Kishwaukee River State Fish & Wildlife Area

2022-2023 Season


Location: The Kishwaukee River Area is located in Dekalb County, on the northwest outskirts of Kirkland. From US Route 72 in Kirkland, take Kirkland Road north for approximately 0.4 miles. Turn left into the entrance for the DeKalb County Forest Preserve (Potawatomi Woods) and the IDNR’s Kishwaukee River SFWA. Follow posted signs through Potawatomi Woods to Kishwaukee River SFWA on the south side of the Kishwaukee River.

Description of Area: This site encompasses a total of 570 acres; approximately 484 acres of the site are included in the hunting program. The majority of the area consists of hardwood forest with some interspersion of grassy open areas, wetlands, areas recently planted to woody tree and shrub seedlings and has a small portion of agricultural acreage. The hunting area is bordered on the north by the Kishwaukee River and on the south by the railroad track right of way. The area was purchased by the State in 2002 and, as time and budget allow, is being restored and enhanced for wildlife. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the  year on the site.




Bag Limits

Special Regulations

Firearm Deer




See #3, 4, 5, 6

Archery Deer




See #1, 2, 5, 8

Archery Turkey




See #1, 2, 4, 5

CWD Deer Season



One per valid permit

See #1, 5, 6, 7

All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code, Federal Regulations and Administrative Orders 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 the appropriate statewide licenses and permits for archery deer and fall archery turkey hunting, 
  2. Archery deer and fall archery turkey hunting are closed on this site during the firearm deer seasons. Archery deer and fall archery turkey hunting are open during the muzzleloader season; however, hunters must wear the same blaze orange clothing as that required for muzzleloader deer hunters.
  3. Hunting by permit only. Hunters must possess a firearm deer permit issued specifically for this site and for the season they are hunting in order to hunt on this area. Hunters may apply by selecting the Kishwaukee River State F&W Area as their choice of hunting area on their Firearm Deer Permit application. All deer harvested must be reported via the windshield card harvest reporting system  AND checked-in at the county check station.  Phone-in registration is not required while county check stations are operational.  Stand-by permits will not be available.  Site permit quota is 10 during the firearm deer seasons. 
  4. Hunting is allowed with any type of weapon that is legal for statewide deer hunting during the specific season you are hunting.
  5. Further restrictions may exist. See regulations posted at the site before hunting.
  6. BLAZE ORANGE CLOTHING REQUIREMENTS: All archery hunters must comply with blaze orange clothing requirements during the shotgun deer season, muzzle loader deer season, youth deer hunting season and any other special seasons that may be announced by the Department. Specific requirements are to be found in the "Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations."
  7. Hunting by site-specific permit only. On-line applications will be accepted beginning in late October through later November. Check for exact dates as season approaches. Paper applications will not be available. Unfilled permits will not be valid.  All deer harvested must be reported via the windshield card harvest reporting system AND via phone-in registration. Stand-by permits will not be available. Site permit quota is 10 during the CWD deer season.
  8. On-site 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.  


It Shall Be Unlawful: 

  • To construct or use any 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 any tree. Only one stand per hunter is allowed, stands must be portable and must be removed from the site at the end of each day.
  • To hunt in any area not designated as being open to hunting or to hunt off IDNR property.
  • To park anywhere on the site except in the designated parking lots or for any unauthorized vehicle to enter upon any trail.
  • 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 engage in "driving" deer for the purpose of hunting on any IDNR site.
  • To place or use any bait, attractant, lure, etc. that may be licked or ingested, etc.

For more information: Shabbona Lake State Park, 4201 Shabbona Grove Rd., Shabbona, IL. 60550 

Phone: (815) 824-2106

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.