IDNR Announces Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Program Changes for 2020-21 Season

Rachel Torbert
IDNR Announces Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Program Changes for 2020-21 Season
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced changes to controlled pheasant hunting for the 2020-21 hunting season. The changes, health and safety protocols implemented in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, will provide greater protection to both the hunting public and site staff during the season. 

Standby Controlled Pheasant Hunting Permits will not be available this hunting season. Pheasant hunters will need to acquire a Reserved Controlled Pheasant Hunting Permit to hunt on controlled pheasant hunting sites. Reserved Controlled Pheasant Hunting Permits can be acquired through the online reservation system available on the Controlled Pheasant Hunting website at this link:  To make acquiring a reserved permit more convenient, hunters will be able to reserve a permit until 12:00 noon the day before a hunt date.

On IDNR-operated sites, the daily fee for permits acquired online for controlled pheasant hunting is $30 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters. The daily permit fee applies to each individual hunter.  Hunters are required to pay for permits acquired online over a secure system using a major credit card.  A transaction fee of $1.00 for a single hunter or 2.25 percent of the permit fee for multiple hunters will be assessed for each permit, except for permits for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt.  Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Permits are issued at no cost.

All but one of the controlled pheasant hunting sites have ample reserved permits available for all days of the controlled hunting season. Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt permits are also available for all but one controlled pheasant hunting site. Hunters are encouraged to make the necessary planning adjustments now to hunt on the sites on the hunt dates desired.

Hunter check station procedures will also change on controlled pheasant hunting sites as part of health and safety protocols. Hunters are advised to wear an appropriate face covering and maintain appropriate social distance when in the hunter check station area. Hunters should also pay attention to advisory signs with information about check-in procedures. Check-out procedures will also change at many controlled pheasant hunting sites this season. Check-out procedures will be announced during the registration process.

Special note for the 2020-21 hunting season:  Non-toxic shotshells are required when hunting at Des Plaines SFWA, Horseshoe Lake SP, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Mackinaw River SFWA, Silver Springs SFWA, Chain O’Lakes SP, Eldon Hazlet SRA, Green River SWA, Johnson Sauk Trail SRA, and Wayne Fitzgerrell SRA.  Hunters are reminded when hunting at any of these sites that only non-toxic shotshells may in possession.

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