Public Land: Hunting and Fishing in Illinois

Finding a place to fish in Illinois isn't terribly difficult. Finding a place to hunt, on the other hand, can be a challenge. Just 2.4 percent of Illinois is publicly-owned. But the state does offer some substantial public holdings, particularly in its southern reaches.

• 24,878 acres of islands

• Area is intermixed with private lands as well as lands within National Wildlife Refuge systems

• Abundant waterfowl hunting opportunities

• 3,323 acres

• Excellent deer, turkey and small game hunting opportunities

• Habitat enhancements including food plots and agriculture

• 280,000 acres

• Largest public area in Illinois

• Noted for whitetail hunting, also offers excellent turkey hunting

• 16,000 acres

• Deer, small game, turkey and waterfowl hunting

• Free refuge permit required to hunt

• 18,900 acres of water; more than 20,000 acres of land

• Warmwater fishing opportunities on Rend Lake, streams

• Abundant deer, turkeys and small game hunting opportunities

More Links

Find more public land access opportunities with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Hunt Planner.

Photo: Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Photo credit: flickr