Wildlife Illinois

Hunt Planner


Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permit First Lottery Begins August 16!

Big Bend State Fish and Wildlife Area

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Site Map

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 2,338
  • Habitat: The majority of the area is bottomlands along the Rock River that are interspersed with native grasslands, tracts of woods, oxbow lakes, and several wetlands and marshes. A small portion of the site is uplands composed of sandy soil with fields bordered by tree lines.

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • All hunters must follow any special regulations posted at parking lots 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  • Hunters must register daily with name and date prior to hunting and must record visit and harvest. Registration is at parking lots 1, 2, 3, or 4.
  • Species-specific rules:


  • Archery
    • Statewide regulations
    • One portable tree stand or ground stand allowed per hunter. Stands may be left unattended from Sept 15 through Jan 31, but must be marked with owner’s name, address and telephone number.
    • Archery deer hunting will be allowed during all firearm deer seasons. An archery permit is needed to hunt during the firearm deer seasons. All hunters must wear a cap and upper outer garment of solid blaze orange or pink of at least 400 sq. inches
  • Firearm
    • No deer firearm hunting permitted.


  • Fall Archery
    • Statewide regulations
    • Closed during firearm deer season
  • Spring
    • All spring turkey hunters must obtain a site-specific permit.
    • In an effort to distribute turkey hunters throughout the site, hunters are encouraged to use another parking lot when 2 cars are already present in a parking lot during the turkey season.
    • County permits will not be valid at Big Bend SFWA.
  • Youth
    • Statewide regulations
    • Site is open to holder of a valid youth turkey hunt permit for Whiteside County (no site specific permit)


Snipe and Rail Hunting

  • Statewide regulations
  • Non-toxic shot is required


  • Waterfowl hunting by free permit by lottery drawing from Springfield Permit Office. Permit application can be found here.
  • Each permit holder will be assigned a day. Hunting dates are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays of North Zone Illinois Duck Season. Permits are non-transferable.
  • It shall be the responsibility of the permit holder to bring no more than 3 partners (hunters or non-hunters; up to 4 persons total)
  • All hunters are required to sign in and out, and report harvests at the kiosks found in designated parking area.
  • Waterfowl hunting is walk-in only at the section assigned on the permit.
  • No permanent blinds are allowed, but hunters may bring or construct temporary blinds to be removed the same day. Hunters must carry their own decoys and gear/hunting equipment to the designated hunting area.
  • Hunters must park in designated hunter parking lot and not block gated entrance to waterfowl hunt area. Hunters may temporarily park at gate to unload/reload gear at the start/end of their day hunting.
  • Hunting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm and waterfowl hunters must be out of the field and signed out with harvest by 2:00 pm.


  • Squirrels
    • Statewide regulations, but shotgun use only.
  • Rabbits
    • Statewide regulations

Upland Birds

  • Pheasant
    • Statewide regulations
    • Non-toxic shot required
  • Quail
    • Statewide regulations, but season closes at sunset on Dec 14
    • Non-toxic shot required
  • Hungarian partridge
    • Statewide regulations
    • Non-toxic shot required
  • Dove
    • Dove hunting permit is issued through Springfield office for Sept 1-5. Applications are accepted beginning in June.  
    • During Sept 1-5, dove hunting is allowed from 12 pm -5 pm.
    • After Sept 5, dove hunting is allowed from sunrise to sunset.
    • Non-toxic shot only; #6 steel or #7  bismuth & tungsten or smaller
  • Woodcock
    • Statewide regulations
  • Crow
    • Statewide regulations


  • Statewide regulations


  • Trapping
    • Trapping permits (Quota of 3) issued through an annual drawing held at Morrison-Rockwood State Park.
    • Dog proof traps required.
    • Note: foothold trap jaw size change after rabbit season for water sets.
    • Contact site for drawing date and time.
  • Hunting
    • Rimfire rifles .22 caliber and smaller may be used from sunset to sunrise.
    • Furbearer hunting closed during Firearm Deer Season
      • Hunters with a valid, unfilled firearm deer permit for the hunt area may take coyotes during legal hours of the firearm deer season. Otherwise, the use of shotgun slugs to take furbearing mammals is prohibited on state sites.
    • Striped skunk season coincides with the statewide fox season.
    • Coyote season dates are August 1 – February 28.