Youth waterfowl hunts planned at locations throughout Illinois

A number of Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation areas and recreation areas plan to be open to youth waterfowl hunting during the 2018 North Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt and South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, reports.

Some federal sites that fall under the IDNR waterfowl administrative rule also are scheduled to be open.

At most sites, regulations that apply during the regular waterfowl hunting season apply during the youth hunt.

IDNR advised that hunters should check for site-specific regulations, including changes in legal shooting hours.  

During the youth hunt, the bag limits are the same as during regular seasons.

As part of the youth hunt, hunters age 17 or younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers, as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. 

The accompanying adult cannot hunt these species, but may participate in other open seasons.

IDNR noted that youth hunters must have a hunting license, a youth hunting license or apprentice hunting license. 

The youth hunter or her or his accompanying adult must have a valid FOID card. 

The supervising adult does not need to have a hunting license if they are not hunting other species. 

Youth hunters age 15 or younger are not required to have state or federal duck stamps.  

However, youth hunters age 16 and older must have state and federal duck stamps, even if they are using an Illinois youth hunting license. 

Although Illinois youth hunting licenses are available for hunters up to age 18, federal waterfowl hunting regulations do not allow hunters over age 17 to participate in youth hunts.

Special youth hunts taking place through the youth waterfowl hunting permit, or other youth only hunts at IDNR sites, are only open to youth hunters age 10 to 17. 

The schedule of special hunts and locations include:

Southern Illinois Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Union County and Horseshoe Lake SFWA, Dec. 28. 

All other youth hunts are open to those ages 17 and younger.

All waterfowl hunters, including those participating in the youth hunt, are required to register with the Harvest Information Program. 

In order to register with HIP, hunters will need to have their hunting license number available. 

IDNR said that hunters should register for HIP at the license vendor when they buy their hunting license, by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648), or online through the IDNR website at

The lists of state and federal sites to be open during the youth waterfowl hunts include: 

2018 South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Nov. 3-4, State and Federal Sites Open

Campbell Pond

Carlyle Lake SFWA

Kaskaskia SFWA

Kinkaid Lake SFWA

Mississippi River 

Oakwood Bottoms

Pyramid State Recreation Area (Captain, Denmark, Galum, and East Conant Units)

Rend Lake Project Land and Waters

Shawnee National Forest

Ten Mile Creek SFWA

2018 South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Nov. 10-11, State and Federal Sites Open

Bluff Lakes 

Cache River SNA

Cape Bend SFWA

Chauncey Marsh SNA

Crab Orchard NWR

Cypress Pond SNA

Deer Pond SNA

Devil’s Island

Dog Island

Embarras River Bottoms SHA

Horseshoe Lake SFWA (Alexander County)

LaRue Swamp 

Mermet Lake SFWA

Mississippi River

Newton Lake SFWA

Saline County SFWA

Sielbeck Forest SNA

Shawnee National Forest

Union County SFWA

For more information on Illinois waterfowl seasons, check the IDNR Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2018-2019, which is available at IDNR offices and online through the IDNR website at

For information on IDNR’s youth waterfowl hunting permit special hunts, go to

For hunter fact sheets online, go to

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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