8/3/2019 8:53:00 AM IDNR reminds dove hunters to scout sites Wet, cold spring delayed and canceled
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — 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 can be found by visiting https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DoveHunting.aspx.