SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources today announced proposed waterfowl season dates and bag limits for the 2016–17 seasons. The recommendations 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 86 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 2016-17 Illinois season dates are the first 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. 15 in the North Zone, Oct. 22 in the Central Zone, Nov. 11 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 24 in the South Zone. White-fronted goose (specklebelly) seasons will open on Oct. 17 in the North Zone, Nov. 5 in the Central Zone, and with duck season in the South Central (Nov. 11) and South zones (Nov. 24).
The proposed 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) pintails, two (2) canvasback, one (1) black duck, and one (1) mottled duck. The proposed 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. 13 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 2016 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.
The 2016 Illinois16-day statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 3–18, 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 (half-hour later than regular season) until sunset.
The IDNR 2016–17 season dates are outlined below.
Illinois Waterfowl Season Dates - 2016–17
September Canada Goose: Statewide Sept. 1 – 15
September Teal: Statewide Sept. 3 – 18
North Zone Youth Hunt Duck Canada Goose
2016–17 Oct. 8 – 9 Oct. 15 – Dec. 13 Oct. 15 – Jan. 12
2016–17 Oct. 15 – 16 Oct. 22 – Dec. 20 Oct. 22 – Oct. 30 and Nov. 12 – Jan. 31
South Central Zone
2016–17 Nov. 5 – 6 Nov. 11 – Jan. 9 Nov. 11 – Jan. 31
2016–17 Nov. 12 – 13 Nov. 24 – Jan. 22 Nov. 24 – Jan. 31
Illinois 2016–17 Snow Goose and White-Fronted Goose Season Dates
Regular Season: Oct. 15 – Jan. 12
White-fronted Geese: Oct. 17 – Jan. 12
Regular Season: Oct. 22 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 5 – Jan. 31
South Central Zone
Regular Season: Nov. 11 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 11 – Jan. 31
Regular Season: Nov. 24 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 24 – Jan. 31
The Illinois waterfowl zone maps are available on the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/MapsApprovedWaterfowlZoneLines.aspx
Additional details on the duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting seasons will be available on the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov and in the Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 2016-2017 and the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2016-2017, available later this year.