Black Crown Marsh State Natural Area

2022-2023 Season

MAP - Land Based    MAP - Marsh Based                         



Introduction: The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing outdoor recreation opportunities for residents of Illinois. Of particular concern is providing safe hunting areas on public lands throughout the State. Black ​Crown Marsh State Natural Area is a satellite site for Moraine Hills State Park.  Black Crown Marsh has 136 huntable acres. All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code, Federal Regulations, and Administrative Rules will apply unless area regulations are more restrictive. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

Location: Located in northeast Illinois, Black Crown Marsh is located on the McHenry/Lake County Line near Lakemoor and McHenry, Illinois.  Parking access at the equestrian entrance on Wegner Rd (marsh based hunting) and on Darrell Rd (land based hunting) near Moraine Hills State Park.

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations:

  1. Dates: Hunting season for marsh based hunting area will be Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday of the regular North Zone Illinois Duck Season. Hunting season for the land based hunting area will be Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday of the regular North Zone Illinois Duck Season and all North Zone Goose Seasons.
  2. Permits: Waterfowl hunting by free permit by lottery drawing from the Springfield Permit Office. Each permit holder will be assigned a day with sole access to the designated waterfowl hunting area at Black Crown Marsh.  It shall be the responsibility of the permit holder to bring no more than 3 partners (hunters or non-hunters; up to 4 persons total).  You will be required to sign in and out, and report harvests at the kiosks found in each designated parking area. Failure to report will result in loss of hunting privileges.  Permits are non-transferable.
  3. Logistics: Walk-in only. A Grumman boat will be available at the site for hunter use but hunters must provide oars and life jackets.  You may also bring your own canoe, skiff, kayak, or small boat without a motor.  Hunting must be done from shore or no more than 20 yards off shore.  Hunters must hunt over at least 1 dozen decoys.  Hunters must carry their own decoys and hunting equipment/gear with them to the designated hunting area.  This site does not have any permanent blind structures.  Hunters may construct temporary blinds on or near the shore that must be removed at the end of each day's hunt.  Due to thick vegetation, hunters are strongly encouraged to use retrieving dogs and to only shoot at ducks over open water and within legal range.  Hunters under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult of legal age.
  4. Hours and Harvest: 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1:00pm, hunters must be off site and signed out with harvest by 2:00pm.
  5. Youth Season: Youth season will be held on the statewide youth season dates.  Follow statewide regulations. Apply on-line.  
  6. Hazards: There is possible sunken debris in the open water area.  Please use extreme caution when navigating the water.
  7. Unlawful:
    • To enter private property without permission to hunt or retrieve downed game. 
    • For any person to consume any alcohol or illegal drugs or to be under the influence of these substances while on the area for the purpose of hunting. 
    • To enter any waterfowl refuge unless given specific permission from an authorized DNR representative in charge of the area. 
    • To take or attempt to take fish within the designated waterfowl area or waterfowl refuge during the waterfowl season. 
    • To operate an ATV in this area.
    • While attempting to take migratory waterfowl or coots to have possession of any shotgun shells not approved as non-toxic by federal regulations.
​For more information please contact: Moraine Hills State Park, Site Superintendent, 1510 S. River Rd., McHenry, IL 60051, (815) 385-1624​

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.