Firearm deer season in Illinois is still several weeks away, but other opportunities to go out and catch dinner are close, especially if you are a youngster. Archery deer season starts Oct. 1 and runs through Jan. 20. Firearm deer season for kids age 15 and under is Oct. 6-7. Youth waterfowl seasons are staggered from north to south in October and November.
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“There’s no question that the future of hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation is getting kids involved,” says Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Tim Schweizer. Stocking is coming up for the fall trout season, which starts Oct. 20. Schweizer says more than 70,000 trout are going into 37 ponds and lakes. Catch and release? “We want to encourage folks to do whatever they prefer,” says Schweizer, “but I gotta tell ya, if you buy a trout stamp, chances are you’re going to try to catch trout so you can take ‘em home, clean ‘em, and have ‘em for lunch.” Firearm deer season is the weekend before and the weekend following Thanksgiving weekend.