Wildlife Illinois

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Kankakee River State Park

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Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 4,000
  • Habitat: the Kankakee River is one of the highest quality rivers in the state and is bordered by mature hardwoods in the riparian area. Site is about half woodlands and half open ground, with a mix of wetlands. Heavy rains may result in dramatically rising water conditions, so caution is required.
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map
  • Printable Map – Waterfowl
  • Printable Map – Furbearer

Site Specific Regulations

  • 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 or two weeks after the season closes for those seasons ending after February 1. Hunters must report their annual harvest online (even if the hunter did not hunt). Hunters shall forfeit their hunting privileges at the site for the following year if they fail to report by the above deadline.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site
  • Ongoing habitat management including:  spring, summer and fall burning, tree and brush removal are going to be part of a long-term habitat improvement program at the park. Please watch for signs of field work and plan accordingly.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in Kankakee County.  Please have your deer checked. Further information regarding CWD, including sampling locations may be found here
  • All Nature Preserves are closed to hunting and trapping unless specifically open.
  • Langham Island is open to archery deer hunting, but can only be accessed by canoe or small boat from the launch at Area 2.
  • Please set an example, police all your spent shells
  • Only from designated blinds within the Waterfowl Management Area on the Kankakee River.
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Statewide season (closed during the Firearm Season)
    • North of River area A, B, and C Season closes December 31
    • On the south side of river deer hunters must wear blaze orange when upland game hunting is in progress
    • Windshield Card permit must be displayed under the vehicle windshield, face up, with the permit number visible and the pocket portion in possession while hunting at the site.
    • Tree stands must be portable, non-piercing and removed daily.
    • You must report your harvest via the statewide call-in system.
    • West of Warner Bridge Rd. is Will Co., east of Warner Bridge is Kankakee Co.
    • Coyotes, raccoons, opossums, striped skunks and fox can also be harvested by bow and arrow.
    • No non-hunters in the field while hunting is in progress.
  • Physically Challenged Archery
    • Heavily Organized hunt.
    • Pre-registration required.
    • Contact park office for information and registration forms.
    • Statewide hours will be in effect.
  • Youth
    • Statewide Hours in effect.
    • During October season only.
    • To participate, please send a card or letter to the Site Superintendent with the name of hunter, name of guardian (and hunter customer number) address and phone number, by the last Saturday in August.
    • A random drawing for slots will be made. Successful applicants will be contacted with site rules, permit and maps.
    • You will also be required to purchase a Youth Firearm Permit from an over the counter vendor.
    • This hunt will only be open in Day Use Area north of the park office. (Kankakee County)

Turkey

  • Spring and Youth
    • Statewide Season.
    • Hours include legal open until 12 noon.
    • Site specific permits will be issued through the statewide lottery system for both regular and youth permits, and will be valid for one season only.
    • Please contact site for a map and rules.
    • Use caution near established trails.
    • Report your harvest to the site and state call-in system as required.
    • Hunters are allowed only 1 non-hunting partner that may call for the hunter.
  • Fall
    • Statewide regulations.
    • To participate you must go on-line to the windshield card permit system. https://dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/index.asp and self issue a site permit in addition to your statewide fall archery turkey permit.
    • You must wear legal blaze while hunting when the permit upland season is in progress.

Waterfowl

  • Blind Drawing
    • Blinds are allocated annually by drawing on the last Saturday of July, at the site office.
    • Rules will be posted.
    • Blinds must be built within 10 feet of a marked location by the Blind winner, and up to two partners.
    • The partners must be named on the provided partner sheet, and returned by August 31st.
    • Once the completed blind is approved, a blind registration card will be issued.
    • Blinds are allocated for one hunting season only.
    • Blind builders have until Feb 1 to reclaim blind materials.
    • No person may be a blind holder on more than one Waterfowl Management Area in Illinois.
  • Blind Construction
    • Blinds must be at least 4′ by 8′ with a floor, partial roof and bench. A dog ramp and access door must be provided and can be part of the blind. They must be maintained in good condition through the season. Boat hides are not required. Blinds may not be locked.
    • You may not use Giant Reed Grass (Phragmites) or any other nuisance plant with the seed head attached, for camouflaging your blind. Remove seed heads prior to entering the park. Keep your blinds clean, you are responsible for them. Blinds in poor or trashed condition will be red-carded.
    • Blinds must be completed 3 weeks prior to the opening of the Central Waterfowl Season, about the first week of October. Blinds that pass will be issued Registration Cards. Blinds that fail will be offered to alternates. Extensions may be offered in the event of adverse water conditions.
  • Waterfowl Hunting
    • Early teal and Canada goose seasons are not allowed within the Kankakee River State Park Waterfowl Management Unit.
    • The site is open for the youth season, and blind holders have preference.
    • There is no late goose season within the Kankakee River State Park Waterfowl Management Unit past the close of the Canada goose season.
    • Hunting is from numbered sites only. Must hunt within 10 feet of the stake.

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Squirrels
    • Statewide regulations
    • Season dates include day after Labor Day; 30 September; and from the day after the close of the site deer season until close of squirrel season.
    • May only hunt south of the Kankakee River
    • Windshield permit must be displayed under the vehicle windshield, face up, with the permit number visible and the pocket portion in possession while hunting at the site.
    • Do not hunt woods adjacent to dove fields.
    • Hunters must report their annual harvest online (even if the hunter did not hunt) by February 15 or two weeks after the season closes for those seasons ending after February 1. Hunters shall forfeit their hunting privileges at the site for the following year if they fail to report by the above deadline.
    • Air rifles .25 caliber and smaller may be used.
  • Rabbits
    • Statewide regulations.

Upland Birds

  • Non-toxic shot only.
  • Permit Dove
    • Season open 1-5 September
    • Hours from 12 noon to 5 pm.
    • Permit holders sign-in at Area 6 by 11am
    • Vacant positions may be filled at 11am by stand-by sign ins if necessary
    • Statewide bag limit
    • All hunters must check out by 5:15pm
    • No loaded guns to and from field
    • No guns in field to retrieve downed birds
    • Hunt w/in 10 feet of marked location only in assigned field
    • Shot size 6 or smaller federally approved
    • Report your harvest upon sign-out.
    • No non-hunters in the field while hunting is in progress.
    • Successful applicants will not be mailed a permit but will be notified by email or can access the reservation inquiry system and print out the permit and regulations for the site.
    • Phone reservations will be issued up to 48 hours ahead of the date of the hunt.
  • Non-permit Dove
    • Season open 6-30 September
    • Hours open 12 noon to sunset
    • Statewide bag limit.
    • Windshield permit application system required at https://dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/index.asp
    • No loaded guns to and from the field
    • No guns into the field
    • Size 6 or smaller allowed
    • Must hunt within 10 feet of marked location only in dove fields
    • Must report harvest via the windshield card reporting system even if you did not hunt.
    • No non-hunters in the field.
  • Controlled Pheasant
    • Statewide Season EXCEPT closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
    • Hours open from 9am to 4pm
    • Non-permit holders register to hunt by 8:25am
    • Drawing for available positions at 8:30am sharp
    • When quota not filled hunters may register until 12:00 pm for any vacancies
    • Must wear site issued back patch
    • Limit 2 pheasants either sex, 4 rabbits and partridge (quail may not be harvested)
    • Shot or flu-flu arrows are allowed
    • Blaze orange required
    • Daily usage stamp required
    • Permit holder must be present prior to daily drawing
    • Youth Hunts will be announced publicly.
    • No non-hunters in the field while hunting is in progress.
    • Obtain permits within 48 hours of hunting here

Furbearers

  • Trapping
    • Trapping will be by permit (up to 4 zones) only allocated by mail-in drawing.
    • Those interested should submit their name address and interest to District Wildlife Biologist, KRSP Trapping: 30550 S. Boathouse Rd., Wilmington Il. 60481 from July 1-31 annually.
    • Permits and maps will be issued.
    • Trappers (and one assistant) must wear blaze orange while trapping.
    • Report effort and harvest at the close of your season and return permit by April 15th.
    • Zones and additional rules will be established by Department Staff.
    • Check in at the site office, prior to trapping, for updates, is required.
    • Statewide trapping dates and species.
    • No trapping near camp grounds until they close for the season.
    • Check with site staff for closing dates. No trapping near designated bike, walking or horse trails.
    • Only Egg traps, Dog proof traps, box traps, cage traps and traps of similar design may be used for land sets south of the Kankakee River until after the close of the upland hunting season. Body gripping traps of 5″ or less, foot holds of 4″ or less or Square body gripping traps of 10″ may be used for water sets; snares may be used for water sets only.
  • Hunting
    • Coyote, fox, skunk, and opossum may be taken during their respective seasons that fall within archery deer season by archery only.
    • Shotgun only hunting opens the day after the close of the site upland game season or archery season (whichever comes later), and closes with the close of statewide fox season.
    • Windshield Card required

Amenities

  • Archery Range
  • Hand trap shooting range
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • More information
  • Please participate in the Annual River Clean-up, which occurs during the month of September annually, to help protect this Nationally designated river.