Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois authorities are urging hunters to be safe as firearm deer-hunting season gets underway.  The seven-day season starts Friday for a three-day period. A final four-day period starts Dec. 3.  Hunting hours will be from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - It's not always clear why deer cross the road, but it is clear many don't make it. That's the message from Illinois conservation officials who warn motorists to be on the lookout for deer - especially this time of year, noting deer have a habit of stepping into traffic.

I Bird 2 / Flickr/Creative Commons

A descendant of a previous owner of the Dickson Mounds property is hoping his familial ties will help keep it open.

Dickson Mounds State Museum,  along with other historical sites and museums in Illinois, is closing due to the state budget stalemate.

istorija / Flickr/Creative Commons

If you've been meaning to visit the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds archeological site, or museum shops in Lockport and Chicago, you have one month left to do it.

A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, which manages the sites, says they're set to close Sept. 30.

That's also when layoffs will take effect for all but three museum employees.

Advocates, like Erika Holst, a curator at Springfield's Art Association, have asked legislators to help save the museum.

A measure that would allow hunting bobcats in Illinois has won Senate approval. The legislation sponsored by Carlinville Republican Sen. Sam McCann would allow the Department of Natural Resources to issue as many as 200 permits a year to keep the animal's population in check.  It was approved 32-17. 

A second attempt to establish a bobcat-hunting season in Illinois is headed to the Senate floor for a final vote.

A railroad company has agreed to pay $570,000 to help settle claims over a 2009 derailment that spilled ethanol and killed tens of thousands of fish in northern Illinois.

Illinois officials are reminding hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts to renew their state licenses. The new license year begins April 1 for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation.

Documents show Illinois has a nearly $130,000 contract with a Chicago engineering firm to evaluate the closed, taxpayer-owned Eagle Creek Resort on Lake Shelbyville.

Illinois hunters and outdoors enthusiasts see Gov. Bruce Rauner as a potential new ally in Springfield as they advocate for a number of pieces of legislation this year.  

Bourne youngest lawmaker to serve in Illinois

Feb 20, 2015
Peoria Public Radio

Twenty-two-year-old Avery Bourne is the youngest lawmaker to serve in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is offering 32 wing shooting clinics across the state this year.

 The new director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says his farming and military experience will help make for a smooth transition.

Fracking is off to a feeble start in Illinois as slumping oil prices and the rigors of Illinois' new regulations have energy interests waiting on the sidelines.

Illinois hunters harvested about 2 percent fewer deer this season compared to last season.

A state senator is still smarting from Governor Pat Quinn's last minute veto of a proposal to once again allow bobcat hunting in Illinois. Carlinville Republican Sam McCann says he's going to reintroduce the bill now that Quinn's out of office.

Two months since Illinois enacted rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling, no company has applied for a state permit to put hydraulic fracturing to use.

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have allowed bobcat hunting in Illinois for the first time in more than 40 years.


Osprey that are part of an initiative to reintroduce the fish-eating hawks in Illinois have flown south for the winter.

Some Illinois hunters are helping needy families by donating at least part of their deer harvest. It's done through Sportsmen Against Hunger. The program is sponsored by the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Deer-vehicle accidents in Illinois continue to decline.  Deer can be more than a nuisance. They can be dangerous when they venture on to roads.   

It will be at least another month before legislators take up regulations of hydraulic fracturing. A bipartisan panel Tuesday voted to spend more time reviewing, and potentially rewriting them.

Drillers and environmentalists alike have been waiting for Illinois to come out with its guidelines for "fracking."  The state's Department of Natural Resources finally published its draft today.

Peoria Upper Island now complete

Aug 1, 2014

A nearly nine-million dollar project to help reduce sedimentation and restore the aquatic habitats along the Illinois River is complete.

David Gilky/NPR


Business and labor leaders are urging Illinois' Department of Natural Resources to finish the rules for hydraulic fracturing.  The coalition says it's left wondering if the governor's administration might be dragging the process for political reasons.

Polar vortex may have helped mosquitoes thrive

Jul 10, 2014

Mosquito season is in full force. That’s something weather and nature junkies were hoping wouldn’t happen because of the polar vortex. But IPR's Mariam Sobh reports that the record cold temperatures may have just given insects a perfect breeding ground.

The colder weather delayed the development of larvae but melted snow and spring rains have given mosquitoes a comfy place to hatch.   

Mosquitos thrive despite extreme weather

Jul 9, 2014

  If you’re spending any time outdoors today, you might notice that the cooler weather is doing nothing to curb the number of mosquitos.

Black bear spotted in Illinois

Jun 11, 2014


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is urging residents to take precautions as a black bear makes its way across the state. The unusual appearance comes as lawmakers approved legislation that would add the bears to the state's list of protected species. 

Lawmakers are giving up on an attempt to override state regulators in order to jumpstart fracking in Illinois. But as IPR'S Hannah Meisel reports, they still say Gov. Pat Quinn's administration is dragging its feet on a potential economic boom.

It's been a  year since hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, was approved in Illinois. The law was hard-fought, but in the end, industry and environmental interest groups signed off.

The Peoria Fire Department says it’s still too dangerous to recover a possible vehicle submerged in the Illinois River. The city received a report of an automobile floating in the river early Saturday morning near the foot of State Street. Personnel with the city and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources later located a possible vehicle about 40 feet from the shore in nearly 25 feet of water. The Fire Department’s dive team has marked the location of the object and is continuing to monitor the site.