Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Utility Links


Waterfowl Hunting

RSS News Feed Facebook Twitter YouTube Contact Us

Featured Video



The Next Five Years

Comments will be accepted until October 20th.


Every five years Illinois establishes zone lines and season dates for waterfowl hunting for the next five years. The next five-year period will begin with the 2016-2017 waterfowl season, and extend through the 2020-21 waterfowl season. To establish these zone lines and season dates, the Department of Natural Resources reviews data on waterfowl abundance and peak migration timing, average freeze dates, and hunter desires as determined through mailed surveys, public open houses, and emails.

Based on this information, the Department has developed, and is providing  the proposal for Waterfowl Zone Lines and Season Dates for the 2016-2020 Seasons.
Comments on the proposal can be submitted to the Department via
Comments will be accepted until October 20th.
The information on waterfowl abundance, freeze dates and hunter preferences based on responses to the mailed Illinois Waterfowl Hunter Survey which were presented at the public open houses can be viewed Here.

Waterfowl hunting has a rich heritage in the Prairie State and continues to be popular among many dedicated enthusiasts.  While Illinois has lost much wetland habitat due to drainage, excellent habitat still exists in many areas and is managed intensively for waterfowl.  The position of the state in the middle of the Mississippi Flyway, makes it an important stopover point to the millions of ducks and geese winging their way south from the breeding grounds every fall.  These birds provide abundant recreational opportunities for sportsmen who have harvested an average of approximately 446,306 ducks a season between 2005-2009.  IDNR biologists and land managers provide hunting for waterfowl at 69 public hunting areas throughout Illinois.

 See Waterfowl Outfitting Rule Changes