Kankakee River State Park - Waterfowl

2022-2023 Season


INTRODUCTION: The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing outdoor recreation opportunity for the residents of the State. Of particular concern is providing safe hunting areas on public lands throughout the State. This Hunter Fact Sheet contains information relating to the waterfowl hunting program at the Kankakee River State Park. Waterfowl hunting is from numbered sites from constructed waterfowl blinds along the Kankakee River. One of the highest quality rivers in the entire state, the Kankakee boasts a long tradition of hunting dating back to pre-settlement times. Heavy rains may result in dramatically rising water conditions, so caution is required. Please participate in the Annual River Clean-up, which occurs during the month of September annually, to help protect this Nationally designated river.  Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

DIRECTIONS: The site office is located 6 Miles west of Bourbonnais on Rt. 10

DESCRIPTION: Sand, cobble and bed rock bottom in many areas; shallow in most areas

Total Acres- 4000

Huntable Acres- Only from designated blinds within the Waterfowl Management Area on the Kankakee River.


Section A. General Hunting Regulations

All applicable regulations found in the Wildlife Code of 1971 Federal Regulations and Administrative Order 510 shall apply, unless the site regulations are more restrictive.

Section B. Allocation and Construction

1. Blinds are allocated annually by drawing on the last Saturday of July, at the site office.  Rules will be posted. Blinds must be built within 10 feet of a marked location by the Blind winner, and up to two partners. The partners must be named on the provided partner sheet, and returned by August 31st. Once the completed blind is approved, a blind registration card will be issued.

2. Blinds are allocated for one hunting season only. Blind builders have until Feb 1 to reclaim blind materials.

3. Blinds must be at least 4' by 8' with a floor, partial roof and bench.  A dog ramp and access door must be provided and can be part of the blind. They must be maintained in good condition through the season. Boat hides are not required. Blinds may not be locked.

4. You may not use Giant Reed Grass (Phragmites) or any other nuisance plant with the seed head attached, for camouflaging your blind. Remove seed heads prior to entering the park. Keep your blinds clean, you are responsible for them. Blinds in poor or trashed condition will be red-carded.

5. Blinds must be completed 3 weeks prior to the opening of the Central Waterfowl Season, about the first week of October. Blinds that pass will be issued Registration Cards. Blinds that fail will be offered to alternates. Extensions may be offered in the event of adverse water conditions.

6. No person may be a blind holder on more than one Waterfowl Management Area in Illinois.

Section C. Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

1. Blind builders or partners must occupy their blinds 1/2 hour before opening shooting time each day in order to claim their blind.

2. Attempts to claim blinds by any manner other than actual occupation shall be considered in violation of this part, and shall be cause for arrest. The insertion of a boat into the boat hide and/or the spreading of decoys before a blind shall not be considered legal occupation of a blind.

3. A blind not legally occupied by 1/2 hour before opening shooting hour each day may be claimed by anyone on a first come basis.

4. No person shall fish within 250 yards of an occupied blind within the hunting area.

5. No person shall hunt, or attempt to hunt, waterfowl and coots except from within a registered blind.

6. No person under 16 years of age shall hunt, or attempt to hunt, unless accompanied by an adult.

7. All hunting parties shall hunt with at least 12 decoys. Decoys shall be staked, placed, or floating, be individually visible, be at least 8 inches long, and not be within a boat, blind or container.

8. No person shall trespass, for any purpose, on areas posted as Refuge or Waterfowl Rest Areas.

9. Not more than 4 persons shall occupy a blind at one time.

10. Blinds shall not be locked.

11. Claiming or attempting to claim a blind which is legally occupied, and/or to harass, in any manner, the occupants of a blind which has been legally occupied is unlawful.

12. Blind winners will be provided a harvest sheet to record the harvest of waterfowl and the number of hunter trips. They must be returned by Feb. 15th, or the conclusion of their hunting season. Failure to do so will result in the loss of hunting privileges at this site the following year.

Section D. Other Waterfowl Seasons

1.Early teal and Canada goose seasons are not allowed within the Kankakee River State Park Waterfowl Management Unit. The site is open for the youth season, and blind holders have preference.

2.There is no late goose season within the Kankakee River State Park Waterfowl Management Unit past the close of the Central Canada goose season.

3.Hunting is from numbered sites only.

Section E.  Open Field Waterfowl Hunting- NEW

1).  Open field hunting may be allowed in designated agricultural fields on the north side of the river only.  Site staff will post fields designated as open once crops have been harvested and will be marked with a stake.
 2).  No more than 2 hunters may hunt from within 10' of a designated marker/stake.  Only portable blinds or lay-out blinds may be used and must be removed daily.  Hunters must hunt over a minimum of 6 decoys.

3).  To participate, hunters must first obtain a windshield card permit available at: https://dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/ .  You will be required to report your harvest back to windshield card system, even if you did not hunt.    

4).  This will be a limited access program and will be on a first come first serve basis only.  You will be required to park in designated locations only.   

For additional information please contact: Kankakee River State Park, 5314 W. Rt. 102, Bourbonnais, IL 60914, 815-933-1383, or District Wildlife Biologist 815-476-7622.

Return Kill Sheets to: District Wildlife Biologist, 30550 S. Boathouse Rd., Wilmington, IL 60481 or fax to 815-476-7690 or E-mail to bob.massey@illinois.gov

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.