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Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online

Chris Young
Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information Now Available Online
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Controlled pheasant hunting opportunities will be available at 18 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sites this fall, and the 2015-16 season dates and permit reservation information are now available online. 

Fourteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while four other sites continue to be operated in a public/private partnership arrangement between the IDNR and concessionaire T. Miller, Inc.

“The controlled pheasant hunting program provides an upland game hunting experience for thousands of hunters in Illinois each year.  It is also a great opportunity for youth hunters to have success.  We know of so many hunters who really appreciate the program, and now is the time for hunters to start planning for the upcoming season,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal.

The online permit reservation system for the 14 IDNR-operated sites opens on Monday, Aug. 3 and permit information, season dates, and other information are now available online. Detailed information and permit reservations are available for the four sites managed by T. Miller, Inc.  Hunters need to review the application instructions and season information accessible online prior to submitting an application.

On IDNR-operated sites, the daily permit fee for the controlled pheasant program is $30 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters.  The daily permit fee applies to each hunter.  Hunters will be required to pay for reserved permits in advance online using a credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa). The credit card account will be billed when hunters submit an application.  A transaction fee of $1.00 or 2.35% of the permit fee (whichever is higher) will be assessed for each application, except for applications submitted for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt.

The public/private partnership controlled pheasant hunting areas are Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area in Kendall County, Ramsey Lake State Park in Fayette County, and Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County.  Information about controlled pheasant hunting at these sites is available on the concessionaire’s website at www.tmillerinc.com or via a link on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

Of the 14 sites operated by the IDNR, four provide only the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt opportunity for young hunters between the ages of 10-15.  Those sites are the Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County, Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in DeWitt County, Edward Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area in Logan County, and Sangchris Lake State Park in Christian and Sangamon Counties.

Nine sites provide lengthy hunting seasons for hunters, as well as special hunting days for young hunters.  Those nine sites are Johnson Sauk Trail State Recreation Area in Henry County, the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area in Will County, Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County, the Iroquois County State Wildlife Area, Moraine View State Recreation Area in McLean County, Sand Ridge State Forest in Mason County, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County, Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area in Clinton County, and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Jefferson and Franklin Counties. 

The Green River State Wildlife Area in Lee County provides 15 days of controlled pheasant hunting during a season that extends from early November until just before Christmas. 

At Des Plaines, Moraine View and Eldon Hazlet, hunting opportunities are available for hunters with disabilities where special vehicles are provided to assist with the hunt.

Online permit reservations for the first drawing period on IDNR-operated sites will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 3 through 1:00 p.m. on Aug. 10.  Two additional one-week drawing periods are scheduled thereafter.  Hunters need to review the application instructions and season information on the controlled pheasant hunting website prior to submitting an application.  To navigate to the controlled pheasant hunting website once the IDNR website www.dnr.illinois.gov has been accessed, hunters should follow these directions:

• Click on "Upland Game " from the drop down menu under the “Hunting/Trapping” button on the toolbar
• Then click on "Controlled Pheasant Areas" under the “Quick Links” heading

IDNR-operated controlled pheasant hunting sites will continue to have a portion of their hunter quota allocated to standby hunters.  Standby hunters acquire permits and pay permit fees at the site hunter check station on the day of the hunt.  Standby permits are also available for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt if the site hunter quota is not filled by young hunters with reserved permits prior to the hunt date.

Hunters without computers are encouraged to gain access to the controlled pheasant hunting online reservation system by checking with family or friends with a computer or by using a computer at their local public library.  Completing a permit reservation online takes less than five minutes.

For complete details, check the controlled pheasant hunting website at www.dnr.illinois.gov or the T. Miller, Inc. website at www.tmillerinc.com .

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