IDNR Announces State and Federal Sites Open for Youth Waterfowl

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A number of Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation areas and recreation areas will be open to youth waterfowl hunting during the 2016 North Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt and South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. Federal sites that fall under the IDNR waterfowl administrative rule that will be open are also listed below.

At most sites, regulations that apply during the regular waterfowl hunting season apply during the Youth Hunt (hunters should check for site-specific regulations, including changes in legal shooting hours). During the Youth Hunt, the bag limits are the same as during regular seasons.

As part of the Youth Hunt, hunters age 17 or younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult cannot hunt these species, but may participate in other open seasons.

Youth hunters must have a hunting license, Youth Hunting License, or Apprentice Hunting License. The youth hunter or his or her accompanying adult must have a valid FOID card. The supervising adult does not have to have a hunting license if they are not hunting other species. Youth hunters age 15 or younger are not required to have state or federal duck stamps; however, youth hunters age 16 and older must have state and federal duck stamps, even if they are using a Illinois Youth License.

Special youth hunts taking place through the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Permit, or other youth only hunts at IDNR sites, are only open to youth hunters age 10–15, These special hunts include: Banner Marsh SFWA (Oct. 15, 16), Donnelly/DePue SFWA (Oct. 8, 9, 29, and Nov. 13), Spring Lake SFWA – Spring Lake Bottoms Unit (Nov. 13), and the Southern Illinois youth waterfowl hunt – Union County and Horseshoe Lake SFWA (Dec. 28). All other youth hunts are open to those age 17 and younger.

All waterfowl hunters, including those participating in the Youth Hunt, are required to register with the Harvest Information Program. In order to register with HIP, hunters will need to have their hunting license number available. Hunters should register for HIP at the license vendor when they buy their hunting license or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648) or online through the IDNR website at

The lists of state and federal sites to be open during the Youth Waterfowl Hunts in the North, Central, South Central and South zones are below.

2016 North Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Oct. 8-9) – State and Federal Sites Open

Chain O’Lakes State Park

Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area

Lake DePue SFWA

Sinnissippi Lake Wildlife Area

Mississippi River Pools (All located in North Zone)

William W. Powers State Recreation Area

2016 Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Oct. 15-16) – State, Federal and Private Sites Open

Anderson Lake SFWA

Banner Marsh SFWA

Braidwood Lake SFWA

Clinton Lake SRA

Coffeen Lake SFWA

Emiquon Preserve (The Nature Conservancy, Fulton County, mail/email drawing Oct. 5)

Freeman Mine

Henderson Creek SFWA

Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison County)

Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison County) (Gabaret, Mosenthein, Chouteau Island Units)

Kankakee River State Park

Marshall SFWA

Marshall SFWA – Sparland Unit

Marshall SFWA – Duck Ranch Unit

Mazonia SFWA

Meredosia Lake

Mississippi River Area (MRA) – All sites managed by MRA

Mississippi River Pools (All located in Central Zone)

Momence Wetlands State Natural Area

Pekin Lake SFWA

Quincy Bay

Ray Norbut SFWA

Rice Lake SFWA

Sanganois SFWA

Sangchris Lake State Park

Shelbyville SFWA

Spring Lake SFWA

Starved Rock State Park

Weinberg-King State Park – Spunky Bottoms Unit

Woodford SFWA

2016 South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Nov. 5-6) – State and Federal Sites Open

Campbell Pond

Carlyle Lake SFWA

Kaskaskia SFWA

Kinkaid Lake SFWA

Mississippi River

Oakwood Bottoms

Pyramid State Recreation Area (Captain, Denmark, Galum, and East Conant Units)

Rend Lake Project Land and Waters

Shawnee National Forest

Ten Mile Creek SFWA

2016 South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Nov. 12-13) – State and Federal Sites Open

Bluff Lakes

Cache River SNA

Cape Bend SFWA

Chauncey Marsh SNA

Crab Orchard NWR

Cypress Pond SNA

Deer Pond SNA

Devils Island

Dog Island

Embarras River Bottoms SHA

Horseshoe Lake SFWA (Alexander County)

LaRue Swamp

Mermet Lake SFWA

Mississippi River

Newton Lake SFWA

Saline County SFWA

Sielbeck Forest SNA

Shawnee National Forest

Union County SFWA

For more information on Illinois waterfowl seasons, check the IDNR Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 2016 -17, which will be available at IDNR offices and is available online through the IDNR website at