INTRODUCTION: The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing quality outdoor recreation opportunities for the residents of the state. Of particular concern is providing safe hunting areas on public grounds throughout the State.
LOCATION: Located in the northeast corner of Illinois, the park is 3 miles south of McHenry.
SHOTGUN DEER HUNTING REGULATIONS: Dates: Statewide shotgun season dates.
- Dates: First and Second Statewide Firearm Deer Seasons.
Permits: Permits are allocated during the statewide firearm permit lottery. Each hunter has an option of one or two site specific antlerless only permits, followed by an either sex permit (an anterless deer must be harvested and checked in first before an antlered deer is harvested). Permits will be valid for the first or second season only. All hunters must check out daily and report harvest at the check station. Back patches must be worn by hunters while in the field.
Lottery: A mandatory meeting and lottery for specific hunting stations will be conducted at the site on Saturday, November 5th at 1:00PM. Standby opportunities are available the Saturday and Sunday of the second season only, participants must also attend the lottery.
- Hunting Stations: Hunters are required to hunt from elevated stands (6 feet minimum above ground) and within a 65 yard radius of the hunter station marker. Tree stands and climbing devices must be portable, may not cut or pierce the tree bark, but do not have to be removed at the end of each day. Pruning branches up to 1½ " is allowed on the stand tree only.
Hours: Statewide regulations (½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset), check-in at 5:00 AM.
Scouting: Preseason scouting is allowed in the Nature Preserve after October 1.
Parking: You must park in designated parking lots only. No parking is allowed along roadways.
Firearms: Shotgun with slugs, muzzle loading rifles, or handguns identified by regulation as being legal for statewide use during the firearm deer season. Firearms must be unloaded and fully enclosed in a case, except while the hunter is in an elevated stand or as otherwise authorized by an employee of the IDNR. This requires your firearm to be cased whenever you are on the ground.
Tracking: If it is necessary to track a deer onto private property, you must first notify the site office and obtain permission from the landowner. All property around the park is privately owned, please respect the rights of others.
Unlawful: Plastic markers and flagging tape is prohibited. (Spectators are not allowed on the area). All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code of 1971, Administrative Rules 510 and 650, and Federal Regulations apply unless the area's site specific rules are more restrictive.
- Hazards: Controlled burning, for habitat management purposes, may be used within your hunting zone.
For more information please contact: Site Superintendent, 1510 S. River Rd., McHenry, IL 60051, (815)385-1624 .
Equal opportunity to participate in programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and those funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies is available to all individuals regardless of race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or other non-merit factors. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the funding source’s civil rights office and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, IDNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702; (217)785-0067; TTY (217)782-9175.