and traditional pieces from America and the British Isles. Tickets will be available at the door. The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield.
Create with Clay at Dickson Mounds Dec. 15: Families are invited to the Dickson Mounds Museum on Sat., Dec. 15 from 1-3 p.m. for the Kid’s Day program ‘Create with Clay’ – a chance to learn about the ancient Native American creation and use of food containers. Each participant will receive a generous portion of clay to create a piece to take home. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. Tours and special programs are available for groups with reservations. For more information, call 309-547-3721.
Streets of Giant City Program on Dec. 15: The “streets” of Giant City State Park are among the most well-known spots in the park. The rocky bluffs of sandstone are how Giant City got its name. Join geologist Joe Devera as he reveals the mystery behind these amazing rock formations during a program on Sat., Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. The hour-long presentation will be held inside the Giant City State Park Visitors Center in Makanda. No registration is required for this free program. Call 618-457-4836 for more information.
Christmas Tales from the Vault on Dec. 20: For nearly a century, Marshall Field's flagship store in Chicago dazzled visitors at Christmas time with its holiday window displays and whimsical decorations. Learn about the Marshall Field's holiday artifacts in the Illinois State Museum's collection with Betsy Dollar, director of the Springfield Art Association, who worked at the store making ornaments in the 1970s. This free “Tales from the Vault” program is scheduled for Thurs., Dec. 20 at 12:30 p.m. at the ISM Research and Collection Center, 1011 E. Ash Street, Springfield. For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-558-6696.