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IDNR announces Illinois controlled pheasant hunting program upcoming season information

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​SPRINGFIELD The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is announcing details about the 2022-2023 controlled pheasant hunting season.

Pheasant hunters will need to acquire a Reserved Controlled Pheasant Hunting Permit to hunt on controlled pheasant hunting sites. These permits can be acquired through the online reservation system available at

To make acquiring a reserved permit more convenient, hunters will be able to reserve a permit until 9 a.m. 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 non-resident 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 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 on most controlled pheasant hunting sites. Hunters are encouraged to make the necessary planning adjustments now to hunt on the sites on the hunt dates desired.

Hunters should also pay attention to advisory signs with information about check-in procedures. Check-out procedures may have also changed at many controlled pheasant hunting sites this season and will be announced during the registration process.

Because of issues during the raising of the pheasants this year, additional birds had to be procured for the program. The main birds that were available were hens only. More than 20,000 hen chicks were incorporated into the flock to give ample hunting opportunity to hunters. However, this means the rooster-to-hen ratio has been tilted towards hens, with a ratio of one rooster to three hens instead of the historic 1-to-1 ratio.

One special note: Non-toxic shotshells are required when hunting at Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area, Horseshoe Lake State Park, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, Chain O'Lakes State Park, Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area, Green River State Wildlife Area, Johnson Sauk Trail State Recreation Area, and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area. Hunters are reminded that, when hunting at any of these sites, only non-toxic shotshells may be in their possession.