Illinois Waterfowl Hunting Updates
Public Duck and Goose Hunting Permits; Waterfowl Regulation Planning Open Houses; 2019-2020 Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding waterfowl hunters of key dates and other information regarding the 2019-2020 waterfowl seasons and beyond.
Public Duck and Goose Hunting Permits
The application periods for Illinois Public Duck and Goose Hunting Area Permits are now open, with application periods of Sept. 1–14 for the second lottery, and Sept. 15–28 for the third lottery. Permits remaining after the third lottery will be available on a first-come, first-served basis online starting Oct. 1. Permits are no longer mailed to successful participants but will be emailed, and participants can check the status of their permit application online and print their permit.
More information, including online applications, instructions and a list of participating sites is available on the IDNR website at:
New sites added to the permit system this year include Mermet Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Massac County and the Black Crown Marsh Unit of Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry County. Mermet will offer a portion of the daily drawing opportunities to permit holders, while the remaining opportunities will be filled by daily drawing at the site. Black Crown Marsh will be available to one party of hunters per day four days per week.
Waterfowl Regulation Planning Open Houses
The IDNR invites hunters to mark their calendars for five upcoming public open houses to provide input on waterfowl hunting regulations for the 2021 through 2025 hunting seasons. Hunters will have the opportunity to review information used to make waterfowl season recommendations, talk with IDNR biologists and provide their preferences for waterfowl zone lines and season dates.
Dates and locations for open houses include:
• Monday, Sept. 30 – Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area hunter check station, 24621 N River Rd, Wilmington, IL 60481
• Tuesday, Oct. 1 – Illinois Natural History Building, University of Illinois Campus, 1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820
• Tuesday, Oct. 8 – John A. Logan College, Hancock Center Room F119, 700 Logan College Drive, Carterville, IL 62918
• Wednesday, Oct. 9 – The Hall, 7132 Marine Rd (HWY 143), Edwardsville, IL 62025
• Thursday, Oct. 10 – Illinois Department of Natural Resources Headquarters, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702
Open houses will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at each location; attendees may arrive at any time during the open house. No formal presentations will be given.
2019-2020 Waterfowl Seasons
Illinois waterfowl hunters are reminded of the season dates and bag limits for the 2019–2020 seasons.
The seasons include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state’s four waterfowl hunting zones, along with 107 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the North and Central zones (15 days in September, two days of youth hunting and 90 days of “regular” goose season), 101 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Central Zone, and 82 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Zone. Goose season lengths are shorter in the South Central and South zones to coincide with duck season dates and to match hunter preferences.
The 2019-2020 Illinois season dates are the fourth year of a five-year plan that was developed in 2015. This year, Illinois will open the regular duck, Canada goose, and snow goose seasons on Oct. 19 in the North Zone, Oct. 26 in the Central Zone, Nov. 9 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 28 in the South Zone. White-fronted goose (specklebelly) seasons will open Oct. 21 in the North Zone, Nov. 5 in the Central Zone, and on the same date as duck season in the South Central (Nov. 9) and South zones (Nov. 28).
The daily duck bag limit is six (6) and may include no more than four (4) mallards (two hens), three (3) wood ducks, three (3) scaup, two (2) redheads, two (2) black ducks, two (2) canvasback, one (1) pintail, and one (1) mottled duck. The daily bag limit of mergansers is five (5), only two of which may be hooded mergansers. The possession limit for ducks and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit by species and sex.
During the regular season, Canada goose limits will increase to three (3) with a possession limit of nine (9). White-fronted goose daily bag limits will be two (2) with a possession limit of six (6). The snow goose daily bag limit is 20 birds, with no possession limit, during the fall and winter season. The spring Conservation Order Light Goose season will open Jan. 17 in the North Zone and Feb. 1 in the Central, South Central, and South zones, ending March 31 in all zones. There is no daily bag or possession limit on snow, blue, and Ross’ geese during the spring conservation order season.
The September 2019 early Canada goose season is Sept. 1–15 with a daily limit of five (5) and a possession limit of fifteen (15) geese in the North and Central zones, and a daily limit of two (2) and a possession limit of six (6) geese in the South Central and South zones.
Illinois’ 16-day 2019 statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 7–22 with a daily limit of six (6) and a possession limit of eighteen (18). Shooting hours for the September teal season are different from the regular season, starting at sunrise (½ hour later than regular season) until sunset.
The IDNR 2019–2020 season dates are outlined below.
Illinois Waterfowl Season Dates for 2019–20
September Canada Goose: Statewide Sept. 1 – 15
September Teal: Statewide Sept. 7 – 22
North Zone Youth Hunt Duck Canada Goose
2019–20 Oct. 12 – 13 Oct. 19 – Dec. 17 Oct. 19 – Jan. 16
2018–19 Oct. 19 – 20 Oct. 26 – Dec. 24 Oct. 26 – Nov. 3 and Nov. 12 – Jan. 31
South Central Zone
2018–19 Nov. 2 – 3 Nov. 9 – Jan. 7 Nov. 9 – Jan. 31
2018–19 Nov. 16 – 17 Nov. 28 – Jan. 26 Nov. 28 – Jan. 31
Illinois 2019–20 Snow Goose and White-Fronted Goose Season Dates
Regular Season: Oct. 19 – Jan. 16
White-fronted Geese: Oct. 21 – Jan. 16
Regular Season: Oct. 26 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 5 – Jan. 31
South Central Zone
Regular Season: Nov. 9 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 9 – Jan. 31
Regular Season: Nov. 28 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 28 – Jan. 31
The Illinois waterfowl hunting zone maps and anticipated seasons dates for the 2016–2020 seasons are available on the IDNR website at:
Additional details on the duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting seasons are available on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov and in the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2019-2020, available on the IDNR website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf
Note that sunrise and sunset times are not included in the Hunting and Trapping Digest this year. Hunters should refer to this website for their local sunrise and sunset: https://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php