Wildlife Illinois

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

Cache River State Natural Area

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Site Characteristics

Cache River cypress swamp.
Cache River moist soil, area with shallow standing water.
  • Huntable acres: 15,392
  • Habitat: Cache River SNA is characterized by great diversity, both in habitat types and wildlife. The Cache River area is one of only six places in the country where four or more physiographic ecological units overlap. Also, two major rivers, the Ohio and Mississippi, join together just south of Cache River SNA. Habitat types in the area include limited upland forest, mature and young bottomland hardwood forest, early successional tree plantings, cypress-tupelo swamps, and limited open areas and native warm season grasslands. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.
  • Attention – The invasive plant species, Japanese Chaff Flower (Achyranthes japonica), was identified at Cache River SNA. To prevent its spread, please try to avoid infested areas and clean your clothes and boots of any seed. To learn more about Japanese Chaff flower and how to identify it, please visit this link. You can report observations of the plant to the District Natural Heritage Biologist.

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • Hunters may leave stands unattended from Sept15 – Jan31. Stands must be legibly labeled with the owner’s name, address and telephone number.
  • Hunting is allowed only in Natural Areas. No hunting is allowed in restricted areas and in the three Nature Preserve Areas.
  • Persons may not enter the Nature Preserve Areas with a weapon in possession. No weapons are allowed in the restricted area at the Cache River Wetland Center from Rt. 37, east to the Tunnel Hill State Trail, and 3/4 mile north of Section 8 Woods Nature Preserve to private property.
  • Hunting is on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no quotas or drawings.
  • All hunters are required to sign-in and sign-out at the hunter registration boxes provided at the hunter access areas.
    • Hunters are required to report harvest before leaving the site
  • All motorized vehicles must remain on roads or in access areas. No ATV’s, bicycles, horses, or mules are permitted in the Natural Area.
  • Hunting areas can be accessed hiking or biking on the Tunnel Hill State Trail.
    • All weapons must be cased or bow and arrows locked while traveling along the trails right-of-way corridor. Tunnel Hill State Trail is a restricted area closed to hunting; it is unlawful to hunt, trap or discharge a gun or bow or arrow device along, upon or across the right-of-way of the trail.
  • Species-specific rules:



  • Statewide regulations


  • Statewide regulations


  • Statewide regulations



  • Statewide regulations

Fall Gun

  • Statewide regulations

Fall Bow

  • Statewide regulations


  • Statewide regulations
  • No permanent blinds or pits may be dug or constructed. All blinds must be portable or established with natural vegetation and
    must be removed or dismantled at the end of each day’s hunt. Cutting live vegetation on these areas is illegal.
  • Youth Waterfowl season is held the weekend preceding the South Zone duck opener – follow statewide regulations.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for hunting waterfowl and migratory birds.


  • Statewide regulations
  • Hunters engaged in rabbit hunting must wear a cap and upper outer garment containing at least 400 square inches of solid and vivid blaze orange.

Upland Birds

  • Dove
    • Statewide regulations
    • Non-toxic shot is required
  • All other upland bird hunting follow statewide regulations
    • Hunters engaged in quail hunting must wear a cap and upper outer garment containing at least 400 square inches of solid and vivid blaze orange.


  • Trapping
    • Permission to trap must be obtained by contacting the site office.
    • No snares are allowed.
    • Only Egg Traps, D-P (Dog-Proof) traps, box traps, cage traps and traps of similar design may be used for land sets.
  • Hunting
    • Statewide regulations
    • 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.
    • Coyote and striped skunk season coincides with the statewide fox season.