LOCATION: Sam Dale Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area is located 1 ½ miles west of Johnsonville and ½ mile north of Highway 161 extension in northwest Wayne County.
DESCRIPTION: The area encompasses 1,302 acres of which 950 acres are huntable. The Site is composed of 330 acres of cropland and food plots, 47 acres of grasslands, 630 acres of woodlands, and 204 acres of wetlands and a lake. The diversity and distribution of habitat types provides an excellent area for wildlife.
AVAILABLE GAME SPECIES: Deer Squirrel Quail Turkey Rabbit Dove Woodcock Crow Furbearers
The area provides excellent deer (archery hunting only) and turkey (Spring- firearm; Fall-archery) hunting. Upland hunters will find a diversity of habitat ranging from food-plots, old fields and stands of native warm-season grasses. Squirrel hunting can be excellent due to the large tracts of mature oak and hickory timber.
OTHER FACILITIES AVAILABLE: Camping (electricity, water, and dump station); Picnic Areas; Fishing and Boating on the 194 acre lake; Hiking Trails; Equestrian Trails and Restaurant.
- Hunting is restricted to those areas posted as open to hunting. Hunters must park in the designated areas only.
- In addition to having appropriate licenses, stamps, and species permits, all hunters must obtain a free Site Windshield Card/Harvest Report Form. These cars are available online at www.dnr.illinois.gov. Navigate to "Hunting/Trapping" and then 'Public Hunting Areas" to print these Windshield Cards. Hunters will be required to return to this website prior to February 15th each year to record harvest information. Failure to submit data will result in loss of hunting privileges for the following year.
- The Windshield Card must be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle used while hunting at the Site. Hunters must park in designated areas. No off-road vehicle use is allowed.
- All upland hunting is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and hunters are required to wear blaze orange hat and vest.
- Archery hunting continues during the statewide firearm deer seasons. Blaze orange clothing requirements are in place during the firearm deer seasons.
- Construction and use of permanent tree stands is prohibited. Portable stands may be used for hunting and may be left unattended overnight during the period September 15 through January 31. Each stand must be legibly marked with the owner's name, address, and telephone number when left unattended. Only one stand is allowed per hunter. No screw-in steps allowed.
- Statewide Dove Hunting regulations apply at this Site except that hunting hours are 12 noon to 5 p.m. daily September 1-5; season closes September 30. A drawing will be held at 11 a.m. if more hunters show up than can be accommodated.
- Park may be open for Late Winter Deer Hunting with Site Specific Permit only. Check with Site staff or at www.dnr.illinois.gov for more information.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Site Superintendent, Sam Dale Lake SFWA, 620 County Road 1910 North, Johnsonville, IL 62850 (Phone 618/835-2292) or District Wildlife Biologist, 13999 E. Game-Farm Rd. Road, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864 (Phone:, 618/242-2062)
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.