Wildlife Illinois

Hunt Planner

Announcements

Spring turkey 1st lottery open

Chain O’Lakes State Park

Site Contact Information

Site Characteristics

Site-Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • Hunting requires non-toxic shot.
  • Each hunting program may have additional rules & regulations. Contact park for information.
  • Handicapped hunting opportunities may be available. Contact park for information.
  • Parking must be in designated parking areas only. All vehicles must remain on park roads (no entry onto the trails). The use of bicycles is prohibited for any hunting purposes.
  • CWD SAMPLING: It is highly recommended to have all deer tested for CWD. There are many CWD Sampling options.
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Season: 11/2/20 – 12/22/20 Monday – Thursday (11/19 until 12 pm ONLY!) Monday and Tuesday ONLY on 11/23/20 and 11/24/20.
    • A maximum of 35 hunters; deer and turkey only.
    • Hunting is on a first come first serve basis, beginning at 4:30 am daily with checkout by 6:30 pm.
    • Hunters must sign in and out each time they enter/leave the park.
    • Tracking or recovering of a deer will be allowed until 7:00 pm, but must be approved by check station personnel by 6:00 pm. Hunters unable to recover their deer by 7:00 pm may be allowed to come in the next morning after 9:00 am to continue searching ONLY if approved by park staff.
    • All hunting is with bow or crossbow.
    • Hunting license will be held at the check station while you hunt. A back patch will be issues and must be worn while hunting.
    • Hunting restricted to West of the Fox River (see map). Parking in designated areas only.
    • Spectators (non-hunters) are prohibited.
    • Deer/turkey stands must be portable and removed daily. No nails or spikes allowed in trees. Pruning branches up to 1 ½ inch in diameter is allowed on your tree stand only.
    • Entrails left in the field must be 50 feet from trail.
    • Scouting is allowed before the season starts.
    • Late season: 12/26/20 thru 1/17/21 daily. Hunting is available at Oak Point Day Use Area. Daily quota of ten hunters are filled on a first come first serve basis. Hunters must check in, and out at Oak Point. Check in regulations will be posted.
  • Firearm
    • Season: 11/20/20- 11/22/20 Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
    • Must apply in spring statewide firearm permit lottery. Forty hunters will be permitted to hunt. Additional either sex permits may be purchased on site by lottery winners.
    • Legal firearm allowed – shotgun: (slug only) 10 – 20 gauge, muzzleloader: at least .45 caliber or larger, revolvers: .30 caliber or larger. 
    • Scouting is allowed before deer/turkey archery season starts.
    • There are 40 stations. Hunters are required to hunt from elevated stands (6 feet minimum above ground) and within a 50 yard radius of the hunter station marker. Tree stands and climbing devices must be portable & may not cut or pierce the tree bark, but do not have to be removed at the end of each day. Pruning branches up to 1 ½ inch diameter is allowed on the stand tree only.  Stand can be put up at noon on Thursday prior to start of season.
    • Check in any time after 4:30 am. Hunters must sign in and sign out at main entrance. If a hunter needs to leave the park for any reason, they must check out prior to leaving.
    • Back patches will be issued and must be worn while hunting. Also cap and upper outer garment of solid & vivid blaze orange or blaze pink of at least 400 sq. in.
    • It is the hunter’s responsibility to tag their deer with the leg/antler tag immediately upon kill and before the deer is moved, transported or field dressed.
    • Parking in designated parking areas only. All vehicles must remain on park roads (no driving down the trails).
    • Spectators (non-hunters) are prohibited.
    • Lottery winners MUST ATTEND MANDATORY MEETING on the last Sunday of September @ 1:00 PM to select stations.

Turkey

Archery:

  • Season: 11/2/20 to 12/22/20 Mon. –Thurs. (11/19 until 12pm ONLY!)
  • A maximum of 35 hunters; deer and turkey only.
  • Hunting is on a first come first serve basis beginning at 4:30 am daily with checkout by 6:30 pm.
  • Hunters must sign in and out each time they enter/leave the park.
  • All hunting is with bow or crossbow.
  • Hunting license will be held at the check station while you hunt. A back patch will be issues and must be worn while hunting.
  • Hunting restricted to West of the Fox River (see map).
  • Parking in designated areas only.
  • Spectators (non-hunters) are prohibited.
  • Deer/turkey stands must be portable and removed daily. No nails or spikes allowed in trees. Pruning branches up to 1 ½ inch in diameter is allowed on your tree stand only.
  • Entrails left in the field must be 50 feet from trail.
  • Scouting is allowed before the season starts.

Waterfowl

2020 Waterfowl Hunting Procedures

  • Blind drawing winners/ locations from 2019 will be utilized for 2020.
  • Hunters have already been contacted by phone or email.
  • All other procedures will be followed as in previous years.

Duck Blind Drawing

  • The drawing for the blinds on Grass Lake, Nippersink Lake and Redwing/Deer Lake will be at Oak Point Day Use Area located on Rt. 173, west of Antioch the Saturday of the last full weekend of July.
  • Registration will be from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Drawing will be held at 2:00 p.m. Registrants must be present to claim a blind location.
  • A registrant for a drawing must be at least 16 years of age and possess a current or preceding years Illinois hunting license, and current or preceding years Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp. Persons exempted by law from possessing a hunting license or waterfowl stamp must have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card.

Waterfowl Definitions

  • Blind site – A position within 15 feet of GPS location where blind must be constructed. Boat hides are not considered a part of the blind and may be separate.
  • Blind builder – Person who has been assigned a blind site as a result of the drawing.
  • Blind partner – Person(s) chosen by the builder to assist in construction and maintenance of the blind and to share its hunting privileges.
  • Drawing – Procedure by which blind sites are assigned.
  • Blind registration card – Card issued by the Department and tacked inside each blind listing names and addresses of blind builders.
  • Complete blind – A blind with all framework and siding constructed and in readiness for use, including final brushing.

Waterfowl Blind Construction

  • Blind must be at least 4′ x 8′, but no higher than 12 feet above normal pool level. Blinds and boat hides must be sturdy enough to withstand daily usage, and must be maintained in good condition by blind builders throughout the season.
  • Minimum inside dimensions of the boat hide shall be 18′ x 6′.
  • Blinds shall be numbered and that number shall be visible from the outside of the blinds.
  • Blind numbers 11, 12 and 13 are designated as Class A and must be of floating construction only. Remaining blind sites are classified as Class B. Floating blind construction is recommended for Class B blinds, however platform construction is allowed.
  • All blinds and hides must be removed in their entirety, including support posts, by April 1. Failure to comply will result in the blind winner and partners listed for the blind not in compliance to lose the privilege of being a blind winner or partner on this site for the following year.
  • Blinds must include a dog hide that is on the same level as the blind. The dog hide can either be incorporated into the blind by providing a hole at floor level that measures at least 20 inches high by 20 inches wide or by providing a separate compartment that is attached to the blind. Hides attached to the blind should have a minimum floor space that measures 2 feet by 2 feet and should be at least 2.5 feet high with two openings. The water access opening should be at least 20 inches wide and 20 inches high. Hides either within the blind or attached should have an enforced ramp to water level that is at least 15 inches wide with cleats every 12 inches. Openings in the blind must be capable of being closed when not in use.
  • Blinds must be completed, including final brushing (no phragmities [aka cane, giant reed], 3 weeks in advance of opening date of waterfowl season, after which time the Department of Natural Resources will inspect all blinds, boat hides and blind sites and issue blind registration cards to those which pass inspection. If adverse weather or water conditions make compliance with this rule difficult, the Site Superintendent or the District Wildlife Biologist may grant extensions.
  • Blind Registration Cards must be posted inside the blind prior to the opening date of the waterfowl season and remain posted until after the close of the waterfowl season.
  • Sites on which blinds or boat hides have not been built, as well as sites on which blinds or boat hides of an unsatisfactory quality have been built, will be reassigned to alternates selected at the drawing. All reassigned blinds and boat hides must be completed, including final brushing, in advance of the opening date of the waterfowl season.
  • Not more than 3 persons shall be registered for assignment of any one blind site. Blind builders shall submit partner names on a blind registration form as designated at the site drawing. After the designated time, no changes will be accepted. As directed by the information sheet available at each site, the registration form must be filled out and returned before August 31. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of blind.
  • No person shall be allowed to be a blind builder or partner on more than one State Waterfowl Management Area in Illinois.
  • Blind winners will be provided forms for the purpose of maintaining waterfowl harvest records and an envelope for the return of the forms. It is mandatory that these forms be returned by 3 weeks following the close of the regular waterfowl season. Failure to comply will result in the blind winner and partners listed for the blind not in compliance to lose the privilege of being a blind winner or partner on this site for the following year.

Use of Blinds and other Waterfowl Regulations

  • Attempts to claim blinds by any manner other than actual occupation shall be considered in violation of this Order and shall be cause for arrest. The insertion of a boat into the boat hide and/or the spreading of decoys before a blind shall not be considered legal occupation of a blind.
  • No person shall hunt, or attempt to hunt except from within a registered blind.
  • Persons under 16 years of age shall not hunt, or attempt to hunt, unless accompanied by an adult due to safety factors.
  • Blinds shall not be locked.
  • Claiming or attempting to claim any blind which is legally occupied, and/or to harass in any manner, the occupants of a blind which has been legally occupied is unlawful.
  • No person shall fish within 250 yards of an occupied blind within the hunting area.
  • All hunting parties shall hunt with a spread of at least 12 decoys. The decoys shall be staked, placed, or floating, be individually visible, be at least 8 inches long, and not be within a boat, blind or container. Decoys must be removed at the end of the day’s hunt.
  • Hours are legal opening to sunset.
  • Blind builders or partners must occupy their blinds by one-half hour before opening shooting hour each day in order to claim their blind for the day. Blinds not legally occupied may be claimed on a first-come basis.
  • No person shall buy, sell or commercialize hunting rights, either directly or indirectly.
  • Not more than 4 persons shall occupy a blind at one time.
  • Weeds and/or brush may not be cut or controlled around a blind without prior approval from an authorized Department of Natural Resource representative.
  • Bogging of blinds is prohibited.
  • Use of the following species is not allowed for brushing blinds due to their ability to readily propagate and become noxious weeds: Purple Loosestrife, Phragmities.

Special Seasons

  • Hunting of teal during the September season is restricted to blind sites. Rules pertaining to legal blind occupation during regular waterfowl season shall apply during teal season.
  • Hunting of Canada geese during goose seasons prior to duck season is restricted to blind sites. Rules pertaining to legal blind occupation during the regular waterfowl season shall apply during special Canada goose season.
  • Youth Waterfowl season is held the weekend preceding the North Zone duck opener – follow statewide regulations.

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Clean-Up/Non Permit Hunting only.
  • Season: 12/23/20 – 12/24/20. No hunting Christmas Day.
  • Hunting hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Limits: two pheasant, four rabbit, and five squirrels are allowed.
  • The first fifty hunters are allowed on a first come first serve basis. Registration 7 am – 9 am.
  • No fee. Habitat Stamp is required.
  • Hunting can be done with shotguns or bow. Shot size: #. 3 steel, #. 4 bismuth, or # 5 tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix or smaller may be used.  Flu-Flu arrows may be used by bow hunters

Upland Birds

Controlled Pheasant Hunting

  • Season: 11/6/20 – 12/20/20  (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday only)
      -Closed for Firearm Deer Season
      -Closed for Youth Pheasant Hunt
  • Controlled hunting is operated under a public/private partnership with T. Miller, Inc. Reservations can be made on line at: www.tmillerinc.com
  • Applications are accepted beginning 7/1.
  • Fee: $35 for 2 bird permit, nonresident $38 plus transaction fee; (prices subject to change).  Additional bird permits may be purchased
  • Check in from 7 am – 8 am. Hunting hours 9 am – 4 pm (Thanksgiving 9am – 1pm)
  • All pheasants must be tagged with State Hunting Area tag before leaving area.
  • When daily quotas are not filled, permits will be sold on a first come first serve basis until quota of 95 hunters is reached, or until 9:00 a.m., whichever occurs first.
  • Habitat stamps are not required for controlled Pheasant hunting.  Hunting can be done with shotguns or bow.  Shot size: #. 3 steel, #. 4 bismuth, or # 5 tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix or smaller may be used.  Flu-Flu arrows may be used by bow hunters.
  • Hunting license will be held at the check station while you hunt. A back patch will be issues and must be worn while hunting.
  • No hunting near park buildings.
  • Spectators (non-hunters) are prohibited.
  • Park in designated areas only (see map).
  • Do not dress game in the field.
  • Youth Pheasant Hunt: SATURDAY 11/14/20 by state permit only. Apply on-line. No fee is required. 

Dove

  • Season: 9/1/20 – 9/30/20
  • Location: All dove hunting is located at the dove field on Rt. 173 east of the Oak Point entrance (signs are posted).
  • September 1st thru September 5 a drawing will be held at 11 a.m. if more hunters show up than can be accommodated. September 6th thru the September 30th hunters will need to utilize the Windshield Card Permit System to hunt on a particular day. Twenty hunters are allowed in the field at one time.
  • Hunting hours: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. September 1-5, State hunting hours September 6-30.
  • Limit: daily limit will be as prescribed by State Wide Regulations,
  • Steel Shot Only; #6 shot or smaller is required. No fee. Habitat Stamp is required.
  • No game shall be cleaned or dressed in the field.  
  • All hunting is done from assigned stations. Dogs are allowed.
  • Dispose of all garbage and shell casings in the garbage.

Falconry Hunting

  • Hunting permitted 8:00 am – 4:00 pm from the Monday after the non-fee season through January 31 (except closed Christmas Day; obtain permit from site office Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
  • Cock and hen pheasant, Hungarian partridge, bobwhite quail, and rabbit may be taken in accordance with 17 Ill. Adm. Code 1590.
  • Falconers must obtain a free permit from site office before hunting and return permit and report harvest by February 15. Failure to return permit or report harvest will result in loss of hunting privileges the following year

Furbearers

  • No furbearer hunting or trapping permitted.

Amentities

  • Archery Range
  • Boat Access
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking Trails
  • Hunting
  • More Information