Wildlife Illinois

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Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

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Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 6,500
  • Habitat: area is generally rolling, with the more or less flat areas being cultivated or occupied in weedy, brushy fields. Cropped fields include tenant farmed cash crop, site staff food patches, and hay fields. About 800 acres of land are managed by IDNR for wildlife and 260 acres in the northeast corner has been dedicated to the preservation of the state-endangered greater prairie-chicken. About 540 acres on the west side of the lake has been developed for public access fishing, picnicking, hiking, equestrian and bike trails
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map

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. At this site, windshield cards are required for hunting all species but are not required for waterfowl hunting or youth deer and youth turkey hunting.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • Fishing shall be prohibited in the east arm of the lake until 1 p.m. during waterfowl season.
  • Lake Regulations: A 25 h.p. motor is the maximum allowed at the lake.
    • The lake is open year round, except the lake is closed for the regular firearm deer seasons (weekend before Thanksgiving weekend and the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend).
    • The east side of the lake is closed until 1 pm daily during waterfowl season (Waterfowl South Zone Dates)
    • The west arm of the lake is closed to all waterfowl hunting.
  • All hunting must be done with shotgun, muzzleloading rifle, or bow and arrow only. No rifles or pistols are permitted on this area.
  • One non-piercing, portable tree stand is allowed per hunter. Hunters must remove tree stands from the area at the end of the day’s hunt.
  • No ATV access is allowed.
  • No hunting by dogs allowed.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all upland hunting.
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Statewide regulations
    • Hunters must park in designated areas only
  • Firearm
    • Firearm deer hunting requires site-specific permit issued through the statewide lottery. (Jasper County permits are not valid)
    • A deer hunter is required to check-in at site office by 5 am each day to validate his or her permit
      • Drawing will be held to allocate hunting areas to permit holders.
    • Hunters must check-out and report harvest on harvest cards to be dropped in the drop box at the end of each day’s hunt.
  • Youth Firearm Deer Hunting
    • Youth hunters must possess a valid Jasper County permit.
    • Youth hunters must check-in at site office by 5 am for a drawing which will allocate hunting areas
    • Youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting parent, guardian, or responsible adult who has in his or her possession a valid firearm owners identification (FOID) card

Turkey

  • Permit holders will be mailed a turkey hunter harvest report to be returned at season’s end
  • Fall Archery
    • Statewide regulations
  • Fall Shotgun
    • Shotgun turkey hunting in the fall requires site-specific permit issued through the statewide lottery
  • Spring
    • Spring turkey hunting requires site-specific permit issued through the statewide lottery
  • Youth Spring
    • Hunters must possess a valid Jasper County permit
    • Hunters must check-in at site office by 5 am for a drawing which will allocate hunting areas open for youth hunting
    • Youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting parent, guardian, or responsible adult who has in his or her possession a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card

Waterfowl

  • 2020 Waterfowl Hunting Procedures:
    • No daily drawing at site office to allocate hunter sections.
    • Newton Lake staff will randomly draw hunters and place them in a designated section.
    • No boats allowed on the lake.
    • No hunting on the island.
    • For further question contact the site office. Contact information is listed above.
  • Blind sites 1-23 are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis until one hour prior to shooting time. After that time, hunters must wait until 9 a.m. to sign-in and hunt
  • Sign-in sheets and the map showing the blinds’ locations are located in sign-in box at Newton Lake East Boat Ramp (see map)
    • Blind sites, determined by the IDNR, are marked with numbered stakes (see map). For public safety reason, IDNR may close the lake area to all fishing and all boating activity or may move and/or close blind sites
  • Hunters may begin to sign-in at 12:01am on the day of the hunt with at least one hunter in the party remaining in the parking lot until the party enters hunting area.
  • Hunters must occupy the stake they have drawn (selected on the site-in sheet) by legal shooting time or forfeit the right to the staked hunting location.
  • Blinds 22 and 23 are land sites
    • Blinds 22 may be hunted on Tuesday and Saturday
    • Blind 23 may be hunted on Wednesday and Sunday
  • No more than 4 persons may occupy a blind
  • Hunters moving to another vacant blind location may do so on a first-come first- serve basis, provided they report change on the harvest card along with their harvest for each blind
  • Access to water blind sites shall be by boat only. Access to land sites shall be by walk-in only
  • All water hunting must be from one portable blind or one anchored portable boat blind located between the assigned numbered stakes, no more than 10 yards from shore. All land hunting must be done from a position within 50 feet of the assigned numbered stake
  • Each party must hunt over a minimum of 6 decoys, and decoys must be removed at the end of each day’s hunt
  • Crippled waterfowl that fall on land, other than areas designated as refuge, shall be retrieved by foot. However, a hunter must not carry a gun while attempting to recover such birds
  • Hunting ends at 1pm, and all hunters must be off water or field by 2:30 pm.
  • Hunting parties must complete harvest cards and place them in collection box located at Newton Lake East Boat Ramp or at site office (see map)
  • During the last 3 days of Canada goose season, hunting hours shall close at sunset daily
  • Waterfowl hunting is closed during the regular firearm hunting seasons

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Squirrels
    • Statewide regulations except that hunting is by shotgun only.
    • The site’s squirrel season closes during the site’s deer hunting seasons.
  • Rabbits
    • Statewide regulations apply.
    • Blaze orange is required while upland game hunting.

Upland Birds

  • Dove
    • Dove hunters are required to use size 7 1/2, 8, or 9 bismuth shot, or #6 or smaller steel shot.
    • Hunting hours are 12 noon to 5 p.m. on September 1 – 5; thereafter, statewide hunting hours apply.
    • Dove hunters must check-in and check-out and report harvest.
  • Quail, Pheasant, and Woodcock
    • Statewide regulations apply.
  • Blaze orange is required while upland game hunting.
  • Non-toxic shot is required for all upland hunting. 

Furbearers

  • Hunting
    • Furbearer hunters must contact the site office.
    • Statewide regulations for coyote and bobcat may be taken during their respective seasons. If hunting within the archery deer season, they may only be taken by archery deer hunters only (with appropriate permits).
    • Coyotes may be taken with a shotgun from the day after the archery season closes until February 28.
    • Bobcats may be taken with shotgun from the day after archery season closes until the end of bobcat hunting season.
    • No hunting with dogs or night hunting is permitted at this site.
    • No other hunting allowed.
  • Trapping
    • Statewide regulations apply, but a trapper must gain a permit by being selected through a drawing held prior to trapping season. Furbearer trappers must contact the site office.

Amenities