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.