Franklin Creek State Natural Area

2022-2023 Season


Location: Franklin Creek State Natural Area is located in Lee County, one mile northwest of the Village of Franklin Grove; eight miles east of Dixon and just north of IL Route 38.

Description: The site consists of 882 acres; 635 of which are huntable and is mostly hardwood forest with some open to brushy fields. Property surrounding the park is privately owned. Please respect the rights of others and enjoy your visit to Franklin Creek. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

Species Season Hours Bag LimitSpecial Area Regulations
(See Below)
Archery Deer Statewide, See #1 Statewide Statewide, See #2 See #1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
Fall Archery Turkey Statewide, See #1 Statewide Statewide See #4, 5, 6, 7

All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code, Federal Regulations, and Administrative Rules will apply unless area regulations are more restrictive.

Hunters must obtain a site permit online from Complete all fields as necessary and print Windshield Card and accompanying pocket card.Your windshield card must be displayed under the vehicle windshield, face up, with the windshield card number visible and the pocket card portion in your possession while hunting at the site.Hunters must report their annual harvest (even if you did not hunt) by February 15.Hunters shall forfeit their hunting privileges at the site for the following year if they fail to report by the prescribed deadline. All hunters (unless exempt) must have a valid hunting license, habitat stamp, and archery deer or turkey permit.

Special Area Regulations

  1. Closed during 1st and 2nd firearm deer seasons. Archery hunting is allowed during the Late Winter season; however, archers must comply with state-wide blaze orange requirements.

  2. All deer hunting during the Late Winter season is antlerless only.An "antlerless" deer has no antlers or possesses antlers less than 3 inches in length.

  3. In zone C archery hunters may not hunt within 50 yards of a designated day use, or developed, area; or, within 30 yards of any trail.

  4. No more than 23 hunters (13 hunters in Zone A and 10 hunters in Zone B & C combined - deer & turkey combined) will be allowed on the area at any one time. Please check the sign-up sheets at the time of arrival; hunter quota is on a first come - first served basis.

  5. Archery turkey hunting allowed only in Zone A (see map for exact location). The site hunter quota includes turkey hunters. See map for location of turkey hunting area.

  6. Hunters are required to sign-in/sign-out, and report all deer and turkeys harvested on check station sheets. Harvested deer must also be reported using the statewide phone-in deer check system as having been harvested on Franklin Creek, not in Lee County.

  7. NOTE: The archery hunting area on this site is also open to other park users. Hunters may encounter hikers, equestrian riders, picnickers, etc.; PLEASE - the only way this program will continue is for everyone to be considerate of each other!

  8. Deer may not be field dressed within 100' from any road, trail, or developed area. Any debris or body parts generated by field dressing must remain at least 100' from any road, trail, or developed area. We request that you not drag your deer on trails being used by non-hunters.

  9. Submission of ALL archery harvested deer heads along with corresponding harvest information is required within 48 hours of harvest to test for the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease.

  10. Further restrictions may exist. See posted regulations before hunting.

It Shall Be Unlawful

  • To construct or to use any type of tree stand, screw-in steps, spikes, cleats, ladder, climbing aids, etc. using nails, screws, wire, or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree. Stands must be portable and must be removed from the site at the end of each day's hunt. Only one stand per person is allowed.

  • For any person to consume any alcoholic beverage or illegal drugs or to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on the area for the purpose of hunting.

  • To hunt in any area not designated as being open to hunting.

  • For unauthorized vehicles to enter upon any trail or be in any "off road" area or to park anywhere on the site except in designated parking areas.

  • To hunt with other than a shotgun or handgun during the firearm deer season or a bow & arrow during archery deer and turkey season.

  • To enter onto private property, for any reason, without first obtaining permission from the landowner.

  • To possess weapons in the field except during hunting hours and while engaged in hunting.

  • To hunt at night on this area.

  • To engage in "driving" deer for the purpose of hunting on any IDNR site.

Other Activities / Facilities Available: Hiking, equestrian trails.

For more information please contact: Site Superintendent, 1872 Twist Rd. Franklin Grove, Il. 61031, Phone: (815) 456-2878.​​​

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.