Wildlife Illinois

Hunt Planner

Announcements

Spring turkey 1st lottery open

Rabbits & Squirrels

Season Dates & Limits

SPECIES DATES HOURS DAILY LIMIT POSSESSION LIMIT ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS
Squirrels
(Fox and Gray)
1 Aug 2020–15 Feb 2021
Closed 20-22 Nov and 3-6 Dec 2020 in counties open for firearm deer hunting
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset 5 10 Some public land sites have more restrictive dates, check site-specific regulations before hunting. On the 2nd day of the hunting season, you may possess no more than twice the daily bag limit
Rabbits
(Cottontail and Swamp)
7 Nov 2020–15 Feb 2021 Sunrise to Sunset 4 10 Some public land sites have more restrictive dates, check site-specific regulations before hunting. On the 2nd day of the hunting season, you may possess no more than twice the daily bag limit

Licenses & Permits

Licenses & Stamps

Permits & Lotteries

  • Rabbits
    • Most IDNR sites do not require a site-specific lottery permit
    • Some IDNR sites require a free upland game lottery permit, apply online
      • Application dates: 1-31 August 2020
      • Available to: residents only
  • Squirrels
    • Does not require separate permit
    • Use Hunt Planner to find sites open to squirrel hunting

Season Specific Regulations

Rabbit Season

Species

  • Cottontail rabbits
  • Swamp rabbits

Can use

  • IDNR sites
    • Shotgun
      • Must use shotgun of gauge 10 or larger (e.g., 12 or 20 gauge)
      • Barrel length shall not be less than 18 inches, and the overall length shall not be less than 26 inches
      • Must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined. Any shotgun having a capacity of more than 3 shells must be fitted with a one-piece plug that is irremovable without dismantling the shotgun or otherwise altered to render it incapable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined
      • Note: some IDNR sites require non-toxic shot, such as steel
    • Archery
      • Vertical compound bow, traditional bows (recurve or longbow) or crossbow
      • See the deer or turkey section for details on bow, arrow and arrow point specifications
    • Handgun
    • Falconry
  • Private land
    • Can use any shotgun, rimfire rifle, muzzleloading rifle, handgun, air rifle, archery or falconry methods allowable under statewide regulations
    • Statewide regulations on guns, archery and falconry can be found above and the digest of Statewide Hunting Regulations

Clothing requirements

  • IDNR sites
    • When hunting rabbits a solid blaze orange or blaze pink cap/hat and an upper outer garment displaying at least 400 square inches of blaze orange or blaze pink material must be worn. Camo patterned blaze clothing is not allowed
  • Private land
    • When hunting rabbits at least a blaze orange or blaze pink cap/hat must be worn. Camo patterned blaze clothing is not allowed

Miscellaneous

  • Dogs are legal to use for the entire rabbit hunting season statewide
  • Trapping rabbits is illegal
  • Be sure to check regulations for the IDNR site(s) you intend to hunt, as some sites have more restrictive regulations on equipment, harvest reporting, etc. You can find site-specific regulations using the Directory or Hunt Planner
  • Some IDNR sites require rabbit hunters to have a lottery-based Upland Game Permit. The upland game permit zone map can be accessed below
  • See the Statewide Hunting Regulations for full details of rabbit hunting requirements
  • Pertinent Administrative Rules: 510, 530

Upland Game Zones Map

Map applies to rabbit hunting on IDNR sites via a lottery-based upland game permit. Map does not apply to any other lands that allow rabbit hunting.

Squirrel Season

Species

  • Gray squirrel
  • Fox squirrel

Can use

  • IDNR sites
    • Shotgun
      • Must use shotgun of gauge 10 or larger (e.g., 12 or 20 gauge)
      • Barrel length shall not be less than 18 inches, and the overall length shall not be less than 26 inches
      • Must not be capable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined. Any shotgun having a capacity of more than 3 shells must be fitted with a one-piece plug that is irremovable without dismantling the shotgun or otherwise altered to render it incapable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined
      • Note: some IDNR sites require non-toxic shot, such as steel
    • Archery
      • Vertical compound bow, traditional bows (recurve or longbow) or crossbow
      • See the deer or turkey section for details on bow, arrow and arrow point specifications
    • Rifle
      • Varies by site. Check site rules using the Site Directory or Hunt Planner
      • Some sites allow muzzleloader, .22 caliber or smaller rimfire rifle and/or .25 caliber or smaller air rifle
    • Handgun
    • Falconry
  • Private land
    • Can use any shotgun, rimfire rifle, muzzleloading rifle, handgun, air rifle, archery or falconry methods allowable under statewide regulations
    • Statewide regulations on guns, archery and falconry can be found above and the digest of Statewide Hunting Regulations

Clothing requirements

  • No clothing requirements to hunt squirrels on public or private lands, unless simultaneously hunting other species that require blaze orange/pink clothing

Miscellaneous

  • Dogs are legal to use the entire squirrel hunting season statewide
  • Trapping squirrels is illegal
  • Be sure to check regulations for the IDNR site(s) you intend to hunt, as some sites have more restrictive regulations on equipment, harvest reporting, etc. You can find site-specific regulations using the Directory or Hunt Planner
  • See the Statewide Hunting Regulations for full details of squirrel hunting requirements
  • Pertinent Administrative Rules: 510, 690

Management & Ecology

Harvest Data and Surveys

Rabbit Harvest Reports

Squirrel nests

Additional Resources