Week-in-Review: Sept. 7-11

Upcoming Youth Firearm Deer Season

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is sharing information about the upcoming Youth Firearm Deer Season taking place in a matter of weeks.

From October 10 to October 12, the Youth Firearm Deer Season will be open to hunters who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the opening date of the season.

To participate, eligible residents and nonresident youths must purchase a $10.50 Youth Firearm Either-Sex Deer Permit. Youth Deer Permits for all open counties will be sold over-the-counter from DNR Direct license vendors beginning August 4 until the end of the season.

The statewide-issued permit is valid on private land, with landowner permission, or on public land sites open to the Youth Firearm Deer Season. Eligible youth hunters must also obtain a current, valid hunting license unless exempt.  

As of 2020, permits for youth hunting will no longer be county-specific. Youth permits allow the holder to hunt in any of the open counties in the state, on property where permission to hunt has been given from the property owner.

Shooting hours for youth season are half-an-hour before sunrise to a half-an-hour after sunset.

Click here for more information about supervision requirements or to learn more.

How to Vote by Mail

For this year’s 2020 election, many Illinoisans are choosing to cast their ballots by mail rather than going to the polls in November. Below is some helpful information should you want to request a vote by mail ballot. 

Any qualified elector of the state of Illinois who is properly registered to vote.
Registered or non-registered members of the U.S. Armed Forces while on active duty, members of the Merchant Marines, and/or U.S. government employees serving outside the U.S., as well as their spouse and dependent(s) who expect to be absent from their county of residence on Election Day.
Registered and non-registered citizens of the U.S. temporarily out of the country, and their spouse and dependent(s) of voting age when residing with or accompanying them who maintain a precinct residence in Illinois.
Any State or federal employee (and their spouse) who had a voting residence in the precinct at the time they entered employment, but who now reside elsewhere due to State or federal employment, may retain their voting rights in that precinct.


Voters must obtain a vote by mail application from their election authority, in-person or online, to request a vote by mail ballot. Upon receiving the application, the voter completes, signs, and then returns it to the election authority.


Vote by mail applications can be submitted 90 days through 5 days prior to the election.

If submitted by mail outside the U.S. an application must be made:

Not less than 30 days prior to the election to receive full ballot or;
Less than 30 days prior to the election to receive a federal ballot only


Military and overseas: 45 days prior to the election
Everyone else: 40 days prior to each election

Please be sure to contact your local County Clerk’s office for more information.

Veterans in the Fire Service Day

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is offering a unique, no cost professional development program to veterans interested in serving as a member of the fire service.

As part of their 3rd annual Veterans in the Fire Service Day, US Armed Forces veterans are invited to register to attend a day of hands-on, live fire training activities on Oct. 11.

The Veterans in the Fire Service Day will offer two training schedules for students.

Veterans interested in learning more about a career in the fire service will engage with an elite group of IFSI instructors, many military veterans, who will introduce essential firefighting skills.

Meanwhile, attendees currently working in the fire service industry will engage in live fire conditions, working cooperatively with IFSI instructors.

There is no cost to attend and free lodging will be provided for attendees. Registration is required as space is limited. Click here to learn more or to register for the event.

Dry Weather Continues as Harvest Season Closes in

While some farmers in Southern and South-Central Illinois are beginning to harvest the first acres of their 2020 corn and soybean crops, producers in Central and Northern Illinois continue to wait while dry weather grips their areas.

According to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), most of the Northern half of the state is considered to be in either abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions. NASS rates 57% of the crop acres in Illinois as being short or very short on topsoil moisture.

The report also rates 23% of the Illinois corn crop as mature, with most of those acres in Southern Illinois, where harvest is just getting started. So far, none of the soybean crop is rated as mature.

According to the agency, corn crop quality is holding steady from the previous week, with 70% of the acres rated as good or excellent. Soybean quality is dropping somewhat however, with 68% of beans rated as good or excellent, compared to 72% during the previous week. Both crops are rated substantially higher than the 2019 crops were at the same time.

Dale Fowler

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