Showing posts with label waterfowl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label waterfowl. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2017

An Illinois Waterfowl Story - When the Work Pays Off

Anyone who is passionate about something has put their blood, sweat and tears into it, regardless of what that is.  As waterfowl hunters we have the ability to harvest a wide range of species, from the beautiful wood-duck to the ever-elusive snow goose.  While chasing waterfowl, you'll bleed, you'll sweat, but you'll continue to put in the hard work.

Check out Cam's first hunt with Capitol Outdoors

Monday, October 23, 2017

Disabled Hunters have Waterfowl Hunting Opportunity at Kaskaskia River SFWA

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is informing hunters with disabilities about an opportunity at Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area.  Share and spread the word.  The outdoors should be experienced by everyone!

Waterfowl Hunting Blinds at Kaskaskia River SFWA for Hunters with Disabilities


BALDWIN, IL – With the upcoming waterfowl season approaching, the Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area has hunting opportunities for hunters with disabilities.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has two designated handicapped waterfowl hunting blinds at the Dry Lake Area at Kaskaskia River SFWA – listed as the North or South blinds.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 Emiquon Permit Application Due October 10, 2017

Each year we here at Capitol Outdoors look forward to the notification from  the Nature Conservancy about waterfowl permit applications.  Below you'll see how you can apply for this awesome waterfowl hunting experience.  This application process is a little different so please  READ CAREFULLY before submitting.  Good luck to all those that apply.  Before you read the following check out some of our past experiences out at Emiquon waterfowl hunting: Adapting the Outdoors Waterfowl Hunt & Waterfowl Hunt at Emiquon

Public Waterfowl Hunt Rules and Information (Revised 26 September 2017)

Waterfowl hunting opportunities (Public,Disabled and Youth) for the Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve will be awarded via advanced drawing with registration by mail or email due by October 10, 2017

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.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Unofficial Start of Waterfowl Season

Unofficial Start of Waterfowl Season

State parks around Illinois were host to hundreds of waterfowlers this weekend as they tried their luck to win a blind for the 2017 - 2018 season.  This is the unofficial start to waterfowl season.  Blind winners only have a few short weeks to get their information in to the state, build, brush and take care of any other maintenance needed.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Meredosia Lake Waterfowl Hunting Open House on May 10


If you or someone you know hunts Meredosia Lake here's your chance to voice your concerns. The Illinois Department of Natural Resouces will be hosting an open house regarding Meredosia Lake and the waterfowl hunting program.  Below you'll see the offical press release.  Please share...

IDNR to Host Public Open House Meeting on Meredosia Lake Waterfowl Hunting Program on May 10


MEREDOSIA, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a public open house meeting to address potential changes to the waterfowl hunting program at Meredosia Lake on Wed., May 10 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Meredosia Wildlife Refuge office.

The IDNR will be soliciting public opinion regarding the number and placement of waterfowl blinds on Meredosia Lake. Attendees will be asked to fill out a survey in which they can suggest blind numbers and placement according to their preference. The meeting will be held in an open house format so that attendees may come and go as they please; there will be no set agenda and no formal presentation by IDNR. Personnel from the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources and IDNR Office of Land Management will be available to answer questions. Information gathered at the meeting will help guide IDNR’s waterfowl hunting program at Meredosia Lake.

The public meeting will be held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Meredosia Wildlife Refuge office, located at 2219 Beach Road, Meredosia, IL. The office is located just north of Meredosia along Beach Road (west side of the road). The meeting is open to waterfowl hunters and anyone else interested in the waterfowl program at Meredosia Lake. Alcohol and pets are not allowed on the grounds.


For more information, contact Tim Kelley at 309-543-3262 or Randy Smith at 217-785-2347.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe


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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Illinois 2017 Waterfowl Blind Sites and Dates Announced

Illinois 2017 Waterfowl Blind Sites and Dates Announced


Feels like the season just ended and for those snow goose hunters it did.  However, it's already time to start thinking about the next season.  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has released the 2017 Waterfowl Blind Sites and Dates.   Hopefully this will be my lucky year and I will win a blind.


Like so many of you we grill out, share some stories and have some laughs.  Duck blind Drawings have become a Family Affair  for us.  Best of luck to all participants this year.  Please make sure you read this.  There have been some changes.  Most importantly there is a new rule requiring a photo ID.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Apply Now for Pere Marquette Youth Wingshooting Clinic and Pheasant Hunt

What a great opportunity to get those youngsters outside and learn about wingshooting.  While never a student for one of these clinics, Capitol Outdoors has observed one of these classes and can say this is a great chance for anyone who loves to waterfowl or upland game hunt.  Read the press release below from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to find out more information and how to sign up.

Apply Now for Pere Marquette Youth Wingshooting Clinic and Pheasant Hunt


Event to be held March 4 at Pere Marquette State Park



GRAFTON, IL – Young hunters between the ages of 10-17 can apply now for the Pere Marquette Youth Wingshooting Clinic and Pheasant Hunt scheduled for Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey Co.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Registration Open for Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt

Have a youngster that loves to waterfowl hunt?  The IDNR has an opportunity for them then.  Below is a press released about an opportunity for an Illinois Youth Goose Hunt.  Best of luck for all those that participate.

Registration Open for Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt


Annual Hunt is January 15-16

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Youth interested in participating in the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), can register now for the hunt, which is scheduled for January 15-16, 2017.

To register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, youth hunters must phone in to the IDNR at 217-785-8060 by theregistration deadline of Friday, December 30, 2018. 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 January 3, 2017, 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 10-15 at the time of the hunt. All applicants must possess a valid Illinois hunting or sportsman's license, have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number, and have a 20 gauge or larger shotgun. Youth hunt participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must possess a valid firearm owner's identification (FOID) card.

To register for the hunt or for more information, call 217-785-8060.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Illinois Hunting, Fishing & Outdoor Expos 2017

Illinois Hunting, Fishing & Outdoor Expos 2017


Expo season is right around the corner and we will be attending many of the expos around the State of Illinois. 


If you know of an outdoor show in your area, let us know about it! Capitol Outdoors is available to speak at your event!



Let’s Go Fishing Show
Collinsville, Illinois
Jan. 6-8th 2017



-Chicago Muskie Expo
Chicago, Illinois
Jan. 6-8th 2017


Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show
Chicago, Illinois
Jan. 11-15th 2017


All-Canada Show
St. Charles, Illinois
Jan. 12-15th 2017


Chicago Outdoor Sports Show
Rosemont, Illinois
Jan. 19-22nd 2017


-Chicagoland Gunshow
Rosemont, Illinois
Jan, 19-22nd 2017

-Illinois Fish & Feather Expo
Bloomington, Illinois
Jan. 27-29th 2017


-Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo
Schaumburg, Illinois
Jan. 26-29th  2017


-Tinley Park Fishing Big Show 
Tinley Park,Illinois
Feb. 11-12th 2017


-Rockford Boat, Vacation & Fishing Show
Rockford, Illinois
Feb. 17-19th 2017


-Central Illinois Outdoor Expo
Arthur, Illinois
February 10-11th 2017

The QCCA Expo Center Outdoor Show
Rock Island
, Illinois
Feb. 16-19th 2017

-Pheasant Fest (National)
Minneapolis
Feb 17-19th 2017

-Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo
Indiana State Fairgrounds
Feb. 23-26th 2017

-Elmwood All Outdoors Show
Elmwood High School
March 4-5th 2017


-Ducks Unlimited National Convention
May 31 - June 4th 2017
San Antonio, Texas


-Spring Valley Outdoors Expo
Spring Valley, IL
TBD


-Midwest Hunt Fest
Wichita, Kansas
TBD


-ICAST 2017
Orlando, Florida
July 11-14th 2017


-Illinois Deer & Turkey Expo
Peoria, Illinois
July 28 - 30th 2017


-Northern Illinois Hunting & Fishing Days 
Silver Springs State Park, Yorkville Illinois
TBD


-Southern Illinois Hunting & Fishing Days 
Carterville, Illinois
TBD


More shows and dates will be added as they become available. 


Email us if you would like something on this list. 


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

IDNR Adds Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities in Central Illinois

IDNR Adds Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities in Central Illinois



Looking for a place to do some waterfowl hunting, well you're in luck.  The IDNR and the Illinois Recreational Access Program has added some areas.  IRAP has been known for deer and turkey hunting and now waterfowl hunting has been added to the mix.

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has secured several waterfowl hunting sites in Macoupin, Sangamon, and Schuyler counties through its Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP).

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nature Conservancy Offers Opportunity for Waterfowl Hunters


Nature Conservancy Offers Opportunity for Waterfowl Hunters

Looking for a opportunity to go waterfowl hunting?  Emiquon owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy will be having a drawing to allocate will be doing there annual draw.  

Tag along on some of our adventures from last year:



Waterfowl hunting opportunities (Public, Disabled and Youth) for the Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve will be awarded via advanced drawing with registration by mail or email due by October 5, 2016

Drawing Application Process 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Waterfowl Permits Now Available

Waterfowl Permits Now Available

Did you try and get a waterfowl blind for the 2016 - 2017 season with no luck?  Well, your luck might change?  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has permits available for Duck and Goose hunting across the state.

The below information is directly from the IDNR Waterfowl Site

Good luck to those that choose to apply 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Duck Blind Drawing - A Family Affair

Duck Blind Drawing - A Family Affair

Ask my dad or brother and they both can tell you about my first duck.  Since the moment I got out of bed on opening day in 1998, I've been in love with waterfowl hunting.  Like so many other waterfowlers I enjoy every aspect of it.  From decoy preparations to the cold wet November mornings.

In order to go waterfowl hunting you have to have somewhere to go. Throughout Illinois there are Waterfowl Blind Drawings, where each blind is allocated a number and a drawing takes place for ownership of that blind for the season. My first waterfowl drawing was in 1999 at Wolf Lake in Cook County.  Hundreds of people were there, walking around sharing stories in hopes of winning a blind for the upcoming season.  At the time I wasn't old enough to participate but my dad and brother put their names in.  Even though we didn't win a blind that year we were still able to get out and enjoy this state park.    Wolf Lake was good to us, we harvested a lot of birds during our tenure hunting there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

IDNR Announces 2016-2017 Waterfowl Season Dates

IDNR Announces 2016-2017 Waterfowl Season Dates

Are you ready for waterfowl season?  Dates and bag limits have just been released.  
See below for the IDNR's press release. 

Heather with her First Goose

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Illinois Bait Shop - Flyway Outdoors

Illinois Bait Shop - Flyway Outdoors

For awhile now we've been writing about bait shops across Illinois.  This series has been enjoyed by many of our readers because it focuses, not only on the small business of bait shops, but outdoor shops in general.  We came across Flyway Outdoors online and with incentive by a friend we decided to check them out.

Flyway Outdoors is an outdoor resale shop of sorts. We have all been there, you walk into a store to buy new decoys and are astounded by the price.  Maybe you can't afford it, or just refuse to pay that much, well Flyway Outdoors has your answer. 

"We sell gently used decoys" said Colton, owner of Flyway Outdoors.  "We have people from all the surrounding states that come and buy our decoys."  Its easy to see why.  As we looked around the shop there was an abundance of duck, GHG, Bigfoot and countless other species of waterfowl decoys for sale.

Open for less than a year in Hanna City, Illinois,  Flyway Outdoors doesn't just offer hunting decoys, they sell minnows, as well as other fishing & hunting accessories. Need to make those beat up decoys look like new? They have a flocking service that can help you with that.  If you would rather do it yourself they have the materials you'll need to help start your decoy project.

Flyway Outdoors is the perfect place to go if your on a budget, just starting off or have been waterfowl hunting for years.  They're always getting decoys in so, make sure to check them out often to make sure you're not missing anything.

If you can't make it to their shop check out their website: flywayoutdoors.org.  There you can shop and get things shipped directly to you. 





Tuesday, June 14, 2016

IDNR Announces Schedule of Waterfowl Blind Site Drawings

IDNR Announces Schedule of Waterfowl Blind Site Drawings

Drawings to be held for public hunting area waterfowl blind sites

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press Office


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Waterfowl hunters are encouraged to mark their calendars for upcoming waterfowl hunting blind site random drawings to be held at several public hunting areas in Illinois this summer. 

Duck and goose hunters must register in person for waterfowl blind site drawings and must be present at the drawing – held at each location designated below immediately after the registration period – to claim their blind sites. Mail-in registrations are not accepted. Unless otherwise stated, blind allocations for these sites are good for one year. To participate in a drawing, applicants must present a 2015 or 2016 regular Illinois hunting license (no apprentice or youth license) and a 2015 or 2016 Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp at the time they register, unless exempted by law. Applicants must be at least 16 years old by the date of the drawing.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Jim Edgar Panther Creek WIngshooting Clinic 2016

Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 2016


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) working with a variety of volunteers, partners, sponsors and organizations offer wingshooting clinics at different sites throughout Illinois.  This past weekend there was a Youth/Women's Clinic at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.

2016 Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wingshooting Clinic 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Illinois Spring Snow Goose Hunting

My brother Rick with his first snow!

Illinois Spring Snow Goose Hunting

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago there wasn't much talk about hunting snow geese. Every now and then we would see a small flock while in the blind but, that's it.  It wasn't until I moved to Central Illinois that I began hearing, learning and seeing snow geese.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Illinois Ducks Unlimited Events/Banquets 2016

Illinois Ducks Unlimited Events/Banquets 2016

Take a night out to enjoy some food and talk waterfowl hunting.  DU Banquets are full of fun and action for the whole family.  Remember that the money raised at these banquets helps conservation efforts and programs in Illinois and across the country. 

Quincy, Illinois
Friday, January 22, 2016
Miller City, Illinois
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beardstown Chili Night
Beardstown, Illinois
Saturday, January 30, 2016