Wildlife Illinois

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

French Bluff Natural Area

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Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 342
  • Habitat: Mississippi River Bluff topography of steep hillsides, unglaciated ridges, and deep ravines populated by hardwood forest with cedar thickets and a small grassland.

Site Specific Regulations

  • Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.
  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Site requires use of windshield card, displayed on vehicle dashboard, to report hunting effort and harvest by 15 February.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • Do not enter a restricted area or trespass on private land.
  • Hunting allowed in those portions of the area posted as open for hunting, which excludes the hunter parking area. 
  • Be aware that hikers and other non-hunters may be using the area.
  • Species-specific rules:


  • Archery
    • Statewide regulations
    • Closed during  firearm and muzzleloader deer seasons
  • Firearm
    • Must obtain a site-specific permit which is issued through the permit office in Springfield.
    • Permits which are valid for Carroll Co. are not valid at French Bluff NA.
    • Stand-by permits are not available.
    • First and second firearm deer season permits are available separately.
  • Muzzleloader
    • Permitted only during the 2nd portion of muzzleloader season
    • A French Bluff special-hunt permit for muzzleloader hunting is not valid for the second season of the regular firearm deer season.
  • Special CWD Deer Hunting
    • Standby permits will not be issued for special CWD season.
    • Leftover permits from other deer seasons cannot be used.
    • CWD deer hunters must obtain a Special Hunt Area permit.
  • Deer hunting is allowed with any type of equipment that is legal for statewide deer hunting during the specific season the hunter is hunting.
  • Only those hunters with permits are allowed in the area during deer firearm seasons.
  • One non-piercing, portable tree stand or ground blind is allowed per hunter. Tree stands or blinds may be left unattended from Sept 15 – Jan 31 if legibly marked with the owner’s name, address, and telephone number.
  • In addition to windshield card reporting, successful deer hunters are required to record their harvest as instructed on their permit.


  • Fall Archery
    • Not permitted during firearm & muzzleloader deer seasons. 
  • Spring
    • All spring turkey hunters must obtain a site-specific permit,  which will be issued through the permit office in Springfield. Permits valid for Carroll Co. will not be valid at French Bluff.
    • Only those hunters with permits are allowed in the area until 1pm during the spring turkey season.
    • In addition to windshield card reporting, successful turkey hunters are required to record their harvest as instructed on their permit.


  • Waterfowl hunting not permitted


  • Squirrels
    • Closed during firearm deer season.
    • Squirrel hunters may use shotguns with #3 or smaller in steel shot or #5 or smaller in lead, tungsten or bismuth shot.
    • .22 rimfire rifles, .25 air rifle, muzzleloading rifles, and archery tackle using flu-flu arrows are permitted for taking squirrels.
  • Rabbits
    • Rabbit hunting not permitted

Upland Birds

  • Upland bird hunting not permitted


  • Trapping
    • Furbearer trapping not permitted
  • Hunting
    • Furbearer hunting not permitted


  • None