Gents, It appears from other threads, that some folks visiting this site are confused about what can occur during this "change year." First, it is a 5-year election regarding the issues of a. the number of zones and b. zone boundaries...not cementing your start date for duck season for 5 years. Second, a state currently without four zones is not likely to receive the blessing of the USFWS or the MS Flyway Council (people are confused about MO - they ONLY have three duck zones - and they are wrestling with the same issues as IL - you should read their waterfowl web sites). I believe there are essentially two options that IDNR has available for consideration. The first option, and the one I suspect will prevail simply moves the northern boundary of the South Zone south (puts Rend and Carlyle into the Central Zone) and moves the southern boundary of the Northern Zone south (going to be harder to forge agreement on this one), yet retains the current 3-zone system without splits. The second option would be to move to a two-zone configuration - with splits possible in each zone. The BIG issues for this option would be the boundary line (dividing the N/S Zones) and the start dates for the respective zones. Since a number of persons have suggested Rt 136 as the separation line, let's use it for an example. How about a split season for the new Southern Zone with dates the folks south of Rt 13 would likely prefer and lobby for - say Nov 4-12 for the first leg, then close for 10 days, and reopen a 60-day season on Nov. 23 to finish on Jan 21 - daja vu. I suspect a majority of duck hunters on back water lakes on the IL river between 136 and I-72, plus duck hunters at Shelbyville, Decatur, Clinton, Jacksonville, Springfield, and other shallow water marshes in the northern half of the new zone would looooovvvveee these dates. If this senario played out, and the southern dudes (below 13) would push for it....watch the duckhunters from southwest IL (you know... the folks between Godfey south to Belleville) stand up and cheer - righttttttt! How about season dates for the new North Zone (Rt.136 to WI border) if IDNR adopts a two-zone-with-splits configeration? How about Oct 28 to Nov. 5 (9 days) for the opening segment, close for 12 days and reopen on Nov. 18 to finish on Jan. 6. These hypothetical dates for the new North Zone would be much more acceptable to the folks around the hot tubs and on the big rivers in the new zone - but many of those hunting above I-80 and other shallow water lakes throughout the zone would enjoy some excellent ice-skating opportunities. Consequently, if'n I was a betting man, I'd put my money on zone-boundary changes...and get some odds on the N/C Zone line switch. DNR WILL probably do something to avoid getting "beat-up-on" again next year. And I haven't even thrown Keck into the new South Zone equation...spose h'd opt for the hypothetical above? Maybe smarter minds than mine can figure out a better system than we currently enjoy; I suspect the "cure" might be more problematic then the problem.