Illinois Department of Natural Resources issued the following announcement on Aug. 2.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding the state's dove hunters to scout sites before applying for permits as some hunting areas were unable to plant sunflowers due to an unusually cool, wet spring.
"Unfortunately, this spring's weather just didn't cooperate with our typical sunflower planting schedule," said Ryan Prehn, chief of parks, IDNR. "In fact, only a small percentage of sunflowers were planted on time and, at some hunting areas, park staff were unable to plant sunflowers at all. In many cases, our staff has planted alternative crops instead."
While dove sites will still be available, Prehn said there may not be an active crop in the fields and the agency wanted to let them know so they could plan accordingly.
"When it comes to managing natural areas, weather challenges come with the territory," Prehn said. "When we encounter those challenges, we do the best we can, but it does mean that concessions have to be made. That's why we're asking hunters to scout sites before permit drawings so they know the conditions of the fields."
As of July 1, many of the alternative crops have been plants. The sites affected by delayed or canceled sunflower planting are listed below:
|Site||Region||Sunflowers||Contingency Crop Planted|
|Rice Lake/Double T||1||Y||Proso Millet|
|Matthiessen/Starved Rock||1||N||Proso Millet|
|Le Aqua Na||1||Y||N/A|
|Mautino/Hennepin Canal||1||N||Millet and wheat|
|Green River||1||N||Proso Millet|
|Big Bend||1||Y||*Will have reduced # of spots available*|
|Chain O'Lakes||2||N||Winter wheat|
|Des Plaines||2||N||*Site will utilize West Grounds w/ wheat planted*|
|Middle Fork||3||N||Proso Millet|
|Moraine View||3||N||Proso Millet|
|Clinton Lake||3||Y||Proso Millet|
|Buckhorn||4||N||stick with flowers|
|Coffeen Lake||4||Y||stick with flowers|
|Horseshoe Lake SP||4||Y||N/A|
|Pere Marquette SP||4||N||Mow annual weed|
|Jim Edgar Panther Creek||4||Y||N/A|
|Washington Co.||4||N||Proso Millet|
|Randolph Co.||4||Y||Proso Millet|
|Peabody River King||4||Y||Wheat|
|Eldon Hazlet||4||N||stick with flowers|
|10-Mile Creek||5||Y||Winter Wheat|
|Burning Star||5||N||Mow annual weeds|
|Cape Bend||5||N||wheat and buckwheat|
|Dixon Springs||5||Y||Mow annual weeds|
|Giant City||5||N||Mow annual weeds|
|Horseshoe Lake SFWA||5||N||Proso Millet|
|Mt. Vernon GF||5||N||Proso Millet|
|Skinner Farm||5||N||Mow annual weeds|
|Union Co.||5||N||Proso Millet|
For more information on dove hunting in Illinois, visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DoveHunting.aspx.
Original source can be found here.