Youth Deer Hunt October 12-13

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A special 2-day youth firearm hunting season for whitetail deer is scheduled for Oct. 12-13.

A total of 26 counties are open to the youth hunt including Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Clark, Crawford, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson, Jo Daviess, Lawrence, Macoupin, McLean, Morgan, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Richland Schuyler, St. Clair, Wayne, White, Whiteside and Williamson.

Youth hunters can hunt in the county for which they have a permit. A limited number of public sites are open and are listed below. Permission to hunt on private property must be obtained from a property owner or tenant.

Youth hunters must have a current, valid "Youth Deer Hunt Permit" issued earlier this year by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' permit office for the specific county or special hunt area they plan to hunt and must be accompanied by a non-hunting supervisor who has in his or her possession a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card. Both participants must wear the required blaze orange cap and upper garment with a minimum of 400 square inches of solid blaze orange material.

Hunters may use a shotgun , no larger than 10 gauge or smaller than 20 gauge, loaded with slugs only; or, a muzzleloading rifle of at least .45 caliber shooting a single projectile through a barrel at least sixteen inches in length. Shooting hours are from one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Participants with valid county-wide youth hunt permits may hunt at the following state or federally-managed sites:

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (Williamson County) 618/997-3344

Kaskaskia River-(Doza Creek Unit closed- (Randolph County) 618/785-2555

Mississiippi River Area - Calhoun Point, Hembold Slough, Fuller Lake, Godar-Diamond Complex, Red's Landing, Rip-Rap Landing (Calhoun County) 618/376-3303

Ray Norbut (Pike County) 217/833-2811

Rend Lake Fish & Wildlife Area (Jefferson County) 618/279-3110

Rend Lake Project Land & Water (Jefferson County) 618/279-3110

Siloam Springs (Park Only - no satellites) (Adams/Brown Counties) 217/894-6205

Turkey Bluffs (Randolph County) 618/826-2706

Weinberg-King (Schuyler County) 217/392-2345

Youth hunters and their supervisors are encouraged to contact these sites in advance of hunting to check on any specific site regulations.

Youth hunters also should be advised that archery deer season is underway and archery hunters will be afield during this weekend hunt. Archery hunters are reminded that if they are hunting in a county open to youth deer hunting that they must comply with requirements to wear blaze orange.