Wildlife Illinois

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Woodford State Fish and Wildlife Area

Site Contact Info

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 1,350
  • Habitat: The site consists of two backwater lakes of the Illinois River (Goose Lake and the northern part of Upper Peoria Lake) and a Forest Wetland Management Unit.
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map – Upland Game
  • Printable Map – Waterfowl

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.
  • Hunting is restricted to those areas posted as open to hunting. At no time are hunters permitted to enter designated waterfowl refuges or rest areas.
  • Hunters 16 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Youth may be required to provide proof of age, and disabled hunters must be able to provide a P2, P2a, H2, H2a or disabled veteran card as proof of disability to have priority in drawings for awarding of waterfowl hunting sites.
  • Severe weather and safety conditions can result in closing all or part of areas.
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Season begins at the end of duck season and continues until the statewide closing date.
    • Only one tree stand or ground blind is allowed per deer hunter. Must be portable and must be removed at the end of each day.
  • Firearm
    • Firearm deer hunting not permitted
  • Muzzleloader
    • Muzzleloader hunting not permitted.

Turkey

  • Turkey hunting not permitted

Waterfowl

Low water conditions due to insiltation of the Illinois River backwaters may make access to certain blinds difficult or nearly impossible during segments of the waterfowl season. Shallow-water drive or “mud motors” are recommended when conditions warrant. Further information on water levels and blind accessibility can be obtained from the site office.

  • 2020 Waterfowl Hunting Procedures:
    • All registered blind builders will sign in as usual one hour prior to shooting time for that day in a drive through contactless manner. 
    • Harvest cards will be handed out by site staff.
    • Any remaining blinds will be assigned in a drive through contactless manner.  
    • Both registered and left-over groups will self-check-out at the main office by placing their harvest card in the box.  
    • All parties are REQUIRED to wear a mask at time of check in.
  • Regular Waterfowl and Youth Waterfowl
    • Central Zone; Hours from legal opening to 1 pm
    • Waterfowl hunting sites allocated by annual draw for a period of one year
    • All hunters using this area must report to check station to fill out information cards
    • Registered blind builders or partners desiring to claim their blinds must report to the check station at least one hour before hunting hour each day and occupy that blind for at least one hour. Hunters wishing to move to another blind during their daily hunt must report back to the check station for reassignment.
    • Blinds not claimed by annual blind builders at this hour will be assigned by a daily draw.
    • Any blinds left unclaimed after completion of the daily drawing will be assigned on a first come-first served basis up to 30 minutes after the drawing and from 8 – 11 am.
    • Once 4 hunters have occupied a blind, all original occupants of the blind must check out at the check station before any additional hunters may occupy that blind.
    • Blinds may be reallocated on a first-come, first-served basis or, if multiple parties arrive at the check station at 8 am, there will be a second drawing, after which time the area shall be closed to additional hunters
    • All hunting will be from registered blinds and hunters must occupy blinds within 1 hour after registering at the check station.
    • All hunting will cease at 1 pm during duck season.
    • Upon vacating a blind, hunters must report to check station within 1 hour to sign out and report any harvested waterfowl.
    • All hunting parties shall hunt over a spread of at least 12 decoys during duck season and Canada goose season. Must be removed upon termination of hunt.
    • Blinds may not be locked
    • At no time are hunters permitted to enter designated waterfowl refuges or rest areas.
    • Hunters 16 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a supervising adult.
    • Subject to special dates for youth waterfowl hunting made by Department public announcement
    • No more than 4 persons shall occupy a blind at one time, except during statewide Youth Waterfowl Hunting, 5 persons may occupy a blind at one time only if the party is comprised of 2 youth hunters, their non-hunting
  • Teal, Early Goose, Late Goose, Conservation Order Light Goose
    • Statewide hours 
    • No permanent blinds may be constructed for the sole purpose of teal season.
    • Hunting from a completed blind or staked site is waived during seasons held before the regular duck season or for seasons held after the duck season.
    • Beginning the day after duck season ends, when the check station is not operating, unclaimed blinds shall be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • Windshield card is required 

Forest Wetland Unit

  • Hunters must walk in. No unauthorized vehicles are allowed in the forest wetland area.
  • May be hunted on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and hunting parties will be determined by a daily drawing.
  • Two blinds will be available by a drawing held at the site office 60 minutes prior to shooting hours.
  • Drawing will be held an hour before shooting time (1½ hours before sunrise).  
  • No more than four people per hunting party
  • Groups must stay together and hunt over a minimum of 12 decoys.
  • Must stay in the designated hunting areas as determined by the morning’s drawing.
  • Hunting will end at 1 pm, and hunters must check-out by 2 pm at the sign-out box located at the check station.

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Squirrels
    • Allowed from the statewide opening until Sept 30.
    • Shotgun or bow and arrow only
  • Rabbits
    • Rabbit hunting not permitted

Upland Birds

  • Upland hunting not permitted.

Furbearers

  • Trapping
    • Furbearer trapping not permitted
  • Hunting
    • Raccoon and Opossum hunting only
    • Season opens after the conclusion of duck season
    • Statewide regulations
    • Rimfire rifles .22 caliber and smaller may be used from sunset to sunrise.
    • Windshield Card required

Amenities