Illinois Hunting Reports


Canada geese cupped and committed.

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95 responses to Illinois Hunting Reports

  1. The last aerial flyover was conducted this week with good results. The survey reported 1.1 million snows in and around the Carlyle lake area. This number is by far more geese than we have enjoyed for this time of year in a long, long time. The folks at the weather bureau have just issued a winter storm watch for the southern half of Illinois so I anticipate the geese to remain or even backtrack a bit depending on the severity of the winter storm. The timing is good for me since I will be enjoying the Cardinals down in Jupiter Florida for the next two weeks, hopefully when I return there will be a good number of geese remaining to the finish line April 1. Go Cards………….

  2. With the recent warm-up the snows are getting here in large numbers. a lot of the open pockets of water have increased in size due to the snows roosting and warmer weather. Should be decent hunting for some time around Carlyle Lake. The speck population isn’t hurting either, there are 10′s of thousands of speck in the area as well.

    • Do you know of any good spots to hunt snows? Is this Kevin that worked in Collinsville?

      • Choco, Yes I worked out of Collinsville for ISP , but retired in 2006, that’s why I chase these snows….

      • Sorry forgot to answer your question, I hunt on private property with a pit but know a lot of the farmers in the area, there are tons of snows in the Tamalco/Keyesport area last count by IDNR 400,000 plus send me a PM.

    • The last aerial flyover was conducted this week with good results. The survey reported 1.1 million snows in and around the Carlyle lake area. This number is by far more geese than we have enjoyed for this time of year in a long, long time. The folks at the weather bureau have just issued a winter storm watch for the southern half of Illinois so I anticipate the geese to remain or even backtrack a bit depending on the severity of the winter storm. The timing is good for me since I will be enjoying the Cardinals down in Jupiter Florida for the next two weeks, hopefully when I return there will be a good number of geese remaining to the finish line April 1. Go Cards………….

  3. Here it is the middle of February and the lake has about 7 inches of ice on nearly 90 percent of the lake. Most fields are still snow covered and we are getting freezing rain as I type. The good news is the forecast calls for strong southerly winds the next three days and the temps are going to be into the fifties. Reports are that the cooling lake at Baldwin and Coffeen are holding the birds that did venture up this way. Looks like most of the snows are going to be travelling through during the month of March. I plan on getting over and checking out the lake tomorrow and see if there are any early visitors.

  4. Last year this time we were putting a hurt on the white geese on Carlyle. This year there is 6-8 inches of ice on 90 percent of the lake and this morning temp around -5. Snow is covering most fields in the area and whatever white geese we had have made an about face and headed back south. It is going to be a late season on the white geese lucky to have the ice on the lake gone before the end of February. We are ready to roll but waiting for mother nature to give us the green flag. A little warm up next week at least above freezing for a change.
    Reports in far southern Illinois and SE Missouri are that they had some very good numbers of geese early but they too have lost some due to the ice and snow. Heading up to the Henry Illinois decoy show over the weekend and visit the DU convention in Peoria then going to spend time in the pit and watch the snow and ice melt and wait for the arrival of the white and blue creatures.

    • There’s chickens there Kevin…..Don’t ShIt yourself!!! Better get out there!!!! Good numbers feeding south

      • Yeah Stevo, saw them there, there were a lot more before this last cold snap, they were at the south end of the lake and feeding south, unfortunately I am 10 miles north and a bunch of ice between me and them. We are getting a few NB but the majority are south. A little better forecast in a few days may get some of those early birds moving along.

    • thanks for the info!! This is what i figured was going on, been way too quiet down there. I was thinking about coming down for a hunt, I think I’ll just wait a while.

  5. After the recent blizzard with snow totals around 14 inches and below zero temps the geese have finally arrived south of I-70. Reports from 70 south are good with geese finally showing up in places that haven’t been for years. Most areas have ice but those with pumps and ice eaters are having goose hunts like they did in the 70′s and 80′s. No real warm up in sight the dark goose hunting should remain good till the end of the month.

    • The weather has been pretty steady the last few days and whatever geese that traveled south has been sticking around. Most everything is iced up unless you have pumps or ice eaters. A little warmer today before the next clippers sends the temps down again. Don’t really know what to wish for with 11 days left in the dark goose season, a warm-up or another artic blast. There are good goose numbers throughout the southern third of the state, more than we have had in a long time, specks are here as well. So keep the water from getting hard and get out there and enjoy the show.

      • Nothing in the far north except locals that don’t know how or where to migrate. The winds have kept the snow off of high ground in enough fields to keep them from starving.

        Post up pics of those specs when you bag a few. Good luck.

  6. Limits of geese the last 3 days here in Grundy County. Looks like it might all be over now with all this snow falling. Saw lots of birds the last 3 days.

    • Where you hunt at in Grundy?

    • Sorry about pic.

      • We own 2 places, One just south of Morris, and one east. I haven’t been able to get out for a couple of days, going out this weekend. Nice dog!!

    • Are you still getting geese? Just curious. I live in Minooka. Still see in some birds. Btw my dog thanks you for the compliment.

      • J.C.

        Sorry abouit the delay in getting back to you. I get a bird or two fairly steady, but I holed up for this last cold blast. I’m probably gonna go out today, later. I found a good flight path that they have been using lately, and I still hear some shooting up west on the river, or near it. I live in Mazon. How have you done this year?

  7. Ice is in most places, I don’t expect it to leave anytime soon. Hunted private property at the north end of Carlyle Lake on the 31st and about the only thing I saw was a boat stuck in the ice that had to be retrieved by an airboat. Getting reports of Canadians and Specks around but they weren’t in our viewing area. Hunted Highland on the first and saw a few migrators southbound in advance of the weather up in the northern third of the state, did get my limit of geese only because the pump was running and open water enticed them to stop for a visit. We picked up a couple inches of snow last night but a more significant snowfall north of us should have the goose population on the rise, although the wind chill then next few days is going to be a factor.

    Happy New Year and hope the first month of the new year and the final month of the dark goose season is a good one.

  8. We have really been getting into the geese here in Grundy Co. since the 15th. Sorry for the late post. Many full limits since then.

  9. With the recent cold snap and the snowfall here in the area and north the geese have been more active. The last two days there have been more southbound geese as a result of the weather. Flights of geese over S/W Illinois have resulted in some decent success finally. Most water areas are frozen unless your pump or ice eater is kicked in. We have used the pump more this year than all of last year, temps should be warming a bit for this upcoming week. Ducks have been slow.

  10. This cold front is gonna turn the lake back into frozen tundra, is what it’s gonna do…Just got rid of the ice from the last one!!

    Yeah…..Still married. Day 53. Not counting or anything….LOL!! So far, so good. She cooks, cleans, doesn’t BiTch too awful much about me being gone all the time, and above all…..remains horny.

    Probably headed up Wed. evening to hunt Thurs – Sun. Been an up and down year so far…..With the ups being tremendous, and the downs being absolutely unimaginably dismal….

    • Mother nature was not good to us in the northern part of the state. No water, then water, then froze out two days later :P

      Good thing we have a month of goose chasing left :)

  11. The duck numbers are not where we want them yet, but Carlyle hunters having some success in the walk-ins if they can find and open hole. Specks are showing up and groups are getting their fair share. The ice should go away for a few days until next weekend when another shot from the north makes the water hard. The dark geese still aren’t here although di manage a limit the other day when 30 tired migrators dropped in for a visit. The aerial survey hasn’t been kind thus far and hoping to get better numbers in the future. Kind of on again off again season so far, hope the best hunting is still in front of us.

    • 18 days between posts ain’t gonna cut it, Stallard!!! LOL!!

      Where you been? Figured I’d see ya around up there by now?

      Specks took a beating this weekend…..

      • Going head over to your neck of the woods after this second gun season, been busy chasing buck henry, hope this new cold snap coming at the end of the week will put a few more birds in the area, may have to kick on the ice eaters…. Just wondering if yer still married, I thought she may have figured you out by now… Catch up with you later this month…

    • Its dusty just wondering if you got out at all this weekend. We hunted carlyle at the pit and saw very little. Wondering if no birds here or just working different side of the lake.

  12. Good migration along the Illionois River yesterday, and with the cold temps ducks are hitting the fields. Late harvest in some spots have left a few fields unturned, and if you find those fields you should do well.

  13. Starting to pick up more birds in the Northern part of the South-Central zone. Seeing mostly Mallards, Teal, and Gadwall.

  14. Well the opener in the northern past of the South/Central zone came in with a lot of people asking where are the mallards. A common question but most did feast on the other ducks that are making their way southbound. Getting very good reports of bag limits on gadwall, wood ducks and teal that are here in good numbers. Some reports indicate bag limits quite common in the Carlyle Lake area just not filling them with green heads. Last nights front that came through dropping the temps some 30 to 40 degrees and a strong north-northwest wind should have the green heads part of your bag for several days to come. The mallard numbers should increase significantly the next several days.

  15. Another great day. 20 mallards by 930am. It has been a great season so far and the ducks really haven’t even showed up. private duck club along the Illinois river

  16. Awesome morning is the southern part of central zone. Kiled 18 birds before 8:30 mostly teal, and mallards.

  17. New geese arriving McHenry County and activity is good. Wood duck numbers dropped significantly after those few blustery days but seeing a few more mallards than we did opening week.

  18. The reports from the southern part of the central zone are mostly the same throughout the region. The ducks that were taken were some that have been loafing in the area for a few weeks. The bag was mostly teal, woodies and mallards. The geese that have been taken were mostly of the local variety, they got educated that is waterfowl season once more. Weather again is going to be the major factor in the long term success. Happy hunting

    • Kevin…..Saturday was a major flight day!! Lots of gadwall and teal moved thru/in. Not to mention the non-stop flights of specks all day long!! Great weekend over all….lots of killin.

      • Dirt, I heard that too, but the way it looks a lot of those birds, specks included didn’t stop, they kept on SB. Went over yesterday to check on a few things and saw some teal, and gadwall but not a lot of mallard numbers, should get a better report when the youth hunt kicks in this weekend.

  19. Wood ducks-o-plenty but not much else on the opener. Only saw one distant group of local mallards in two days and zero teal.

    The boys got some nice drakes — which means I get flank feathers for fly tying. It’s nice to have the season underway but drought conditions are again having an impact.

    This will be the 5th season in a row that our marsh is bone dry for the opener. Last year it stayed dry the entire season. Hopefully we’ll see some serious rain soon.

  20. Some of the local farmers are starting on beans this week. Goose activity and numbers seem to increase more each day.

    It should only get better with the harvest starting.

  21. Good news is we drew a blind at Mazonia..Webbie, I need a built in calculator to post, get on it…”.

  22. Once you scare off the locals gotta wait for the cold up North, and them to slip by the N. Il. Shortstoppers…

  23. A lot more geese flying the past week. Flock sizes seem larger and flying more consistently. Duck numbers are better but have not seen any large concentrations of teal — mostly local woodies and mallards.

    • The teal numbers were down compared to last year big time. The boys on Carlyle Lake had a few good days at the very end of the early season but nothing compared to last year.

      • Some real good days, Kevin……..The last 3 were excellent!!

      • Even though there are good teal numbers south I think there are a lot yet to come. I think it’s a combo of late hatches and above average temps.

        Last time weather trends were like this, we were covered up on blue wings on opening day of the general season.

        I think that maybe the case this year.

  24. Goose activity is a bit better but not on our fields. The morning flights are lasting a bit later into the morning. Doves have been odd. A lot of the early wheat fields have already been turned under. The seem to be in hayfields that have a lot of foxtail. For best bet on doves — scout roads in the afternoon for collections of doves on the electrical wires to find active fields.

  25. Not getting many successful reports of the early teal season here in S/W Illinois. Checked our area on Saturday and very few could be found. The temps aren’t helping matters with highs in the mid 90′s not much movement from the blue rockets. A front bringing in cooler temps is set to be here by the end of the week, hopefully with the front will come a new supply of birds.
    The Carlyle walk-ins have water in most of the impoundments, remaining there from the heavy spring rain we encountered this year. The DNR is going to just add on to the water when the season gets closer and fill the remaining impoundments. With that being said very little food was planted in the public hunting area thus making it more difficult to hunt. Good crops around the area on private property so there will be abundant food sources in the area, now might be the time to start knocking on doors and get permission to hunt some of the those fields the waterfowl will be visiting for food.

    • Kevin,

      That millet they planted a few weeks back is really takin off!! Found some water on some this weekend and hunted it…

      • Hey Slayer is that you…….. yeah we got some millet in several week ago since couldn’t get most of the corn in and it is doing pretty good. Going to try to get a rocket or two end of the week hen this little front comes through…

      • Yeah….It’s me, Stallard…..

        Looks like they got about 186 acres planted up there. Nice stand of it there in #1. Lake is leveling off. pretty much got the gates shut down.

  26. Two mornings of chasing geese resulted nothing more than a good breakfast — didn’t see one in the sky.

    Most seem to be leaving roosting ponds around 8pm to feed at night and are back on them well before sunrise — a typical pattern when it’s this hot.

    Like Drew said, no shortage of ducks around. Local mallard and wood duck numbers are excellent but we only saw a few teal. Teal numbers are usually higher this time of year so maybe the later hatch has had in impact on timing.

    Dove hunting was good the past two evenings — numbers near us were average but friends who were on a cut wheat field a few towns over reported insane numbers.

    Either way, it has begun. :)

  27. went out for opener of Canadian goose no birds hit the field. duck numbers look great though.

  28. Pre-season scouting report:

    It’s hot. Dang Hot. If the local geese fly at all the flights are very short lived and at or before first light or after sunset. Geese are stacked up on grassy areas next to water and not hitting the few grain fields that have been cut at all.

    Dove numbers are solid. Lots on the wires everywhere throughout the farmlands in McHenry County. Seems to be few wheat or barley fields in local rotation this year.

    Most farmers are still working on their second cutting of hay and straw is done. Doves are working some of these hayfields that were cut nice and short.

    Make smart choices on hunting spots this weekend since the September openers coincide with the holiday. There will be many folks in the great outdoors this weekend besides hunters celebrating the fall openers.

    Good Luck!

  29. Looks like we have had a good hatch of woodies and mallards in central illinois!

  30. The news isn’t very good for the public hunting area at the north-end of Carlyle Lake. I was out setting a few trail cameras in the Fayette Co. area and drove through the state impoundments and there is still standing water in some of the areas. In parking lot #1 and #2 weeds and standing water was common throughout the area. There is no way any agricultural crops get planted, only hope is that some millet may get into some of the areas.

  31. Duck numbers are second highest ever recorded — 6/60 here we come!


  32. Illinois DNR Announces Schedule of Waterfowl Blind Site Drawings

    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. Blind allocations are good for one year, except on the Mississippi River Pools, and Meredosia Lake in Morgan and Cass counties, which are good for two.

    To participate in a drawing, applicants must present a 2012 or 2013 Illinois hunting or sportsman combination license and a 2012 or 2013 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.

    Applicants needing to purchase new licenses and stamps should do so prior to the drawing. Most blind drawing locations will not have license sales available. Licenses and stamps are available at any DNR Direct license and permit vendor, or through the IDNR website at

    Registrants must also possess a current Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card from the Illinois State Police unless exempted by law. Expired FOID cards are not acceptable. However, applicants will be allowed in the drawing if they present the cashed check from their FOID card application dated at least 30 days before the blind drawing date. Applicants under the age of 21 do not need a FOID card if they are accompanied by an adult who has one.

    For those without a FOID card in their possession, law enforcement officers will not be able to validate FOID card status on the day of the drawing.

    Also, in order to be an eligible applicant for the drawing, the participant must not at the time of the drawing have his or her hunting privileges suspended or revoked by the IDNR or any other jurisdiction. Out-of-state residents must have a 2012 or 2013 non-resident hunting license for Illinois, a 2012 or 2013 Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp, and a photo I.D.

    The schedule for 2013 blind drawings is listed below:

    SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2013 (Blinds allocated for two years)

    • Mississippi River Pool 21 and Pool 22: registration 10 a.m. – noon at the Twin Oaks Sportsman’s Club, 2707 Bonansinga Dr., Quincy. (Location of Pool 22 drawing has been moved to this site from the South Side Boat Club in Quincy)

    • Mississippi River Pool 24: registration 10 a.m. – noon at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office, Route 106 West, Pittsfield.

    • Meredosia Lake in Morgan and Cass Counties: registration 10 a.m. – noon at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office, Route 106 West, Pittsfield.

    SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2013 (Blinds allocated for one year)

    • Chain O’ Lakes State Park and Redwing Slough/Deer Lake State Natural Area, Lake County: registration for both sites 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Oak Point day use area, 1/5 mile east of the Fox River on the south side of Illinois Route 173. Hunters will be allowed to register for only one of the two sites.

    • Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area, Will County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the site office, two miles northwest of Wilmington off exit 241 on Interstate 55.

    • Kankakee River State Park and Momence Wetlands, Kankakee and Will Counties: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for both sites at the Kankakee River State Park office, five miles northwest of Bourbonnais on Illinois Route 102. Hunters will be allowed to register for only one of the two sites.

    • Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area, Grundy County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the site office just off Illinois Route 53, two miles southeast of Braceville.

    • Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area, DeKalb County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the park office. Directions – go 2½ miles south of Shabbona on Shabbona Road, turn east on Shabbona Grove Road and go ½ mile (office is on left side of the road).

    • Sinnissippi Lake, Whiteside County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Harry Oppold Marina, on Stouffer Road on the east edge of Sterling.

    • William Powers State Recreation Area, Cook County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the boat launch, 126th St. and Ave. 0, Chicago.

    SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2013 (Blinds allocated for one year)

    • Anderson Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Fulton County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the area check station, 13½ miles southwest of Havana on Illinois Route 100.

    • Clear Lake, Mason County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Sand Ridge State Forest Headquarters, 25799E CTY RD. 2300N, Forest City. Phone (309) 597-2212. Follow the signs from Manito or Forest City.

    • Lake DePue State Fish and Wildlife Area, Bureau County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Oak Grove Park, ¾ miles west of DePue on Illinois Route 29.

    • Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area including the Sparland Unit, Marshall County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the area check station, five miles south of Lacon on Illinois Route 26.

    • Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Fulton County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the area check station, three miles south of Banner on Route 24.

    • Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area, Cass and Mason Counties: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. On the east side of the maintenance building, two miles north of Chandlerville on Illinois Route 78 (follow the signs to Sanganois).

    • Spring Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area and Pekin Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, Tazewell County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the south park office area, two miles north of Manito on County Rd. 16 (Manito Rd.) and eight miles west and south on Spring Lake Rd.

    • Starved Rock State Park, LaSalle County: registration 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Point Shelter day use area on Illinois Route 71, about four miles east of Illinois Route 178 or 5½ miles west of Illinois Route 23 in South Ottawa.

    • Woodford State Fish and Wildlife Area, Woodford County: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the area check station, 5½ miles north of Spring Bay on Illinois Route 26.

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2013 (Blinds allocated for two years)

    • Mississippi River Pool 16: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, 19408 Loud Thunder Rd., Illinois City.

    • Mississippi River Pool 17: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at New Boston City Park.

    • Mississippi River Pool 18: registration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Delabar State Park, two miles north of Oquawka.

    Additional hunting information and maps on the above sites can be accessed at

  33. I posed this on the home page , so I copied it for the Illinois folks’

    For us folks in Southern Illinois we have had a good snow goose season, with a brief warmup in early February we got some southern geese moving up and then a cold snap kept them here. A few weeks later a major snowstorm went north and west of us sending the birds back down for another round of big numbers. They stayed around again for the past couple of days but are slowly moving back north. Today we hit a few migrators with a warm wind coming from the southeast, it shouln’td be long before major numbers arrive points north up to the Dakotas. I am done chasing them for the year since I am leaving tomorrow for our annual trip to Jupiter and see the other birds in my life the Cardinals at spring training for a couple of weeks, good luck and stack em high.

    I also get an aerial shot of the decoy set-up for reference for next year and to see white the geese are seeing from 1000 feet up.

  34. With the recent weather hitting the areas north and west of us we are getting many birds that had originally passed us up. Our weather has been typical late February weather and we are getting birds from all direction thanks to mother nature hitting areas above us. There hasn’t been an official bird survey posted yet but I can asure you there are more birds around than there have been in several years. There is no major warm-up in the near future so most of these white and blue devils should hang around. Go get em……..

    • Kevin, Have a nephew at SIU who has permission on land SE of Pyramid. Wouldn’t happen to know if there are many snows that far south would you ? Was thinking about trying them again down there this weekend if they are around.

  35. I went over to the lake today and I think there are more geese in the area than anytime this year. I guess the storm that dropped the large amounts of snow n/w of us has some of the birds returning, there were several fields west of the lake that were holding 20K plus and on the way home I saw numerous flights southbound. I had to reset some of the mechanical toys we took in because of the ice/sleet, but did bring the gun and managed 5 in an hour or so while setting things up.The birds should remain inthe area until we get a southwind and a warm-up, which isn’t predicted in the near future. Go get em…..

  36. I wish we could hunt ducks when they are actually here to hunt. Landed mallards, blacks and some awesome pintail in the dekes lately. But guess what, no geese.
    The ducks are ridiculous right now. Like bees on a hive. They had our field covered up today.

    • Same here Drake ducks aree everywhere, the pintails have spikes a foot long…. specks are around but tough to get in range, just wait after today the speck will be right in. Snows and blues are getting better next warm-up should be the ticket, but single digits here tonight so may be a few days, but were ready.

      • The rain we had the past 48-hours FINALLY put water in our slough — thanks to the extra runoff from frozen ground. Isn’t that always the case. Ducks arrive after the season is out and now so does our water.

        Go get those snows Kevin!

      • Getting good numbers of geese on the lake, no more ice and they are back at the northend. Too bad you can’t kill a few specks they are lousy.Not much wind today made it tough to get them to finish did manage a few but would have been better with some wind. Looks like it is only going to get better.

      • Still good number of geese on the lake, after today we should clear up and have good winds for the next several days, which should make for some decent results. Zeus let us know what is down there so we know what has to come up this way.

      • The IDNR survey plane reported there are 3000 snow geese on Carlyle Lake. The observer must be taking observations lessons from Stevie Wonder, There are still a ton of snows in the Carlyle Lake area. We are having 50K coming over us daily, not counting the ones that are travelling east and west of us.Heavy wind the next few days, should be good.

    • Hey Kevin I am a hunter from Iowa and was looking at your picture of the snow goose spread, just had a few questions about it. How many decoys is that and do you do anything in general when you lay that out as far as shape and leaving a landing area. thanks for any info.

      • Hey Patch,
        There are about 1500 full body dekes there, they are hard to move that many daily with the wind so we place them around the immediate area of our pit pretty heavy and thin them out as they go away from the pit, we do have a few openings around the pit for them to work to. We did the lay out blinds last year and hunting about everyday it was tough with the rain,snow,mud etc. so we have a 20X8X8 foot concrete pit, were going to be comfortable this year. We need to get away from this single digit temps and warm-up, we’ll be waiting for them.

      • Headed to arkansas in 6 days. We’ll wave as we pass by Kevin.

      • Zeus what part, are the numbers good down there, doesn’t look like a major warm-up the next 6-7 days so most should still be down there.Good luck.

      • Sounds like it might be a bit tough. Lot of the birds may have moved out. But you know how that goes, there could be more right behind them. And those just might be easier to hunt. We’ll see. Kind of a crap shoot right now.

      • numerous large flocks of snow/blues heading north arnd st louis this morn

      • This latest weather event from mother nature my have the white devils sompletely mixed up, lke they can get more mixed up than they already are, but with the predicted heavy snow north and west of us I can see an alarming amount of birds headed back for a second round. We already have a very large contingent of snows in the Fayette/Bond Co. area, just depends how much snow we all get and and how the birds are going to respond. We hunted again yesterday with little wind and cloud cover and managed double figures, but the amount of birds is just a healthy now as any time this season. Heading out now before the snow/sleet and freezing rain. Also there are more specks on the lake right now more than I have ever seen, too bad IDNR doesn’t allow a few birds to be harvested during the conservation season.

      • Well DNR posted another waterfowl survey over Carlyle Lake, it appears he/she is getting closer to the actual amount, stating that there are 91,000 on thte lake. Having hunted there for the past 20 plus days I still think there are more there now than anytime during the season and with the recent snow storm the numbers could increase depending on the mindset of the geese. We left early yesterday in the middle of driving sleet, most geese stayed in the fields during the precip, to ride out the storm, may try to get over there this afternoon and see how the decoys are and the see where the birds ended up. The temp here is around 35 already this morning with a S/W wind, so thawing should begin, we ended up with about three inches of snow/sleet here and a coating of freezing rain on top of that.

  37. There is a lot of talk about surverys lately. I saw one that said there were 84,319 snow geese at Horseshoe. I will tell you this, I only counted 84,316. Sarcasm aside, there are more snows around here than I have ever seen. Whether that is 20,000 or 200,000 I dont know. To tell you the truth I don’t care. I never have and never will take the time to count them. I will give you a simple explanation to the waterfowl situation here. A helluva lot of snows… More specks than you need, Ducks all over the place, and a handful of Canadas. Keep in mind, I have neither a biology, or math degree.

  38. Last week my Mother died of a long battle with Alzheimers, so I hadn’t been able to get on here as much as I wanted, after witnessing the dreadful disease it was a blessing the good Lord took her.
    Back to more pleasant things, and unfortunately it isn’t waterfowl, a few days last week there was an abundance of ducks and geese in the area, but with this last cold snap it sent most of them packing to the south, most of Carlyle Lake north of the railroad tracks is frozen there are some spots in and around the impoundments where the snow geese are rosting that is open. I went out this morning and saw a good amount of snows but very few specks and canadians. Another cold day or two are predicted for the area but after tht a big warm-up is supposed to arrive which should open the doors for a few good days of speck and canada hunting. We are going to put out the snow goose spread the next day or two with a good amount of speck decoys to try and get a few good hunts before it goes out.
    Overal the duck season was very good until the frigid temps arrived and the lack of snow north of us resulted in a small population of dark geese, unfortunately we come to expect that down here anymore.
    After the cold snap leaves I hope to make a few reports on successful goose hunts.

    • Kevin– sorry to hear about your mom. A few years back I spent just over a year caring for my great Aunt, who also had Alzheimer’s, until she passed. I couldn’t even begin to describe how emotionally draining the process was. I hope the days ahead are better for you and your family.

      On a hunting note — the arctic temps have moved quite a few geese out of northern Illinois. Not sure how far south they have moved but the evening flights here have substantially diminished in size.

    • Sorry to hear Kevin

    • Sorry forgot to post a quick picture I took from my truck as I was leaving the pit. Sorry about the quality but my hone is all I had with me to take the shot.

  39. Lots of ducks in the southern part of the state. Lots of really, really, really smart ducks.

    • Larry — saw the last survey for southern IL — lots of ducks and absolutely no Canada geese. The survey showed only 3800 — compared to a 5-year average of 46,000. We’re still covered in them here in northern IL. The survey also showed over 86,000. Chasing those when ducks go out?

      • Had a decent hunt the last weekend on ducks. Really got into the specks on Sat., not so much on Sunday. We have had a few Canadas work in from time to time, but you are right, there are only a handful here. Most of the ducks areound us have paired up, making it a little tougher to get the to commit. Good season all in all.

  40. Sent the season out today in the goose files and was humbled. Geese didn’t fly in the am. Too cold? Had my chance but didn’t convert. Friend got one goose but should have had three. Next year….

  41. Kids did have a good season though. Adding a pic to show the new feature.

  42. The goose season has just 3-days left. While the goose season has been better this year than previous years (maybe because we hunted geese more than ducks), it has been the worst season in the past 20-years.

    Thanks to the drought, our slough was dry all season long. In 20 years our slough has never been bone dry all season. Odd times.

    On the plus side the kids did get a lesson in public land hunting, scouting and knocking on doors for permission — an education they really needed anyway.


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