SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is inviting waterfowl hunters to review information on waterfowl hunting regulations and submit their comments on their preferred regulations for the 2021-2025 waterfowl seasons by Nov. 7.
The IDNR hosted five public open houses in September and October where hunters could review information on waterfowl abundance, waterfowl harvest, waterfowl hunter preferences based on responses to mailed surveys, average freeze dates, current waterfowl hunting zone lines and season dates, review and comment on potential changes, and discuss these and other topics with IDNR biologists.
The information presented at the open house meetings is now posted online at: https://bit.ly/33YOR7Q
Hunters who were unable to attend open houses are encouraged to review suggestions on how to best make meaningful comments, review information from the open houses, and submit comments to DNR.DuckTalk@illinois.gov by Nov. 7.
Every five years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) allows states to make changes to waterfowl hunting zones and split-season options. Zone lines are currently set through the 2020 season, but states may make changes for the 2021–2025 seasons and submit those changes to the FWS by the spring of 2020. Illinois also sets season dates for the same period.
When setting waterfowl regulations, the IDNR considers many sources of information, including waterfowl abundance from aerial surveys (available here), waterfowl harvest estimates, waterfowl hunter preferences from annual mailed surveys, meetings with waterfowl constituent groups and open house attendees, freeze up data, and emailed responses.
The IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources will generate a proposal for the 2021–2025 seasons including zone boundaries and season dates. This proposal will be presented to the Natural Resources Advisory Board (NRAB) and IDNR Director Colleen Callahan for consideration. Any changes proposed by the NRAB or the Director will be posted online for review. Illinois’ final proposal for the 2012-2025 seasons will be submitted to the FWS by May 2020.
Hunters interested in providing input should follow the link above to review information and submit comments to the IDNR by email via DNR.DuckTalk@illinois.gov.