Redwing Slough / Deer Lake

2022-2023 Season

Waterfowl MAP    Squirrel Hunting MAP                         


INTRODUCTION: The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the residents of the State. Of particular concern is providing adequate safe hunting areas on public lands throughout the State. The waterfowl hunting program at Redwing Slough/Deer Lake provides a quality hunting experience by limiting hunting pressure to that which occurred historically on the site. The cultural heritage of waterfowl hunting on the site dates back to the days when market hunting for waterfowl was unregulated. The Department of Natural Resources is pleased to continue the tradition of waterfowl hunting on this unique site. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

DIRECTIONS: The site office is located at Chain O' Lakes State Park on Wilmot Road, just south of Route 173.


Total Acres: 600         Huntable Acres: 150


Squirrel Hunting:

  1. Season: August 1 through September 30
  2. Park in the entrance off Rt. 173. Any areal highlighted in yellow on the map may be walked to and hunted.
  3. Hunters must obtain a Windshield Card online from the Department website.  This permit must be displayed under the vehicle windshield, face up, with the permit number visible and the pocket portion in possession while hunting at the site.  Hunters must report their annual harvest online (even if the hunter did not hunt) by February 15 or two weeks after the season closes for those seasons ending after February 1. Hunters shall forfeit their hunting privileges at the site for the following year if they fail to report by the above deadline.
  4. You may use air rifles .25 caliber or smaller.


Waterfowl Hunting:


  1. Blind site - A position within 15 feet of GPS location where blind must be constructed. Sites will be located and staked by the Department of Natural Resources. Boat hides are not considered a part of the blind and may be separate.
  2. Blind builder - Person who has been assigned a blind site as a result of the drawing.
  3. Blind partner - Person(s) chosen by the builder to assist in construction and maintenance of the blind and to share its hunting privileges.
  4. Drawing - Procedure by which blind sites are assigned.
  5. Blind registration card - Card issued by the Department and tacked inside each blind listing names and addresses of blind builders.
  6. Complete blind - A blind with all framework and siding constructed and in readiness for use, including final brushing.


  1. All blinds will be allocated for a one-year period by a public drawing. Time and place for the drawing will be publicly announced by the Department of Natural Resources.
  2. A registrant for a drawing must be at least 16 years of age and possess a current or preceding years Illinois hunting license, and current or preceding years Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp. Persons exempted by law from possessing a hunting license or waterfowl stamp must have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card.  Applicants must be present for the registration and drawing to be eligible for allocation of duck blind sites.


  1. Shooting hours will be from legal opening to 1:00 PM.
  2. The site will be open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday only.
  3. The Northern Zone duck season will be the only waterfowl hunting season allowed. Goose hunting prior to and after the close of the Northern Zone duck season is prohibited. Hunting is prohibited during any September teal season.
  4. Outboard motors of (6) horsepower or less are permitted on the site for blind building and hunting.
  5. No person shall buy, sell or commercialize hunting rights, either directly or indirectly.
  6. Not more than 4 persons shall occupy a blind at one time.
  7. Weeds and/or brush may not be cut or controlled around a blind without prior approval from an authorized Department of Natural Resource representative.
  8. Bogging of blinds is prohibited.
  9. Use of the following species is prohibited for brushing blinds due to their ability to readily propagate and become noxious weeds: Purple Loosestrife, Giant Reed.


  1. Blinds may be either temporary (boat blinds) or permanent. If boat blinds are chosen, they must be within 10 feet of the marked blind site. All statewide regulations pertaining to use of boat blinds apply. If permanent blinds are chosen, they must meet specifications in this section (Section C.).
  2. Permanent blinds must be at least 4' x 8', but no higher than 12 feet above normal pool level. Blinds and boat hides must be sturdy enough to withstand daily usage, and must be maintained in good condition by blind builders throughout the season. Minimum inside dimensions of the boat hide shall be 18' x 6'. Blinds shall be numbered and that number shall be visible from the outside of the blinds.
  3. Blinds must include a dog hide that is on the same level as the blind. The dog hide can either be incorporated into the blind by providing a hole at floor level that measures at least 20 inches high by 20 inches wide or by providing a separate compartment that is attached to the blind. Hides attached to the blind should have a minimum floor space that measures 2 feet by 2 feet and should be at least 2.5 feet high with two openings. One opening should be between the blind and the dog hide, should measure at least 20 inches by 20 inches, and should be constructed at the same level as the blind floor. The water access opening should be at least 20 inches wide and 20 inches high. Hides either within the blind or attached should have an enforced ramp to water level that is at least 15 inches wide with cleats every 12 inches. Openings in the blind must be capable of being closed when not in use.
  4. Previous years blind builders shall have until February 1 to salvage materials from blind sites. After that date, blind materials on the site become the property of the Department or the new blind builder as determined by the site manager. Access for blind removal is by appointment with the site manager.
  5. Blind builders may not gain access to the site until the day after Labor Day.
  6. (1) Key will be provided to each blind winner who will be responsible to pick up and return the key to the Chain O' Lakes State park office.
  7. Blinds must be completed, including final brushing, 3 weeks in advance of opening date of Northern duck season, after which time the Department of Natural Resources will inspect all blinds, boat hides and blind sites and issue blind registration cards to those which pass inspection. If adverse weather or water conditions make compliance with this rule difficult, the Site Superintendent or the District Wildlife Biologist may grant extensions. Blind Registration Cards must be posted inside the blind prior to the opening date of the waterfowl season and remain posted until after the close of the waterfowl season.
  8. Sites on which blinds or boat hides have not been built, as well as sites on which blinds or boat hides of an unsatisfactory quality have been built, will be reassigned to alternates selected at the drawing. All reassigned blinds and boat hides must be completed, including final brushing, in advance of the opening date of the waterfowl season.
  9. Not more than 3 persons shall be registered for assignment of any one blind site. Blind builders shall submit partner names on a blind registration form as designated at the site drawing. After the designated time, no changes will be accepted. As directed by the information sheet available at each site, the registration form must be filled out and returned before August 31. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of blind.
  10. No person shall be allowed to be a blind builder or partner on more than one State Waterfowl Management Area in Illinois.
  11. Blind winners will be provided forms for the purpose of maintaining waterfowl harvest records and an envelope for the return of the forms. It is mandatory that these forms be returned by 3 weeks following the close of the Northern duck season. Failure to comply will result in the blind winner and partners listed for the blind not in compliance to lose the privilege of being a blind winner or partner on this site for the following year.


  1. Attempts to claim blinds by any manner other than actual occupation shall be considered in violation of this Order 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.
  2. At least one of the (3) persons registered for assignment of any one blind must be present for the blind to be considered legally occupied. The site is not open to the public for standby hunting, i.e., unoccupied blinds may not be claimed on a first-come basis.
  3. No person shall hunt, or attempt to hunt except from within a registered blind.
  4. Persons under 16 years of age shall not hunt, or attempt to hunt, unless accompanied by an adult due to safety factors.
  5. Blinds shall not be locked.
  6. All hunting parties shall hunt with a spread of at least 12 decoys. The 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.

For additional information please contact: CHAIN O' LAKES STATE PARK, 8916 WILMOT ROAD, SPRING GROVE, IL 60081, 847/587-5512

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.