Wildlife Illinois

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Spring turkey 1st lottery open

Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

Site Contact Info

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 1,800
  • Habitat: characterized by scrub timber and marshy prairie areas east of the former Collins Power Generating Station. The waterfowl hunting area itself is a perched lake formerly used for power generating at Collins station and is adjacent to the Illinois River. Extreme caution must be used during times of even moderate winds and during changing weather conditions. Morris Wetlands is bottomland timber, early successional habitat and some grasslands, all of which will be flooded during high water levels on the Illinois or Mazon Rivers
  • Heidecke State Fish and Wildlife Area and the Morris Wetlands Unit have been combined into one hunting program for ease of use and administration. Maps may overlap other areas, including Goose Lake SNA
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map (Heidecke Lake)
  • Printable Map (Morris Wetlands)

Site Specific Regulations

  • Access to Morris Wetlands Unit is by FOOT ONLY from the parking lot located on PineBluff Road 0.8 miles east of Rt. 47
  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter
  • Due to the high quality nature of this grassland ecosystem, prescribed burning is a necessary management tool that may be conducted during the summer and fall and is a priority. Portions of any unit may be burned when you arrive to hunt. We may adjust hunter numbers in affected areas as needed to continue to offer a quality hunt
  • Site requires use of windshield card displayed on vehicle dashboard to report hunting effort and harvest by the call-in system AND windshield card reporting by 15 February. Failure to do so will result in loss of hunting privileges at this site.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site
  • Chronic Wasting Disease has been found near this site, and we encourage all hunters to get their deer tested. During the Firearm deer season sampling will be done at the Grundy County Check Station. During all other seasons, sampling will be done at the District Wildlife office located in Wilmington at 30550 S. Boathouse Road. Please follow instructions posted there
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Deer hunting stands must be removed daily
    • Hunters may only park in designated parking areas
    • Non-hunters are not allowed into areas open to hunting during times when hunting programs are in progress
    • Archery deer hunting is only allowed at Heidecke SFWA (Fields D & E) and Morris Wetlands
    • Closed during all seasons in which a firearm is allowed. Also closed on Christmas and New Year Days
  • Firearm
    • Firearm deer hunting is allowed in parts of Heidecke SFWA (Field D only) and Morris Wetlands
    • All deer harvested with a firearm are required to be taken to the nearest check station (see above)
    • Permits for the firearm deer season are allocated during the spring lottery drawing
    • Select GLSP1 Or GLSP2. Permits are valid for first or second season only.
    • Hunters must check in by 5 am daily to validate their permit. After that time permits are void for the day. A stand-by drawing will be held at 5 am to fill any vacancies. Standby permits are available for a fee of $5.00 for a one day site specific permit. Permit sales are cut off at 2 pm
    • All hunters are required to check in, check out by 6 pm, and report harvest to the check station attendant in person.
    • In addition, you must check in your deer at the Grundy County Firearm Check Station at Gebhard Woods S.P. Morris Wetlands is part of the Goose Lake Prairie hunt
    • Archery deer hunting is not allowed at this time
    • Sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease will be conducted at the Grundy County Firearm Check Station
  • Muzzleloader
    • Closed during the firearm deer season
    • All deer harvested with a firearm are required to be taken to the nearest check station (see above)
    • Permits for the muzzleloader season are allocated during the spring lottery drawing
    • Muzzleloader only hunting will be for the second three day period of that season
    • Hunters must check-in by 5am daily to validate their permit. After that time permits are void for the day. Standby permits are available for a fee of $5.00 for a one day site specific permit. Permit sales are cut off at 2 pm
    • All hunters are required to check in, check out by 6 pm, and report harvest to the check station attendant in person
    • You must also report your harvest via the phone in system
    • Archery deer hunting is not allowed at this time
  • CWD Season
    • To participate, CWD permits are available via the CWD Permit Lottery for Special Hunt Areas
    • Applications are available the last Tuesday in October at the IDNR webpage
    • You must check in by 5am to validate hunting permit. After that time permits are void for the day. Standby permits are available for a fee of $5.00 for a one day site specific permit. Permit sales are cut off at 2 pm
    • Check out by 6 pm and report harvest to the check station attendant in person
    • You must also report your harvest via the phone in system as well
    • There is no CWD deer season check station for Grundy County. See above for CWD sampling
    • Other rules will be posted at the site
    • Antlerless only deer may be harvested during this season
    • Morris Wetlands is part of the Goose Lake Prairie hunt
    • Archery deer hunting is not allowed at this time
    • ​Permits from earlier seasons may not be rolled over for this season

Turkey

  • Youth
    • Permits for youth turkey season are available via the state lottery for Special Hunt Areas
    • County Permits are not valid
    • Only fields D & E are open to hunting
    • Park in a designated area.

Waterfowl

2020 Waterfowl Hunting Procedures

  • Blinds will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
  • Hunters must self check in/out at the boat launch and pick up a waterfowl harvest card.
  • Harvest Cards are to be deposited at the check in/out station at the end of their hunt.
  • Detailed instructions are provided at self check in/out station.
  • No hunting is allowed on Mondays and Tuesdays Christmas or New Year’s Day
  • Blind sites will be allocated by a daily drawing. The daily drawing will be held 90 minutes before sunrise. Blind sites not selected during the drawing will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Vacant blind sites will not be allocated by drawing until 1 hour after legal shooting time. No blind will be allocated after 10 am
  • Hunters wishing to move to another blind site must obtain permission for this move from the check station attendant, in person, before such a move is made
  • Hunters shall register as a party of one to three hunters for the drawing. When a party is drawn only those names registered in that party will be allowed to hunt from that blind. If any person in the party is under 16 years of age, he must be accompanied by an adult before hunting due to safety factors
  • Daily shooting hours will be statewide opening to 1 pm
  • Each hunting party is required to hunt over a minimum of 6 decoys. Hunting over decoys means the decoys shall be staked, placed or floating, be individually visible, be at least 8 inches long, and not within a boat, blind, or container
  • Cutting of natural vegetation for any purpose will be unlawful
  • This area is closed to fishing 10 days prior to the north duck season through the close of the central Canada goose season
  • In the event of adverse water and/or weather conditions, such as flooding, high winds, unsafe ice or heavy fog, hunting may be prohibited
  • To hunt waterfowl in this area, all watercraft have to be at least 16 ft. long and 60 in. in beam and powered by a gasoline motor
  • All hunting must be from an anchored portable boat blind, within 10 yds of the assigned numbered blind location. Portable boat blinds must have been completed, including final brushing, before entering the area, and removed at the end of each hunting day
  • All water areas not posted with blind site numbers shall be refuge and are closed to all boat traffic
  • Access to water blind sites will be by boat only and from designated boat launch sites
  • NOTE: the dike is a road, and it is not permitted to shoot on or over a road
  • No guns may be carried from water blinds to retrieve waterfowl that fall on land
  • Not open to the September teal, youth or early goose seasons, or hunting snow geese past the close of the legal Canada goose season
  • Low water conditions may exist at the boat ramp, launch at your own risk

Upland Birds

  • No upland bird hunting opportunities

Squirrel

  • Only allowed at the Morris Wetland Unit
  • Statewide opening day until 30 September
  • Hunters must only park off Pine Bluff Road parking area and access the site via foot
  • Your windshield card must be displayed in the windshield and the wallet card carried on your person while hunting
  • Gray and Fox Squirrels only, not the small Red squirrel
  • Shotgun or .25 caliber or smaller air rifle only
  • Any damage to the heron rookery will result in this program being immediately shut down

Furbearers

  • No furbearer hunting nor trapping opportunities

Amenities