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Big River State Forest

2020-2021 Season


Location: 5 miles south of Keithsburg.

Description: 2,997 total acres.  This site is located adjacent to the Mississippi River. It lies on elevated sandy soils and  is not prone to annual flooding. The majority of the site is forested. Pines have been planted over several decades and dominate the land cover. There are small fields planted as food plots, but no agricultural crops are produced on site.



Turkey Spring Statewide See #7
Turkey - Archery & Gun Fall Statewide Statewide
Pheasant Statewide - but closed during deer firearm season Statewide Statewide
Squirrel Statewide Statewide Shotgun only
Dove Statewide See #8 See #4
Quail Statewide - but closed during deer firearm season Statewide Statewide
Rabbit Statewide - but closed during deer firearm season Statewide Statewide
Deer - Bow Statewide Statewide Statewide
Deer - Firearm Statewide Statewide See #9
​Deer-Late Winter
​See #10
Raccoon Statewide Statewide Statewide
Crow Statewide Statewide Statewide
Woodcock Statewide Statewide Statewide
Snipe Statewide Statewide Statewide
Rail Statewide Statewide Statewide
Coyote Same as statewide Fox season Statewide Statewide
Fox Statewide Statewide Statewide


  1. All hunters are required to obtain a Free "Site Windshield Card" online at the IDNR websitehttps://dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/ . This card must be visible through the vehicle windshield and the pocket portion in your possession while hunting. In addition, all spring turkey, firearm deer, and dove hunters are required to check-in/out at check station.   
  2. All hunting will be by shotgun or bow and arrow (except that muzzleloading rifles or handguns may be used to hunt deer during the shotgun deer season).
  3. It is unlawful to construct or use any tree stand that utilizes nails, screws, wire, or any device that pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed. Any tree stand must be portable and must be removed from the tree at the end of the day's hunt.
  4. Only steel shot,  size 6 or smaller, or non-toxic equivalent may be used for dove hunting.
  5. Hunters engaged in quail, rabbit, and pheasant hunting must wear a cap and upper garment of blaze orange of at least 400 square inches.    
  6. Crow carcasses must be removed from the site.
  7. Spring turkey season - 6 site-specific permits will be issued through the statewide application process for each season. No standby permits will be issued. All hunters must check in and out at the check station.  **No signing in before 4:00 A.M. each day**
  8. Dove season times will be 12:00 noon to 5:00 P.M., September 1- 5. Statewide regulation thereafter. A drawing will be held at 11:00 A.M. at the office if there are more hunters than can be accommodated.
  9. Statewide regulations will apply and a site-specific permit allocated through the statewide application process. Standby permits will be offered and permit holders must register at the check station by 5:00 A.M. Standby hunters will be issued a one day site specific deer permit at the check station for $5.00.
  10. Late-winter deer hunters can use late-winter permits, or unfilled BRSF firearm or Henderson county firearm permits.  Open/Closed by public announcement each fall. 
  11. Severe weather conditions can result in closing all or part of the area.
  12. It will be unlawful to possess or consume alcoholic beverages while hunting in the area.
  13. Hunters under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a responsible adult (18 years or older).

OTHER FACILITIES: Camping, hiking, snowmobiling, boating, equestrian trails. For more information please contact: Site Superintendent , RR 1 Box 118, Keithsburg. IL 61442 (309) 374-2496

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.