Franklin Creek - Firearm & CWD Deer Seasons

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 922 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.




Bag Limit

Special Area Regulations (See Below)

Firearm Deer




See #1 - 8

CWD Season




See #2, 4, 8 - 11

  • 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 windshield card online at Complete all fields as necessary and print the Windshield Card and accompanying pocket card.  This card (your windshield card) must be displayed under the vehicle windshield, face up, with the card number visible and the pocket card portion in your possession while hunting at the site.  Hunters must report their annual harvest online (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.

Special Area Regulations:

  1. Hunters must possess a permit issued specifically for Franklin Creek for the season they are hunting.
  3. Hunting is permitted in zones A & C only.  Daily hunter quota is 17.   
  5. Hunters may apply by selecting Franklin Creek S.N.A. as their choice of hunting area on their Firearm Deer permit application. Applications are to be submitted to, and will be processed by, the Springfield Permit Office. Permits will be issued as either sex.
  7. Hunters with Franklin Creek Firearm Deer Permits must check in at the site office each day by 5:00 AM or they lose their permit holder preference for that day. All hunters (unless exempt) must have a valid FOID card, current year hunting license & habitat stamp in their possession when checking in. Any vacancies remaining at 5:00 AM will be filled at that time by a drawing to allocate stand-by permits.
  9. Stand-by permits are issued as valid for one day only; are site specific; are for either sex; and are $5.00 each.  No other deer permits are required. Non-resident stand-by hunters must have a non-resident hunting license and a current habitat stamp.
  11. See 17 Ill. Adm. Code, Section 650.30 a) for legal hunting devices allowed.
  13. All deer harvested must be reported to the site when checking out AND checked-in / reported as outlined in the statewide rules & regulations for reporting deer harvested during the regular statewide deer seasons.
  15. 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.
  17. Only Franklin Creek CWD season permits issued by Springfield will be valid. Stand-by CWD permits will not be issued. CWD hunters are required to register themselves at the hunter sign-in kiosk near the mill for available parking lots. Harvested deer MUST be checked-in/reported as outlined in the statewide rules & regulations. 
  19. 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 further information contact: Franklin Creek SNA; 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.