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Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area - Duck Ranch

2016-2017 Season


Location: Marshall/Putnam Counties, east side of Illinois River; directly east and south of the City of Henry and State Rt. 18.

Description: The 356-acre Duck Ranch Unit is a mixture of Illinois River floodplain forest, lake and ponds. The property was acquired by the IDNR on January 1, 2001. The goal of the waterfowl management scheme is to balance hunting opportunities while providing waterfowl resting areas.

Available Species:

Species Seasons Hunting Hours Bag Limits
Waterfowl Central Zone Legal Opening to 1:00 pm, Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun. Statewide
Youth Waterfowl  Central Zone  Legal Opening to 1:00 pm  Statewide 
Early Goose Central Zone Legal Opening to Sunset Statewide
Teal Central Zone Legal Opening to Sunset Statewide
Late Goose Central Zone Legal Opening to 1:00 pm Statewide
Deer (Archery) ** Special Statewide Statewide
Turkey (Archery) ** Special - Fall Statewide Statewide
Spring Turkey See Spring Turkey Fact Sheet Statewide Statewide
Raccoon/Opossum ** Special Statewide Statewide

**Special: These seasons will be opened one day after the conclusion of duck season. Deer and Turkey archery seasons will also be open from legal opening to seven (7) days prior to opening of duck season.

Area Regulations - Waterfowl

  1. The Springfield Permit Office will issue duck permit reservations on days open to hunting. Blinds not claimed by the permit winners at the Marshall SFWA 1 hour before shooting time shall be allocated in the daily drawing held at Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area (MSFWA) check station, 5 miles south of Lacon on State Route 26. The drawing will be conducted 60 minutes before legal shooting time. Hunters shall register as parties for the drawing; each party drawn shall be allowed to select hunting blinds in order drawn. No more than four hunters per party; only registered hunters in that party shall be allowed to hunt their designated blind site. A $10 daily fee will be charged to each hunter.
  2. Blinds not selected during the drawing shall be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. No blind sites shall be allocated after 11:00 a.m., at which time the waterfowl area is closed to further entry. All hunting will cease at 1:00 p.m.
  3. All hunting must be from a registered blind site.
  4. Hunters are required to report their kill on a harvest card located at a determined location at the end of each day's hunt. Hunters are not required to report back to the Marshall SFWA check station.
  5. No hunting is permitted on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
  6. At no time are hunters permitted to enter designated waterfowl refuges or rest areas.
  7. Hunters must obtain a Windshield card online from when hunting the teal season, early Canada Goose season, and the extended Canada Goose season beyond Central Zone Duck season.  To do so, navigate to Hunting/Trapping", "Public Hunting Areas",   "Waterfowl", (including teal)" and choose the northwest region.   Complete all fields and PRINT your windshield card.  This windshield card  must be visible in your windshield and the pocket card portion in your possession while hunting at the site.  Hunters must report their harvest online (EVEN IF YOU DID NOT HUNT) by February 15 of the following year or your hunting privileges at that site will be forfeited the following year.  

Site Regulation - Forest Game

  1. All hunters are required to register online to obtain a windshield card and report their harvest.
  2. .22 rimfire may be used to take raccoon and opossum from sunset to sunrise.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to construct or to use any tree stand using nails, screws, wire, or any other device which pierces or cuts the bark of a tree.

Site Regulations - General

  1. Hunters 16 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  2. Severe weather and safety conditions can result in closing all or part of Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area.
  3. Steel shot is required on this area.
  4. It shall be unlawful to possess or consume alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer, while hunting on the area.

Other Facilities Available: Duck Ranch Unit- None; however, camping, picnicking, hiking, and fishing are available elsewhere at Marshall SFWA (headquarters located 5 miles south of Lacon on State Rt. 26).

Note: Blinds at the Duck Ranch may be accessed by motorboat via the Illinois River (a trip of 5-10 minutes from the City of Henry marina) followed by a few minute walk; or by foot via a 3/4-1 mile sand trail from a parking lot on site. Further information on blind accessibility can be obtained from the Marshall SFWA office.

For further information, contact: Marshall State Fish & Wildlife Area, 236 State Rt. 26, Lacon, IL 61540; Telephone: 309/246-8351.

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.