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. This hunter fact sheet contains information relating to deer hunting at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, Heidecke State Fish and Wildlife Area and Morris Wetlands Unit. These three areas have been combined into one hunting program for ease of use and administration. Archery deer hunting is only allowed at Heidecke SFWA (Fields D & E), Fields A & B at Goose Lake SNA and the Morris Wetlands (west unit). Firearm, Muzzle Loader and CWD season deer hunting is allowed in parts of Heidecke SFWA (Field D only), Fields A, B & C at Goose Lake SNA and Morris Wetlands (west unit).
The Goose Lake area is characterized by scrub timber and several marshy grass tracts and prairie areas east of the former Collins Station power plant and prairie on both sides of Jugtown Rd. Areas east of the park are private property, and are homeland security sites. Trespass is strictly enforced. DO NOT wander onto these sites. Morris Wetlands Unit is bottomland timber, early successional habitat and some grasslands, all of which will be flooded during high water levels on the Illinois or Mazon rivers. Access to Morris Wetlands Unit is by FOOT ONLY from the parking lot located on PineBluff Road .8 miles east of Rt. 47.
Due to the high quality nature of this grassland ecosystem, prescribed burning is a necessary management tool that may be conducted during the summer and fall and is a priority. Portions of any unit may be burned when you arrive to hunt. We may adjust hunter numbers in affected areas as needed to continue to offer a quality hunt. Chronic Wasting Disease has been found near this site, and we encourage all hunters to get their deer tested. During the Firearm deer season sampling will be done at the Grundy County Check Station. During all other seasons, sampling will be done at the District Wildlife office located in Wilmington off Boathouse Road. Please follow instructions posted there.
DIRECTIONS: Southeast of Morris on Pine Bluff/Lorenzo Road, Six mile from Route 47 & I-55.
All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code of 1971, Administrative Orders, and Federal Regulations apply, unless area regulations are more restrictive.
||Dates & Hours
Statewide open until Sept. 30
|Those wishing to participate must obtain a Windshield Card annually prior to hunting. These permits are available at https://dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/. Only the Morris Wetlands unit is open for squirrel hunting. Hunters must only park off Pine Bluff Road parking area and access the site via foot. Your windshield card must be displayed in the windshield and the wallet card carried on your person while hunting. Gray and Fox Squirrels may be harvested, not the small Red/Pine Squirrel. Shotgun only. Harvest data must be reported via the reporting system on your windshield card by Feb.15th, even if you did not hunt. Failure to do so will result in your loss of hunting priveleges at this site. Any damage to the heron rookery will result in this program being immediately shut down.|
Statewide Dates (closed
Christmas & New Year's (Day)
|Those wishing to participate must obtain a site Windshield Card annually. These permits are available via the internet at https://dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/. Hunters must park in designated parking areas, and display their permits in their windshield while hunting. Either sex deer may be harvested according to your deer tags in your possession. Harvest data must be reported via the call-in system and via the reporting system on your windshield card by Feb. 15th. Failure to do so will result in your loss of hunting privileges at this site. Closed during all seasons in which a firearm is allowed. NO Hunting from N/S railroad berm. See above for CWD sampling. |
|Permits for the firearm deer season are allocated during the spring lottery drawing Select GLSP1 Or GLSP2. Permits are valid for first or second season only. Hunters must check in by 5 a.m. daily to validate their permit, after that time permits are void for the day; a drawing will be held at 5 a.m. to fill any vacancies. Standby permits are available for a fee of $5.00 for a one day site specific permit. Either sex deer may be harvested according to your deer tags in your possession. All hunters are required to check in and check out and report harvest to the check station attendant in person. In addition, you must check in your deer at the Grundy County Firearm Check Station at Gebhard Woods S.P. The Morris Wetlands Unit is part of the Goose Lake Complex hunt. NO Hunting from N/S railroad berm. Sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease will be conducted at the Grundy County Firearm Check Station.|
Closed during the firearm deer season
|Permits for the muzzle loader season are allocated during the spring application period. Muzzle loader only hunting will be for the second three day period of that season. Hunters must check-in by 5am daily to validate their permit, after that time permits are void for the day. Standby permits are available for a fee of $5.00 for a one day site specific permit. All hunters are required to check in and check out and report harvest to the check station attendant in person. Either sex deer may be harvested according to the permit in your possession. You must also report your harvest via the phone in system. Archery deer hunting is not allowed at this time. NO Hunting from N/S railroad berm. See above for CWD sampling. |
|To participate, CWD permits are available via the CWD Permit Lottery for Special Hunt Areas. Applications are available the last Tuesday in October at the IDNR WebPage. You must check in and check out and report your harvest at the hunter check station. You must also phone in your harvest through the statewide call in system as required. There is no CWD deer season check station for Grundy County. Other rules will be posted at the site. Antlerless only deer may be harvested during this season. The Morris Wetlands Unit is part of the Goose Lake State Park hunt. NO Hunting from N/S railroad berm. See above for CWD sampling. Permits from earlier seasons may not be rolled over for this season.|
Deer hunting stands must be removed daily. Hunters may only park in designated parking areas. Non-hunters are not allowed into areas open to hunting during times when hunting programs are in progress. Blinds are required to have 400 sq. inches of vivid blaze orange on the uppermost portion of the blind which must be visible for 360 degrees. You may not leave your stands up overnight.