Monday, August 7, 2017

2017 - 2018 Waterfowl Season Dates Announced for Illinois

While hundreds of lucky blind winners prepare to build, repair and brush their blinds for the 2017 -2018 season the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released their season dates.  Trying to find a place to go, but don't want to head home after waking up at 2:00 AM?  Then try your luck in the permit draw.  You'll find it at the end of the press release.  The draw starts August 16th.  Good Luck!

As it has been for my entire waterfowl hunting career, the 2017 -2018 duck season will be 60 days for ducks and 107 days for goose.  The older generation may remember a 45 or 30 day waterfowl season. However, with strong conservation efforts from local, state and federal agencies along with private organizations the possibility for a 60 day season has increased. 

NOTE: Central Illinois Goose Hunters: there is a split season! 

If you're looking for other dates for various hunting seasons check out the 2017 - 2018 Hunters Digest.  The 2017 - 2018 Waterfowl Digest has not been released yet.  Please make sure to check back.  


Below you'll see the press release and dates from the IDNR.

IDNR Announces 2017-18 Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced waterfowl season dates and bag limits for the 2017–18 seasons. The seasons include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state’s four waterfowl hunting zones, along with 107 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the North and Central zones (15 days in September, two days of youth hunting and 90 days of “regular” goose season), 99 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Central Zone, and 87 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Zone. Goose season lengths are shorter in the South Central and South zones to coincide with duck season dates and to match hunter preferences.

The 2017-18 Illinois season dates are the second year of a five-year plan that was developed in 2015. This year, Illinois will open the regular duck, Canada goose, and snow goose seasons on Oct. 21 in the North Zone, Oct. 28 in the Central Zone, Nov. 11 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 23 in the South Zone. White-fronted goose (specklebelly) seasons will open Oct. 23 in the North Zone, Nov. 5 in the Central Zone, and with duck season in the South Central (Nov. 11) and South zones (Nov. 23).

The daily duck bag limit is six (6) and may include no more than four (4) mallards (two hens), three (3) wood ducks, three (3) scaup, two (2) redheads, two (2) black ducks, two (2) canvasback, one (1) pintail, and one (1) mottled duck. The daily bag limit of mergansers is five (5), only two of which may be hooded mergansers. The possession limit for ducks and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit by species and sex.

Canada and white-fronted goose daily bag limits will be two (2) with a possession limit of six (6). The snow goose daily bag limit is 20 birds, with no possession limit, during the fall and winter season. The spring Conservation Order Light Goose season will open Jan. 19 in the North Zone and Feb. 1 in the Central, South Central, and South zones, ending March 31 in all zones. There is no daily bag or possession limit on snow, blue, and Ross’ geese during this season.

The September 2017 early Canada goose season is Sept. 1–15 with a daily limit of five (5) and a possession limit of 15 geese in the North and Central zones, and a daily limit of two (2) and a possession limit of six (6) geese in the South Central and South zones.

Illinois’ 16-day 2017 statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 9–24 with a daily limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Shooting hours for the September teal season are different from the regular season, starting at sunrise (½ hour later than regular season) until sunset.

The IDNR 2017–18 season dates are outlined below.

Illinois Waterfowl Season Dates for 2017–18

  • September Canada Goose: 
    •  Statewide Sept. 1 – 15 
  • September Teal: 
    •  Statewide Sept. 9 – 24 

North Zone

  • Youth Hunt 
    • Oct. 14 – 15
  • Duck -
    • Oct. 21 – Dec. 19 
  • Canada Goose -
    • Oct. 21 – Jan. 18 

Central Zone

  • Youth Hunt 
    • Oct. 21 – 22
  • Duck -
    • Oct. 28 – Dec. 26
  • Canada Goose - *Note split season*
    • Oct. 28 – Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 – Jan. 31 

South Central Zone

  • Youth Hunt 
    • Nov. 4 – 5
  • Duck -
    • Nov. 11 – Jan. 9
  • Canada Goose -
    •   Nov. 11 – Jan. 31 

South Zone 

  • Youth Hunt 
    • Nov. 11 – 12
  • Duck -
    • Nov. 23 – Jan. 21
  • Canada Goose -
    • Nov. 23 – Jan. 31

Illinois 2017–18 Snow Goose and White-Fronted Goose Season Dates

North Zone - Snow Geese
Regular Season: Oct. 21 – Jan. 18
White-fronted Geese: Oct. 23 – Jan. 18

Central Zone - Snow Geese
Regular Season: Oct. 28 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 5 – Jan. 31

South Central Zone - Snow Geese
Regular Season: Nov. 11 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 11 – Jan. 31

South Zone
- Snow Geese
Regular Season: Nov. 23 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 23 – Jan. 31

The Illinois waterfowl hunting zone maps and anticipated seasons dates for the 2016–2020 seasons are available on the IDNR website at:
https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Documents/WaterfowlZonesDatesFinal20162020.pdf

The application period for Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permits will be open Aug. 16–31 for the first lottery, Sept. 1–14 for the second lottery, and Sept. 15–28 for the third lottery. Permits remaining after the third lottery will be available on a first-come, first-served basis online starting Oct. 1. More information, including online applications, instructions and a list of participating sites is available on the IDNR website at:
https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx

Additional details on the duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting seasons will be available on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov and in the 2017-2018 Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations (available later this year) and the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2017-2018, available on the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf


https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/IDNR-WaterfowlSeasons2017.pdf


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