Wildlife Illinois

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

Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area

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Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 2,580
  • Habitat: site is composed of 1,789 acres of woodland, 115 acres of grasslands, 876 acres of lakes and wetlands, and 243 acres of cropland. The area has steeply rolling to flat topography. Much of the hunting is around the large oak and hickory timber blocks, brushy draws, and expanses of fallow fields. Many small food plots are planted on the area for food and winter cover for wildlife. 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.
  • 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.
  • Hunters must remove tree stands from the area at end of the day’s hunt.
  • Waterfowl hunters must sign-in at the east boat ramp kiosk prior to hunting and sign-out reporting harvest at the end of each day. Instructions for waterfowl hunters are posted at the east boat access sign-in station.
  • No hunting may be done in restricted areas, developed recreation areas, or within 100 yards of construction sites or residences.
  • No cutting of live vegetation on site
  • Species-specific rules:


  • Archery
    • Statewide regulations


  • Fall Archery
    • Statewide regulations
  • Spring and Youth


  • Teal
    • Statewide regulations
    • Hunting in Sub-Impoundment only
    • Sub-Impoundment walk-in hunting is permitted
    • Temporary land blinds are permitted
    • Sign-in at East Boat Ramp
  • Regular Duck Season
    • Hunting must be done from within 100 yards of a staked site
    • Boat blinds only
    • Sub-impoundment walk-in is permitted. Temporary land blinds are permitted
    • Must use at least 6 decoys
    • Hours are from legal opening- 1 pm. All hunters must be checked out at sign-in box by 2 pm.


  • Squirrels
    • Shotgun only, otherwise statewide regulations apply.
  • Rabbits
    • Statewide regulations, except that hunting hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Upland Game

  • Dove
    • Dove hunting will start the day after Labor Day and end September 30.
    • Hunting hours 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    • Non-toxic shot only.
    • Registration will be held at the site maintenance building beginning at 10:30 AM. A drawing will be held at 11:00 AM for available stake locations. Hunters must be present for registration and drawing.
    • All hunting will be done from staked locations. When a dove is downed, hunters are required to leave their gun at the stake while retrieving bird(s).
    • Hunters must stay within 10 feet of the assigned stake.
    • No cleaning of doves permitted on the site.
    • It is the hunter’s responsibility to remove all refuse, including empty shotgun shells, from the hunting area once they have finished hunting.
    • Hunters desiring to change positions must report to the check station before doing so.
    • Non-hunters are not allowed in the field.


  • Hunting
    • Statewide regulations
    • Rimfire rifles .22 caliber and smaller may be used from sunset to sunrise.
    • Furbearer hunting closed during Firearm Deer Season
      • Hunters with a valid, unfilled firearm deer permit for the hunt area may take coyotes during legal hours of the firearm deer season. Otherwise, the use of shotgun slugs to take furbearing mammals is prohibited on state sites.
    • Coyote and striped skunk season coincides with the statewide fox season.
    • Windshield Card required
  • Trapping
    • Site specific permit required. Permit is issued via a public drawing held at the site office on the third Saturday of October at 11 a.m. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Must have a current trapping license
    • Statewide regulations
    • Trappers may have partners provided their name is on the registration card
    • Trappers must stay in assigned areas
    • A harvest report must be submitted to the site office within 10 days following the close of the site trapping program