Wildlife Illinois

Hunt Planner


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

Mermet Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

Site Contact Info

Site Map

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: Total Acres: 2,625; Huntable Acres: 2,000, Water Acres: 690, Timber Acres: 1,250, Flooded for Waterfowl Hunting: 900.
  • Habitat: The topography is low and flat with a drainage canal bisecting the area. A series of levees allows for manipulation of water levels to provide both food and water for waterfowl. A large reservoir (450 acres) is used for water storage and as a fishing area during the summer. The water is then released by gravity to flood timber and cropland for waterfowl hunting. Deep wells and pumps also aid in maintaining water levels. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site
  • Site requires use of windshield card for all upland hunters. Card must be displayed on vehicle dashboard and used to report hunting effort/harvest by 15 February
  • Check station is present on the area (see map) and waterfowl hunters must sign in and out and report harvest each day. All hunting to be with shotgun or bow only, with the exception that muzzle loaded rifles may be used to hunt deer during shotgun deer season in designated areas
  • Rifle may be used to hunt furbearers and squirrels 
  • The area will be closed to fishing from two weeks before through the last day of the waterfowl season
  • No overnight camping is allowed
  • Species-specific rules:


  • All deer hunting is first come/first served.
  • Portable stands only for deer hunting. No permanent stands, screw in steps or other devices that pierce the bark of trees. Stands must be visibly marked with the hunter’s name, address and phone number. Stands may be left unattended from Sept. 15 – Jan. 31. Limit of one tree stand per hunter.
  • Archery
    • Statewide regulations
  • Firearm
    • Statewide regulations
  • Muzzleloader
    • Statewide regulations


  • Fall Archery
    • Statewide regulations
  • Fall Firearm
    • County specific tag required, issued through the statewide lottery
  • Spring
    • Requires site specific permit issued through the statewide lottery, 3 permits per season.
    • Disabled hunter opportunity is available through draw of a site-specific permit through the statewide lottery.  2 permits per season


  1. Mermet has 27 blinds and pools that are available to hunt, as well as two free-lance walk in areas that do not require a draw.
  2. All 27 locations area available to draw daily through the statewide lottery.
  3. One blind is available and will be allocated on a daily draw system one hour prior to legal shooting time. Proof of P2 status is required.
  4. Stand-by hunting is available to hunt in locations that are not drawn through lottery.
  5. Blind area hunting is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Walk-in areas will remain open.
  6. Youth season is held the weekend preceding the South Zone duck opener – follow statewide regulations.
  1. Daily Procedure for Blinds and Pools
    1. Hunters will pull into the site and park at the sign that corresponds to their permit number and stay in vehicle
    2. Staff will record all hunters’ names within the party
    3. The hunting party will receive their hunter harvest card, map and rule & regulations.
    4. Staff will ask hunting party to tune their vehicle’s radio to a specific frequency for announcements, and stay in vehicle (signage will direct traffic flow and list radio frequency)
    5. At designated draw time (two hours before sunrise), staff will make daily announcements over FM transmitter.
    6. Staff will announce over the FM system for permit “number” to pull up to check station and select their hunting position, they will stay in their vehicle. 
    7. Selected party will pull in front of check station and choose hunting position from map on outside of check station (positions are covered as they are taken)
    8. Hunting party will receive their marked waterfowl harvest card with their chosen location
    9. Hunting party will then be sent to their hunting location
    10. Hunter records harvest at the end of the hunt and places card in the lock box located on the side of the check station by 2:00 p.m. the same day of the hunt.
  2. Daily Procedure for Walk-in Areas
    1. Hunters will arrive and follow sign to pick up a registration/harvest card and sign-in.
    2. We will allow on a first-come, first-serve basis (25) twenty-five hunters per walk-in area for a total of fifty walk-in hunters on site.
    3. All hunting will stop at 1pm and hunters must vacate the area by 2pm after depositing their harvest cards.
    4. Hunters will not be allowed into the area before 1.5hrs before sunrise.


  • Squirrels
    • Must use non-toxic shot in all waterfowl hunting areas
    • Season closes September 30, except in the upland game areas
  • Rabbits
    • Statewide regulations

Upland Birds

  • Dove, Quail, and Woodcock
    • Statewide regulations


  • Hunting
    • Statewide regulations
    • Hunting limited to upland game area
    • Hunting hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset
    • Windshield Card required
  • Trapping
    • Statewide regulations
    • Requires site specific permit. Contact site for more information
    • Only Egg Traps®, D-P (Dog-Proof) Traps®, Lil Grizz Get’rz®, box traps, cage traps, and traps of similar design may be used for land sets.