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Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

2019-2020 Season

MAP                              

NAME: Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

LOCATION: Eight miles south of Mt. Vernon, just west of Bonnie

DESCRIPTION:

Total Acres: 12,690   Acres of Water: 4,000

Huntable Acres: 7,690   Acres of Timber: 1,700

Open, Cultivated or Fallow Acres: 3,900

This area consists of bottomland hardwoods, upland ag fields, and surrounding land including 3,000 acres of impounded water in the sub-impoundments managed primarily for waterfowl. Food is produced both by tenant farming, site staff farming, and moist-soil production. Five thousand posted acres are managed as a waterfowl refuge. All areas are open to fishing most of the year with the refuge area being closed during waterfowl use periods.

GENERAL SITE REGULATIONS

  1. No hunting may be done in restricted areas, developed recreation areas or within 100 yards of inhabitated dwellings.
  2. When hunting or scouting, ALL VEHICLES MUST BE PARKED AT DESIGNATED AREAS (no ATV access)
  3. It is unlawful for any person to consume, possess, or be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs while on site property for the purpose of hunting or trapping. Any person who violates site specific regulations shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
  4. Parking is allowed only in designated parking lots shown on the site map.
Turkey (Spring)
  1. Statewide regulations.
  2. Hunters are required to have a spring turkey permit for the county during the designated season
Turkey (Youth Spring)
  1. Statewide regulations
  2. Youth hunters are required to have a youth turkey permit for the county
Turkey (Fall Archery)
  1. Statewide hunting hours are in effect
  2. Only one tree stand or ground blind is allowed per turkey permit holder. It will be unlawful to constuct or to use any tree stand using nails, screws or wires or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed. Tree stands and ground blinds must be portable and must be removed at the end of each day. NO PERMANENT TREE STANDS ALLOWED.

Turkey (Fall Gun)
  1. Statewide regulations
Squirrel
  1. Statewide regulations
  2. Hunting with .22 caliber or smaller rimfire firearms, .25 caliber or smaller air rifles, or muzzleloading black powder rifles is allowed
Bobwhite Quail and Rabbit Hunting
  1. Statewide regulations
Furbearer Hunting
  1. Statewide regulations
Furbearer Trapping
  1. ​Statewide regulations, except that water sets only are allowed
Deer (Archery)

  1. ​Statewide regulations shall apply, except that in the refuge area only (south of site headquarters) from October 1st through October 31st each hunter must sign in/out and report a harvest at the sign in box next to the site headquarters and an antlerless deer must be taken in the refuge before an antlered deer is harvested.
  2. Only one tree stand or ground blind is allowed per deer permit holder. It will be unlawful to construct or to use any tree stand using nails, screws or wires or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed. Tree stands and ground blinds must be portable and must be removed at the end of each day. NO PERMANENT TREE STANDS ALLOWED.
Deer (Firearm)
  1. ​Statewide regulations
  2. The refuge is closed to firearm deer hunting 
  3. Only one tree stand or ground blind is allowed per deer permit holder. It will be unlawful to constuct or to use any tree stand using nails, screws or wires or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed. Tree stands and ground blinds must be portable and must be removed at the end of each day. NO PERMANENT TREE STANDS ALLOWED.
Teal
  1. Statewide regulations
  2. No trespassing or hunting allowed on Rend Lake Refuge during teal or early Canada goose seasons.
Woodcock, Snipe and Rail Hunting
  1. Statewide regulations
Crow
  1. Statewide regulations
  2. Crow hunting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  3. All harvested crows must be removed from State property and disposed of properly
Dove
  1. Statewide regulations, except that hunting hours will be from sunrise to 11:30 am daily September 1-5.; season closes September 30th. A drawing will be held one hour before sunrise if there are more hunters present than can be accommodated.
  2. Hunters are required to check in and sign out
  3. Hunting is restricted to the managed field(s)
  4. ONLY NON-TOXIC SHOT, No. 6 steel or No. 7 1/2 bismuth shot or smaller is allowed
  5. Harvested doves must be kept in separate bags by each hunter
  6. No cleaning of doves is permitted on the site
  7. It is the hunters responsibiltiy to remove all refuse, including empty shotgun shells, from the hunting area once they have finished hunting
Waterfowl (Youth)
  1. The youth hunt is typically held on the weekend preceding the Illinois South Central Zone duck season opener.
  2. Youth hunters must be between the ages of 10-17 and must have a hunting license and HIP registration number. 
  3. Hunters participating in the youth hunt must sign in and out
  4. A drawing will be held at 4:00 am each day of the youth hunt for hunters wanting to hunt the Casey Fork impoundment. Drawing will held at the Cottonwood Access Area.
  5. No entry into the subimpoundments before 4:30 am and must be out of the subimpoundment by 2:00 pm
  6. Accompanying adults are not allowed to hunt
  7. All regulations listed under waterfowl also apply
Waterfowl-Ducks, Geese and Coots
  1. All waterfowl hunters must sign in prior to hunting and sign out and report harvest at the end of each day's hunt
  2. No hunting is permitted from the subimpoundment dams
  3. Waterfowl hunters must maintain a distance of 200 yards between hunting parties, except for Department constructed blinds or staked locations
  4. No waterfowl hunting is permitted within 200 yards of the refuge boundary, or within 100 yards of any private property boundary
  5. Hunting hours are from legal opening to 1:00 pm 
  6. All waterfowl hunters and all boats must be out of the Casey Fork and Big Muddy subimpoundments by 2:00 pm each day of the waterfowl season and not return until 4:30 am, except during the last 3 days of the Canada Goose season, hunters must be out of the areas by one hour after sunset and not return until 4:30 am
  7. No permanent blinds allowed
  8. No cutting of vegetation on site. While waterfowl hunting, no one may have in their possession any tool or device designed to cut brush or limbs, except common hunting knives and pocket knives.
  9. Each hunting party is required to hunt over a minimum of 12 decoys at each blind site, and all decoys must be picked up at teh end of each day's hunt
  10. All boat traffic is prohibited from entering the subimpoundments from the closing of the youth waterfowl season until the opening day of the regular waterfowl season
  11. Air boats will not be allowed in the Casey Fork subimpoundment, Big Muddy subimpoundment, and the impoundments of Corps of Engineer's managed areas such ast Atchison Creek, Gun Creek, And Rend City Wetland during the regular duck, youth waterfow, and Canada goose seasons. When ice condidtions do not allow access at boat ramps by normal watercraft, then air boatrs can be used in the Casey Fork and Big Muddy subimpoundments
  12. The land and water portion of the Rend Lake Refuge is closed to trespassing during waterfowl season
  13. During the last 3 days of Canada Goose season, hunting hours shall close at sunset daily
  14. After the close of teh regular duck season, goose hunters may not possess more than 5 shot shells for every Canada and White-fronted goose allowed in the daily bag limit
  15. Staked hunting areas- Those areas designated as a staked hunting area will be publicly announced and the following regulations will apply
​            
            a) Stakes will be assigned via a daily drawing held at 4:00 am during November, 4:30 in December,                                            and 5:00 am in January

b) All hunters must register at the check station. Hunters arriving at the check station after the initial draw will have the opportunity to select any stakes that are still available up to one hour before legal shooting time. Hunters may enter the subimpoundment up to 1/2 hour before legal shooting time or between 9:00 am and 9:30 am.

c) All hunting must occur within 10 yards of an assigned, numbered stake except for stakes identified at the check station where hunters may hunt from any place in the field in which the stake is located

d) Check station is at the Bonnie Dam Access Area will be operated on a daily basis through the second weekend of the waterfowl season. Thererafter, Bonnie Dam check station will only be open on weekends and holidays as posted at the check station. Cottonwood Access Area will be operated on a daily basis throughout the waterfowl season for both Bonnie Dam and Cottonwood Hunting Areas. Hunters who wish to hunt together at a staked location must register as a hunting party and be present for the drawing. Only those persons in that party may hunt at the assigned stake. No more than 5 hunters shall be in a hunting party. 

e) Hunting parties can only hunt from the staked location that they chose in that day's drawing. No moving to or hunting from any other staked location is allowed. Once a staked locaiton is killed out, no other hunting party may hunt from that stake for the remainder of that day. 

f) When hunting parties have killed their legal daily bag limit of ducks (not including coots and mergansers) and/or Canada geese in respect to the legal hunting season dates they must vacate the hunting site.

g) Hunters must sign in and out and report their harvest on the cards at the access area where they launch.

 

16. Permanent blinds at the Whistling Wings Access Area shall be regulated as follows:

a) During Goose season, a separate drawing will be held for the pits at Whistling Wings. This drawing will be held at Cottonwood check station following the drawing for staked hunting sites. Hunters may not register for more than one drawing per day. Unsuccessful hunters in the drawing for Whistling Wings pits may select any unclaimed stake location after the drawings.

          b) Hunters who wish to hunt together must register as a hunting party and be present for the drawing

          c) All hunters must have a registration card from the check station in their possession while hunting

          d) Hunting parties can only hunt from the pit location that they chose in that day's drawing. No moving to or hunting                    from any other pit location is allowed

          e) No more than 6 dozen decoys may be used per pit

          f) No more than 4 hunters will be allowed in the pit or hunting party.​ 

Waterfowl-Early and Late Goose (all species)
  1. Hunting from a completed blind or staked site is waived during seasons held before the regular duck season or for seasons held after the regular Canada goose season
  2. Waterfowl hunters must maintain a distance of 200 yards between hunting parties.​

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, 10885 E. Jefferson Rd., Bonnie, IL 62816, PH: 618/279-3110 or Region 5 Headquarters, 11731 State Hwy. 37, Benton, IL 62812, PH: 618/435-8138 or District Wildlife Biologist, 13999 E. Game Farm Rd., Mt. Vernon, IL 62864, PH: 618/242-2065.

Wildlife management on this public land site is funded in part by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program (P-R Act of 1937). Excise taxes paid on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment fund wildlife habitat developments, land acquisition, research and hunter safety education courses. (US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources cooperating) ​​


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.