William Powers State Recreational Area

2022-2023 Season

Waterfowl Map    Archery Deer Application    Archery Deer 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 William Powers, also known as Wolf Lake, began as soon as the state acquired the property in 1947. Wolf Lake and the grand marshes which border Lake Michigan have long been known for attracting waterfowl. The Department of Natural Resources is pleased to be able to continue the tradition of waterfowl hunting at this unique site.  Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

DIRECTIONS: The site office is at 12949 South Avenue O.

DESCRIPTION: Total Acres: 650; Huntable Acres: Waterfowl-419; Deer-23.


  1. All regulations found in the Wildlife Code of 1971, Federal Regulations and Administrative Orders, apply on this area. Special area regulations established under the authority provided in the above acts may be more restrictive and must be observed.
  2. It shall be unlawful:
    1. To possess or consume alcoholic beverages, including beer or wine, while on the area for the purpose of hunting.
    2. No person shall buy, sell, or commercialize hunting rights, either directly or indirectly.
  3. The site is closed to waterfowl hunting on Mondays & Tuesdays. Legal waterfowl hunting limited to Wednesday through Sunday from half hour prior to sunrise through 1pm (statewide regulations on Deer Archery Hunting).


  1. Blind site - A position within 10 feet of IDNR identified hunting location where blind may be constructed or boat blind may be tethered.
  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. Blind brushing - Material used to conceal the frame work of the blind. Allowable materials include:  cattail, native grasses, and commercial blind covering. No trees, large tree branches, logs, or pine boughs, will be allowed.  The use of unallowable  brushing material will result in forfeiture of blind.
  7. Completed blind - A blind with all framework and siding constructed and in readiness for use, including final brushing.


  1. Blind sites shall be determined by the Department and identified by either a stake and/or GPS coordinates.
  2. 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.
  3. Registrants for the drawing must be at least 16 years of age and possess a current or preceding year's Illinois hunting license and a current or preceding year's Illinois Migratory Waterfowl Stamp. Applicants must be present for the registration and drawing to be eligible for allocation of a duck blind site.
  4. If boat blinds are chosen, they must be within 10 feet of the IDNR identified 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).
  5. Blinds must be constructed within 10 feet of IDNR identified blind site and must be at least 4' x 8'. 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. Boat hides are required and also need to be maintained, minimum dimensions of the boat hide shall be 18' x 6'.
  6. Blinds built over water must be of platform construction. They may be floating blinds.
  7. 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.
  8. Blinds must be completed, including the final brushing, 3 weeks in advance of opening date of waterfowl 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. 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 waterfowl season.        
  9. 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.
  10. Previous year's blind builders shall have until 7 days after the next allocation period drawing to salvage materials from blind site.  After this date, all materials become the property of the new blind builder or the IDNR.
  11. Not more than 3 persons shall be registered for assignment of any one blind site. Blind builders shall submit partner's names on the registration form as directed, within 30 days after the date of the drawing. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of blind. No additions or reassignment of names shall be permitted after this. 
  12. No person shall be allowed to be a blind builder or partner on more than one Waterfowl Management Area in Illinois.


  1. All hunters must sign-in and acquire a daily harvest report card prior to hunting and sign out by returning their issued harvest card AT THE END OF EACH DAY'S hunt. Failure to sign-in/out may result in a loss of hunting privelages within William Powers.
  2. The site will maintain a check-in site at the 130th Ave. entrance (South Gate, Ranger Station), starting at 5am. Those hunters who own blinds must continue to check-in (within their vehicles) at the check-in site listed above at least one hour prior to shooting time each day. A lane/cone will be indicated for Blind Builders at entrance. Those who do not own blinds will be checked in and a lottery for remaining available blinds after all blind builders have checked-in. Please pull to the "Standby" lane/cone indicated at the entrance.
  3. Hunters must deposit harvest cards into the "Harvest Cards" box below the mailbox located at the Visitor's Center near Smokey the Bear, EVEN IF no waterfowl were harvested, by 2pm.
  4. Registered blind builders or partners desiring to claim their blind site must report to the check station at least one hour before legal opening time each day and occupy that blind for at least one hour. Hunters wishing to move to another blind during their daily hunt must report back to the check station for reassignment.
  6. All hunting must be from registered blind sites only and hunters must occupy their blinds within one hour after registering at the check station. All other hunters must check into the check station for a daily drawing a half hour prior to shooting time to distribute the remaining open blinds.
  8. All hunters must be checked out by the return of their Harvest Card within one hour of the close of hunting hours. At this time waterfowl and coots bagged may be checked. Hunting hours are legal opening to 1:00 PM.
  10. It shall be unlawful to trespass upon the designated duck hunting area during the 7 days prior to the waterfowl season as posted at the site.
  12. During duck season, blind sites not claimed by the builder or partners by one hour before hunting time shall be assigned by a drawing each hunting day.
  14. Attempts to claim blind sites 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.
  16. Claiming or attempting to claim any blind site which is legally occupied, and/or to harass in any manner, the occupants of a blind which has been legally occupied, is unlawful.
  17. No person shall hunt, or attempt to hunt, waterfowl and coots, except from within a registered blind site. This is due to the submerged drop-offs creating a retrieval system of dog or boat mandatory.
  19. Persons under 16 years of age shall not hunt, or attempt to hunt, unless accompanied by an adult.
  21. All hunting parties shall hunt with a spread of at least 12 decoys.
  23. Not more than 4 persons shall occupy a blind site at one time.
  25. Blinds shall not be locked.
  27. Any weed and/or brush shall not be cut or controlled around any blind site without prior approval from an authorized Department of Natural Resources representative.
  29. Claiming or attempting to claim any blind site which is legally occupied, and/or to harass in any manner, the occupants of a blind which has been legally occupied, is unlawful.


  1. Teal hunting is prohibited during any special season for teal hunting.
  2. Goose hunting is prohibited prior to the duck season.
  3. Youth hunts authorized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted.
  1. ​Below is the shooting orientation (direction of fire) for each blind location.
  2. All waterfowl hunters (permanent and boat blinds) SHALL obey the shooting orientation listed for each blind.
  3. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of blind, banned from entering next years' blind drawing, and possible conservation citations.   

Blind #1 (permeant): North                                                          Blind # 11 (boat):  East

Blind # 2 (permeant): North                                                         Blind # 12 (boat):  East

Blind # 3 (permeant): North, East, West                                    Blind # 13 (boat):  East

Blind # 4 (permeant): North                                                         Blind # 14 (boat):  Northeast

Blind # 5 (boat): West                                                                    Blind # 15 (boat):  Northwest

Blind # 6 (boat): South                                                                  Blind # 16 (boat):  West

Blind # 7 (boat): North                                                                  Blind # 17 (permeant):  West

Blind # 8 (boat): West                                                                    Blind # 18 (permeant):  West

Blind # 9 (boat): West                                                                    Blind # 19 (permeant):  West

Blind # 10 (permeant): East                                                          Blind #20 (permeant): South


  1. Dates: Statewide archery deer season.
  2. Permits: Two-week hunting periods will be filled through a mail-in/emailed drawing for Illinois Residents. Applications are available online and at the William Powers Visitors Center. Applications must be sent to the District Wildlife Biologist and be received by August 15th to be eligible for the drawing.
  3. A mandatory meeting will be held annually for all successful applicants and drawn alternates. Applicants must attend the meeting and be present to accept the opportunity. Current year's Illinois Hunting License and Habitat stamp must be brought to the meeting. Archery deer tag(s) will need to be purchased prior to hunting (per statewide regulations).
  4. Each archery hunter will be assigned a specific hunting period. All hunters must be able to show proof of a current Illinois hunting license, archery deer permits, and site-issued deer hunting permit upon request during the hunt. Successful applicants will be given a Site Windshield Card/Harvest Card. This card must be visible (windsheild card face up) through the vehicle windshield while hunting.
  5. Hunting Area: Hunting is restricted to only the designated hunting area assigned to each hunter. Hunters may use either ground blinds or tree stands (minimum 6 feet above the ground) to enable the hunter to shoot down slope. Tree stands and climbing devices must be portable and may not cut or pierce the tree bark. Stands/blinds may be setup on the first day of the assigned hunting period to each hunter; may remain the entire assigned period; but must be removed on the last day assigned to each hunter. Stands/blinds and gut piles must be a minimum of 75 yards from designated trails.
  6. Scouting: Each hunter is allowed to scout during their assigned period OR prior to the start of Archery Deer Hunting Season (October 1), while the park is normally open.
  7. Parking: hunters may park in the channel boat ramp parking lot (please do not take up more than 1 parking spot).
  8. Hours: Statewide (1/2 hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset).
  9. Harvest: Deer of either sex may be harvested. No other hunting or trapping is allowed. Individual hunters may harvest as many deer as they like during their allotted hunting period, per statewide archery deer hunting regulations.
  10. Tracking: If it is necessary to track a deer onto private property, a hunter must first obtain permission from the landowner. Much of the property around the state parks boundaries is privately owned. Please respect the rights of others.
  11. Hunting log: Hunters must maintain accurate records of each hunt on a sheet provided (back of permit). Hunting records must be returned to the District Wildlife Biologist by February 1. Failure to submit a report will result in the loss of eligibility for future hunts. This log is found on the back of the Site Windshield Card.
  12. Spectators are not allowed on the area, unless assisting or mentoring the hunter (assistant/mentor is NOT legal to hunt while assisting/mentoring).
  13. All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code, Administrative Rule 670, and Federal Regulations apply unless the areas site specific rules are more restrictive.
  14. CWD SAMPLING: CWD Zone has been found within Cook County! It is recommended to test all deer harvested. A barrel will be placed at the IDNR Region 2 Building. If it is outside of normal hours (or the Biologist is not present), please deposit the upper few vertebrate and head in the barrel and fill out the necessary paperwork. Other vendors may be able to sample your deer for you too, go to https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/programs/CWD/Documents/CWDSamplingLocations.pdf to find the nearest sampling vendor to you. The Biologist will sample the deer for you and notify you if it is positive. Additionally, you can go to https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/programs/CWD/Pages/TestResults.aspx to monitor the results.

For additional information please contact: William Powers State Fish & Wildlife Area, 12949 S. AVENUE O, CHICAGO, IL 60633, 773/646-3270​​​, or Nicky Strahl (District Wildlife Biologist) at 847-608-3122.​​​​

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.