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Big Bend

2019-2020 Season


LOCATION: Whiteside County, 4 miles west of Prophetstown, along the Rock River on VanDamme Road and Banks Road.

DESCRIPTION: Total acres: 2,376 acres, including 46 acres of water. Hunting acres: 2,338. Composition: Timber and shrub - 791 acres; open or cultivated - 1158 acres.

The area consists of two major cover types. The uplands (approximately 250 acres) is sandy soil with fields bordered by tree lines. The bottomlands (2,088 acres) is flat, interspersed with native grassland, tree plantings and tracts of woods. There are several small wetlands and marshes, and two oxbows totaling 96 acres of water. Annual food patches are scattered over the area. Fields of sunflower, corn, and soybeans are planted and rows along the edges are left standing through the winter. As time and budget allow, this area is targeted for restoration activities and enhancement of wildlife habitat.


Species Season Hunting Hours Bag Limit Special Regulations
Dove Statewide 12N - 5:00 PM Sept. 1-5;​ 
after Sept. 5 sunrise- sunset
Statewide See Reg. 14 below.  Springfield issued permit for Sept.1 - 5.  Permit apps starting in June. Non-toxic shot only; #6 steel or #7  bismuth & tungsten or smaller may be possessed.
Squirrel Statewide Statewide Statewide shotgun only
Deer (Archery Only) Statewide Statewide Statewide See Reg. 5 & 8 below
Heritage Youth Turkey Statewide Statewide Statewide Statewide
Turkey (Spring) Statewide Statewide Statewide See Reg. 9 & 10 below
Turkey (Fall Archery) Statewide Statewide Statewide  
Pheasant, Quail*, Rabbit, Hungarian Partridge Statewide Statewide Statewide See Reg. 7 & 12 below; Beginning in 2018, non-toxic shot will be required for upland game, #2 or 3 suggested
Woodcock, Rail and Snipe Statewide Statewide Statewide  
Crow Statewide Statewide Statewide  
Raccoon & Opossum Statewide Statewide Statewide See Reg. 4 below
Red and Gray Fox Statewide Statewide Statewide See Reg. 4 below
Coyote and Skunk Aug 1st thru Feb 28th Statewide Statewide See Reg. 4 below
Furbearer Trapping Statewide Statewide Statewide  See Reg. 13 below
  1. Hunting is restricted to those portions of the area posted as open to hunting.
  2. All hunters must register once a day with name and date prior to hunt and record harvest upon completion of hunt. Record 0 if nothing was harvested. Registration will be at parking lots 1, 2, 3, or 4.
  3. All hunters are responsible for following all statewide regulations and any special regulations posted at parking lots 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  4. All hunting is to be done with shotgun or bow and arrow only, except .22 rim fire may be used to take raccoon, opossum, fox, coyote and skunk from sunset to sunrise.
  5. It shall be unlawful to construct or to use any tree stand that utilizes nails, screws, wire or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed. Only one tree stand or ground stand per hunter. May be left unattended from Sept. 15 through Jan. 31. Stands must be marked with owners name, address & telephone number.
  6. It shall be unlawful for any person to posses or consume beer or any intoxicating liquors before or while hunting on the area.
  7. Hunters engaged in quail, rabbit, pheasant, or Hungarian partridge hunting must wear a cap and upper outer garment of SOLID BLAZE ORANGE of at least 400 squ​are inches.
  8. Archery deer hunting will be allowed during all firearm deer seasons. All hunters must wear a cap and upper outer garment of SOLID BLAZE ORANGE of at least 400 sq. inches.
  9. All spring turkey hunters must obtain a site specific permit, which will be issued through the Permit Office in Springfield. Spring wild turkey permits valid for Whiteside Co. will not be valid at Big Bend SFWA.
  10. In an effort to distribute turkey hunters throughout the site, hunters are encouraged to use another parking lot when 2 cars are already present in a parking lot during the turkey season.
  11. All hunters must park in designated parking lots.
  12. Quail season closes at sunset on December 14th.
  13. Trapping permits (N=3) will be issued thru annual drawing held at Morrison Rockwood State Park. Contact Site Superintendent at (815) 772-4708 for drawing date and time.
  14. Permit issued thru Springfield Office for Sept 1 - 5th.  Applications accepted beginning in June.  (See DNR website,

For further information contact: Site Superintendent, P.O. Box 181, Prophetstown, IL 61277 Telephone: 815-537-2270 or 537-2926​​​

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.