The annual Hancock Park District Hunting with Permission Game Management Program was approved this week by the Board of Park Commissioners during the board’s regular meeting.

A lottery determines who receives the 35 permits in five different drawings at 7 p.m. Aug. 8 in the Activity Barn at Litzenberg Memorial Woods.

The permit categories include: five, deer gun; five, deer muzzleloader; 10, small game and furbearer (waterfowl and furbearing animals only, no deer); 10, deer archery (longbow and crossbow); and five, deer gun, youth, for use Nov. 23-24 only. Participants must be 17 years old or younger when the drawing is held.

All permits expire at the end of the season, or Jan. 31, whichever comes first. There will be no daily permits issued for this year’s program.

Hancock County residents and landowners are eligible to participate. Individuals may register for each permit category, except the youth deer gun permit days, although youth may have an adult companion.

The program, in cooperation with the state Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, allows permit holders to hunt in Litzenberg Memorial Woods, on the south side of U.S. 224 west only, from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.

The area includes the woods, three designated wetlands, the Blanchard River, its north bank and adjacent fields north of the riverbank.

Hunting is in accordance with state hunting and trapping regulations.

All program rules and guidelines will be available at the park district office, 1424 E. Main Cross St., prior to the lottery drawing.

Separately, the park board approved the annual renewal of health insurance premiums for 10 full-time employees, which includes a 13.1 percent monthly increase of about $1,300 from about $10,020 to about $11,334, effective Aug. 1. The plan includes medical, prescription drugs, dental and vision coverage.

Director Gary Pruitt said the state Department of Transportation will provide at least $42,455 during 2020-2021 for road crack filling, seal coating, and striping of parking lots.

A new addition to the Discovery Center at Oakwoods Nature Preserve array of taxidermy birds and animals will be a pelican with a 7-foot wing span.

Following the regular meeting, the board and staff members traveled to community parks in Jenera, Mount Cory and Rawson to get updates on park improvements partially funded with park district grant funds. The park board usually makes the visits every two years from June to September.

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