Wildlife Illinois

Hunt Planner


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

Black Crown Marsh State Natural Area

Site Contact Info

Site Map

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 136 huntable acres
  • Habitat: Part of the Lake-McHenry Wetland Complex, huntable areas include marsh shoreline with shallow open water and IDNR agriculture field in corn and bean rotation.  These areas are surrounded by grasslands, marsh, and wheat field managed by IDNR.  

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Site requires use of windshield card by lottery drawing, displayed on vehicle dashboard, to report hunting effort and harvest by 15 February.
  • Parking access at the equestrian entrance on Wegner Road (marsh based hunting) and on Darrell Road (land based hunting) near Moraine Hills State Park.
  • Species-specific rules:


  • No deer hunting permitted.


  • No turkey hunting permitted.


  • Dates:
    • Marsh Hunting Area
      • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday of North Zone Illinois Duck Season
    • Land Hunting Area
      • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday of the regular North Zone Illinois Duck Season and all North Zone Goose Seasons
  • Permits:
    • 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 with sole access to the designated waterfowl hunting area at Black Crown Marsh. 
    • 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)
    • You will be required to sign in and out, and report harvests at the kiosks found in each designated parking area. Failure to report will result in loss of hunting privileges.  Permits are non-transferable.
  • Hours and Harvest:
    • 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm
      • Must be off site and signed out with harvest by 2:00 pm.
  • Youth Season
    • Youth season will be held on the statewide youth season dates. 
    • Follow statewide regulations.
    • Permit Application can be found here.
  • Walk-in only.
  • Boat will be available at the site for hunter use but hunters must provide oars and life jackets.
  • You may bring your own canoe, skiff, kayak, or small boat without a motor. 
  • Hunters may utilize the area designated on the maps and within the staked boundaries of the marsh and fields.
    • Hunters may construct temporary blinds on or near the shore that must be removed at the end of each day’s hunt. 
  • Due to thick vegetation, hunters are strongly encouraged to use retrieving dogs and to only shoot at ducks over open water and within legal range. 
  • Hunters under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult of legal age.
  • Hazards
    • There is possible sunken debris in the open water area.  Please use extreme caution when navigating the water.
  • You may not:
    • Enter any waterfowl refuge unless given specific permission from an authorized DNR representative in charge of the area. 
    • Take or attempt to take fish within the designated waterfowl area or waterfowl refuge during the waterfowl season. 
    • Operate an ATV in this area.
    • Use or Possess shells that are not of the non-toxic shot variety


  • No squirrel hunting permitted.
  • No rabbit hunting permitted.

Upland Birds

  • No upland bird hunting permitted.


  • No furbearer hunting or trapping permitted.


  • Hunting