File photo of a deer check station sign. | Dale Bowman
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the protocols for the CWD deer check stations during the pandemic.
Protocols for deer check stations during the firearm seasons were announced today by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The IDNR had the protocols ready for weeks, but final approval needed to come from the Governor’s office.
The final protocols are pretty much what a source said the IDNR had prepared. Frankly, the protocols pretty much make sense. The one that will hurt and that I will most miss is the interaction among hunters BSing about their deer and other deer being checked in.
Here is the breakdown from the IDNR:
IDNR Announces Health and Safety Procedures for Firearm Deer Check Stations in CWD Counties
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced changes to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) check station procedures during the 2020 seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Hunting Season (Nov. 20-22 and Dec. 3-6). The changes, health and safety protocols implemented in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, will provide greater protection to both the hunting public and IDNR staff during the season.
Hunters should follow all public health guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Through responsible actions, hunters can help ensure that site hunting programs continue to offer Illinoisans healthy outdoor recreation opportunities.
IDNR is reminding deer hunters that in the counties of Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Livingston, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will, and Winnebago, successful firearm deer hunters must take their deer (either whole or field-dressed) to a designated firearm deer check station on the same day it is harvested. Daily check station hours are 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. For the dates Nov. 20-22 and Dec. 3-6, all deer harvested by hunters using a firearm deer permit in CWD counties are required to be checked at a CWD check station; these deer should not be checked through the online or telephone system.
*New for 2020*
Carroll County now has a CWD check station at Mississippi Palisades State Park on Illinois Route 84 north of Savanna. All deer harvested in Carroll County during the seven-day Firearm Deer Season must be taken to a CWD check station. More information can be found on pages 20-21 of the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations or online at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/programs/CWD/Pages/default.aspx
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the following changes will apply to CWD check stations:
1. Hunters should remain in their vehicles until approached by IDNR staff. Hunters are encouraged to arrive at check stations with their deer positioned so that the head and neck are accessible. Hunters entering the vehicle line at a CWD check station should be aware of updated signage and possible changes to previous traffic flow patterns. IDNR requests hunters stay in their vehicle until approached by a check station worker who will provide additional information. IDNR staff will ask one member of each hunting party to exit the vehicle at a time.
2. Hunters will be asked to wear a face mask at all times when out of their vehicle. All IDNR staff will be wearing face masks and gloves when interacting with the public at CWD check stations. IDNR is asking any hunters who must exit their vehicle to wear a face mask while out of the vehicle.
3. Hunters will not need to enter any indoor areas of check stations. Laminated maps will be moved outside at all check stations; hunters will have no need to enter the building at any check station.
4. IDNR staff will practice regular cleaning procedures. Check station workers will regularly sanitize maps, tables, and other commonly-used areas of check stations. Hand sanitizer will be made readily available.
5. Hunters will be encouraged to leave the check station as soon as their deer has been checked. In previous years, hunters would often remain at the check station to greet other hunters and view deer as they come in. To limit vehicle congestion and crowding at the check stations, hunters should move on once IDNR staff informs them they have successfully checked their deer.
These procedures may be further amended if health and safety protocols require changes prior to the firearm deer season. Hunters should check the IDNR website for updates at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr
Locations of CWD check stations can be found below:
Boone County Fairgrounds, 1/2 mi. N. of Rt. 76 and Bus. Rt. 20, Belvidere
Mississippi Palisades State Park, 3 miles N of Savanna at 16327 IL Route 84
Shabbona Lake State Park, 4201 Shabbona Grove Rd., Shabbona
Gebhard Woods State Park. 401 Ottawa Street, Morris
Elizabeth Community Building, 210 N. West St., Elizabeth 1/2 mi. W. of business district on Hwy. 20, next to Highland C.C. Elizabeth campus
Use Boone, DeKalb, Kendall or McHenry check station
Kankakee River State Park Visitors Center, 4 mi. NW of Bourbonnais at 5214 W. State Rt. 102
Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, 4.5 mi. W. of Yorkville at 13608 Fox Road
Buffalo Rock State Park. 3 mi. W. of Ottawa on Dee Bennett Road
Pontiac Sportsman’s Club, 1/2 mi. N.W. of Livingston Co. Ag Fairgrounds at 18663 4-H Park Road., Pontiac (just west of I-55)
Moraine Hills State Park, McHenry Dam Day Use Area, East of McHenry on River Rd., 2.2 mi. S. of Rt. 120
Castle Rock State Park, Rt. 2, 3 mi. S. of Oregon
Stephenson County Fairgrounds, 1 mi. E. of Rt. 26 and Fairgrounds Rd., Freeport
Des Plaines Game Propagation Center. East of I-55 at 30550 S. Boathouse Road, Wilmington
Rock Cut State Park, 6425 Hart Rd., Loves Park: 0.9 mi. E. of N. Perryville Rd. on Hart Rd.