Illinois pheasant hunting: Online reservations for controlled pheasant hunting begin Monday, Aug. 2

Online reservations for Illinois’ controlled pheasant hunting open up on Monday, Aug. 2.

SHARE Illinois pheasant hunting: Online reservations for controlled pheasant hunting begin Monday, Aug. 2
Stock photo of a pheasant in the field at Kankakee River State Park. Credit: Dale Bowman

Stock photo of a pheasant in the field at Kankakee River State Park.

Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Reservations for Illinois’ controlled pheasant hunting will open on Monday, Aug. 2. Online permit reservations for the first lottery period will be accepted through Aug. 9.

Here are the details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Illinois Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information for 2021-22 Season Available Online Online application period for controlled pheasant hunting sites is Aug. 2 – Aug. 23 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Controlled pheasant hunting opportunities will be available at 18 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sites during the 2021-22 hunting season. Dates and permit reservation information are now available online. Sixteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while two other sites continue to be operated in a public/private partnership arrangement between the IDNR and concessionaire T. Miller, Inc. Controlled pheasant hunting in Illinois is an ideal way for hunters, including young hunters, to have a worthwhile upland hunting experience, and now is the time to make plans for pheasant hunting this fall, said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. The online permit reservation system for IDNR-operated controlled hunting sites opens Monday, Aug. 2, and permit information, season dates, and other information are now available. Detailed information is also available for the two sites operated by T. Miller, Inc. Hunters should always review the application instructions, season information and regulations accessible online prior to applying. 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 hunter. Hunters are required to pay for permits acquired online in advance over a secure system using an American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card. The credit card account is billed when hunters apply. A transaction fee of $1.00 for a single hunter or 2.25% of the permit fee for multiple hunters will be assessed for each application, except for applications submitted for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt. The controlled pheasant hunting areas operated by T. Miller, Inc. are Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County and Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area in Kendall County. Information about controlled pheasant hunting at these sites is available on the concessionaire’s website at or via a link on the IDNR website at Of the 16 sites operated by the IDNR, six provide only the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt opportunity for young hunters between the ages of 10-17. Those six 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, Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County, Sangchris Lake State Park in Christian and Sangamon Counties, and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Randolph County. Nine sites provide lengthy seasons for hunters, as well as additional special hunting days for young hunters under the age of 18. Those nine sites are Johnson Sauk Trail State Recreation Area in Henry County, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area in Will County, Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County, 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. Green River State Wildlife Area in Lee County provides 15 days of controlled pheasant hunting during a season that extends from early November until mid-December. 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 lottery period on IDNR-operated sites will be accepted Aug. 2 until 1:00 p.m. Aug. 9. Two additional one-week lottery periods are scheduled thereafter. Hunters should always review the application instructions and season information on the controlled pheasant hunting website prior to applying at Standby hunting will be limited this year. Only a few permits may be available daily at each site. Daily standby drawings will occur immediately at the conclusion of the regular check-in time. Standby permits will not be issued after that at most sites. Exact procedures and end of check-in time will be posted at each individual site run by the IDNR and on the website under Hunting Areas Information. To ensure enough pheasants are released each hunting day, all hunters are strongly encouraged to access IDNR-operated controlled pheasant hunting sites by using the online permit reservation system. Online permits are available up until 9:00 a.m. the day prior to the hunt. Special note for the 2021-22 hunting season: Hunters will continue to be required to use non-toxic shotshells when hunting at the 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 while hunting. For complete details, check the controlled pheasant hunting website at or the T. Miller, Inc. website at

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