Feb 1, 2024
  • Land
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
NWTF, Our Fiftieth and Beyond
by John Burk

The National Wild Turkey Federation is, and has been, considered a national leader in the nongovernmental conservation organization arena, especially as it relates to work with upland habitats, and, more specifically, the forested habitats that wild turkeys rely upon. Since their inception 50 years ago, Illinois chapters have been at the head of the pack in fund raising and putting dollars raised to work on the ground.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Land
  • Recreation
  • Research
  • Wildlife
Where Did All These Things Come From?!
by Randy Smith

The continental population and range of “light geese,” a group of medium to small geese that breed in the Arctic and winter from central Illinois south to the Gulf of Mexico, shifted substantially in the last 40 years. Learn why the population jumped from historical populations around 750,000 to 1 million individuals to 10 million in the mid-1990s, and what that means for the Arctic ecosystem and goose hunters.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
Simplifying Duck ID with GISS
by Curtis Twellmann

For the author, little is as awe-inspiring as large flocks of ducks or geese landing within range. With a potential for a diversity of species flying overhead, identification needs to happen before the shot. Books are great for knowing which field marks go with each species, but identification can be made faster using GISS to quickly describe a bird’s general impression of size and shape.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Land
  • People
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
A Brighter, Greener Future for Illinois: The IDNR Climate Action Plan
by Kathy Andrews Wright

Working in concert with a variety of partners, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is on track to reduce the agency’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050. In conjunction with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center at the University of Illinois, more than 70 people from all facets of the agency developed a Climate Action Plan. Pilot projects will be undertaken to test new ideas before they are rolled out to the whole agency. The actions will create a brighter, greener future for IDNR and the people of Illinois.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
Birding in Your Backyard
by Willow Simmons

The 2022 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation produced by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, reports that wildlife watching is immensely popular, with more than half of the U.S. population 16 years of age and older enjoying watching wildlife in 2022. That equates to 57 percent of the U.S. population viewing wildlife and a large majority of the wildlife watchers—91.1 million—observing birds around their homes. Are you one of those wildlife watchers, or interested in joining the crowd? Either way, read on to learn about this popular activity.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
2024 Fishing Regulations Guide Available
by Kathy Andrews Wright

One of Illinois’ popular Illinois sportfish, the saugeye (sauger x walleye hybrid), graces the cover of the 2024 Illinois Fishing Information guide, now available online and gas stations and bait shops throughout the state. Download or pick up a copy to stay up-to-date on statewide and site-specific regulations and to learn about new programs in Illinois, such as the Lake Sturgeon Recovery Project.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
IDNR Urban Fishing Instruction in the Classroom Expands in 2024 with Bussing Grants
by IDNR ENTICE, Urban Fishing Program Staff

The Urban Fishing Program is gearing up for another season of fun-filled fishing with schools across the state. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is thrilled to announce that grant money is now available to cover the cost of transportation to fishing locations.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Land
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
Lessons Learned from My Love Affair with the Owls
by Gretchen Steele

In the quiet corners of the grasslands at Pyramid State Recreation Area, where the owls gaze upon the world, I found a subject for my lens and a lifelong companion. My love affair with short-eared owls became a journey of self-discovery, a voyage into the heart of nature, and an odyssey of lessons that continue to unfold each passing season.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • People
  • Recreation
Fishing Has No Boundaries Develops Friendships
by Kathy Andrews Wright

For nearly 55 participants there is joy in experiencing something new, whether it is touching a fish, reeling in their first catch or riding on a pontoon boat. And for the 250 volunteers helping with a day of fishing on Lake Springfield, it is day that most vow to never forget.

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Feb 1, 2024
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Recreation
In Illinois it’s Prime Fly Tying Season
by Tom Yocom

A great wintertime activity for Illinois anglers is to tie your own flies—or learn how to begin. Fly tyers tie flies for the pleasure of the process enjoying the creative application of feathers, fur or synthetics to a hook is art with practical application. In this article you can learn why, and how, you can get started.

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Welcome to the November 2023 edition of the online magazine OutdoorIllinois Journal, featuring timely, seasonally based stories about the Prairie State’s wildlife resources, with an expansion of content to include a broader range of subjects—including endangered and threatened species and Illinois’ unique, high-quality habitats and the people working to preserve, protect and manage these resources.

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