Illinois Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates and Times

Duck Zones:

North Duck Zone

  • Description:
    • Encompasses the portion of the state situated north of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Peotone-Beecher Road to Illinois Route 50.
    • South along Illinois Route 50 to Wilmington-Peotone Road.
    • West along Wilmington-Peotone Road to Illinois Route 53.
    • North along Illinois Route 53 to New River Road.
    • Northwest along New River Road to Interstate Highway 55.
    • South along I-55 to Pine Bluff-Lorenzo Road.
    • West along Pine Bluff-Lorenzo Road to Illinois Route 47.
    • North along Illinois Route 47 to I-80.
    • West along I-80 to I-39.
    • South along I-39 to Illinois Route 18.
    • West along Illinois Route 18 to Illinois Route 29.
    • South along Illinois Route 29 to Illinois Route 17.
    • West along Illinois Route 17 to the Mississippi River.
    • Due south across the Mississippi River to the Iowa border.

Central Duck Zone

  • Description:
    • Located south of the North Duck Zone line.
    • Extends to a line west from the Indiana border along I-70 to Illinois Route 4.
    • South along Illinois Route 4 to Illinois Route 161.
    • West along Illinois Route 161 to Illinois Route 158.
    • South and west along Illinois Route 158 to Illinois Route 159.
    • South along Illinois Route 159 to Illinois Route 3.
    • South along Illinois Route 3 to St. Leo’s Road.
    • South along St. Leo’s Road to Modoc Road.
    • West along Modoc Road to Modoc Ferry Road.
    • Southwest along Modoc Ferry Road to Levee Road.
    • Southeast along Levee Road to County Route 12 (Modoc Ferry Entrance Road).
    • South along County Route 12 to the Modoc Ferry route.
    • Southwest on the Modoc Ferry route across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

South Duck Zone

  • Description:
    • Encompasses the portion of the state south and east of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 70.
    • South along U.S. Highway 45 to Illinois Route 13.
    • West along Illinois Route 13 to Greenbriar Road.
    • North on Greenbriar Road to Sycamore Road.
    • West on Sycamore Road to N. Reed Station Road.
    • South on N. Reed Station Road to Illinois Route 13.
    • West along Illinois Route 13 to Illinois Route 127.
    • South along Illinois Route 127 to State Forest Road (1025 N).
    • West along State Forest Road to Illinois Route 3.
    • North along Illinois Route 3 to the south bank of the Big Muddy River.
    • West along the south bank of the Big Muddy River to the Mississippi River.
    • West across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

South Central Duck Zone

  • Description:
    • Encompasses the remainder of the state between the south border of the Central Zone and the north border of the South Zone.

Geese Zones:

North Goose Zone

  • Description:
    • Encompasses the portion of the state north of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 80 to I-39.
    • South along I-39 to Illinois Route 18.
    • West along Illinois Route 18 to Illinois Route 29.
    • South along Illinois Route 29 to Illinois Route 17.
    • West along Illinois Route 17 to the Mississippi River.
    • Due south across the Mississippi River to the Iowa border.

Central Goose Zone

  • Description:
    • Located south of the North Goose Zone line.
    • Extends to a line west from the Indiana border along I-70 to Illinois Route 4.
    • South along Illinois Route 4 to Illinois Route 161.
    • West along Illinois Route 161 to Illinois Route 158.
    • South and west along Illinois Route 158 to Illinois Route 159.
    • South along Illinois Route 159 to Illinois Route 3.
    • South along Illinois Route 3 to St. Leo’s Road.
    • South along St. Leo’s Road to Modoc Road.
    • West along Modoc Road to Modoc Ferry Road.
    • Southwest along Modoc Ferry Road to Levee Road.
    • Southeast along Levee Road to County Route 12 (Modoc Ferry Entrance Road).
    • South along County Route 12 to the Modoc Ferry route.
    • Southwest on the Modoc Ferry route across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

South Goose Zone

  • Description:
    • Corresponds to the same zones as for ducks.

South Central Goose Zone

  • Description:
    • Corresponds to the same zones as for ducks.

North Zone

Teal (Early Season)

  • Dates: 9-24 Sep 2023
  • Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Daily Limit: 6
  • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, and cinnamon teal are the only legal duck species during this season.
    • Daily and possession limits are for all teal species combined (in the aggregate).

Rails (Sora & Virginia)

  • Dates: 9 Sep - 17 Nov 2023
  • Hours: 25
  • Daily Limit: 75
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Daily and possession limits are for both rail species combined (in the aggregate).

Snipe (Wilson's)

  • Dates: 9 Sep - 24 Dec 2023
  • Hours: 8
  • Daily Limit: 24

Ducks (But See Scaup Below)

  • Dates: 21 Oct - 19 Dec 2023
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Daily Limit: 6
  • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • The basic daily limit is 6 ducks of any species.
    • Daily limit can consist of no more than the following:
      • 4 mallards (of which no more than 2 can be hen mallards),
      • 3 wood ducks,
      • 2 Scaup for the first 45 days in each zone,
      • 1 Scaup for the last 15 days in each zone,
      • 2 redheads,
      • 2 canvasback,
      • 2 black ducks,
      • 1 pintail, and
      • 1 mottled duck.
    • The possession limit for ducks is three times the daily limit by species and sex.

Mergansers

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Mergansers do not count toward your daily limit of ducks, but only 2 can be hooded mergansers.
    • Merganser possession limit is no more than three times their daily limit, including a maximum of 6 hooded mergansers.

Coots

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 15
  • Possession Limit: 45

Scaup (aka, Bluebills)

  • 21 Oct - 4 Dec 2023
    • Daily Limit: 2/day
    • Possession Limit: 6
    • FWS regulations require 45 days with a 2/day bag limit, 15 days with a 1/day bag limit.
  • 5 Dec - 19 Dec 2023
    • Daily Limit: 1/day
    • Possession Limit: 3

Canada Geese (Early Season)

  • Dates: 1–15 Sep 2023
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15

Canada Geese (Regular Season)

  • Dates: 21 Oct 2023 - 18 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 3
  • Possession Limit: 9

Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 21 Oct 2023 - 18 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 20
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited

Brant

  • Dates: Same as light geese
  • Daily Limit: 1
  • Possession Limit: 3

White-fronted Geese (aka, Specklebellies)

  • Dates: 23 Oct 2023 - 18 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: 6

Conservation Order Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 19 Jan - 30 Apr 2024
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
  • Daily Limit: Unlimited
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Unplugged shotguns may be used, and there is no limit to the number of shells that may be placed in a shotgun.
    • Electronic calling devices may be used.
    • Federal duck stamp not required.
    • Illinois duck stamp and hunting license are required.

Youth Waterfowl

  • Dates: 14-15 Oct 2023
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Daily Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Possession Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Youth hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and must have a hunting license and HIP registration/certification unless hunting on the property where they reside.
    • No stamps are required for youths under age 16.
    • Federal waterfowl stamps are required for all hunters age 16 and older.
    • Hunters aged 18 years and older may not hunt waterfowl and coots during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days, even if hunting with a Youth License.

Central Zone

Teal (Early Season)

  • Dates: 9-24 Sep 2023
  • Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Daily Limit: 6
  • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, and cinnamon teal are the only legal duck species during this season.
    • Daily and possession limits are for all teal species combined (in the aggregate).

Rails (Sora & Virginia)

  • Dates: 9 Sep-17 Nov 2023
  • Hours: 25
  • Daily Limit: 75
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Daily and possession limits are for both rail species combined (in the aggregate).

Snipe (Wilson's)

  • Dates: 9 Sep-24 Dec 2023
  • Hours: 8
  • Daily Limit: 24

Ducks (But See Scaup Below)

  • 28 Oct - 26 Dec 2023
    • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
    • Daily Limit: 6
    • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • The basic daily limit is 6 ducks of any species.
    • Daily limit can consist of no more than the following:
      • 4 mallards (of which no more than 2 can be hen mallards),
      • 3 wood ducks,
      • 2 Scaup for the first 45 days in each zone,
      • 1 Scaup for the last 15 days in each zone,
      • 2 redheads,
      • 2 canvasback,
      • 2 black ducks,
      • 1 pintail, and
      • 1 mottled duck.
    • The possession limit for ducks is three times the daily limit by species and sex.

Mergansers

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Mergansers do not count toward your daily limit of ducks, but only 2 can be hooded mergansers.
    • Merganser possession limit is no more than three times their daily limit, including a maximum of 6 hooded mergansers.

Coots

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 15
  • Possession Limit: 45

Scaup (aka, Bluebills)

  • 28 Oct - 11 Dec 2023
    • Daily Limit: 2/day
    • Possession Limit: 6
    • FWS regulations require 45 days with a 2/day bag limit, 15 days with a 1/day bag limit.
  • 12 - 26 Dec 2023
    • Daily Limit: 1/day
    • Possession Limit: 3

Canada Geese (Early Season)

  • Dates: 1-15 Sep 2023
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15

Canada Geese (Regular Season)

  • Dates:
    • 28 Oct 2023 - 5 Nov 2023
    • 12 Nov 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 3
  • Possession Limit: 9

Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 28 Oct 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 20
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited

Brant

  • Dates: Same as light geese
  • Daily Limit: 1
  • Possession Limit: 3

White-fronted Geese (aka, Specklebellies)

  • Dates: 5 Nov 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: 6

Conservation Order Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 1 Feb - 30 Apr 2024
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
  • Daily Limit: Unlimited
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Unplugged shotguns may be used, and there is no limit to the number of shells that may be placed in a shotgun.
    • Electronic calling devices may be used.
    • Federal duck stamp not required.
    • Illinois duck stamp and hunting license are required.

Youth Waterfowl

  • Dates: 21-22 Oct 2023
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Daily Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Possession Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Youth hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and must have a hunting license and HIP registration/certification unless hunting on the property where they reside.
    • No stamps are required for youths under age 16.
    • Federal waterfowl stamps are required for all.

South Central Zone

Teal (Early Season)

  • Dates: 9-24 Sep 2023
  • Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Daily Limit: 6
  • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, and cinnamon teal are the only legal duck species during this season.
    • Daily and possession limits are for all teal species combined (in the aggregate).

Rails (Sora & Virginia)

  • Dates: 9 Sep-17 Nov 2023
  • Hours: 25
  • Daily Limit: 75
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Daily and possession limits are for both rail species combined (in the aggregate).

Snipe (Wilson's)

  • Dates: 9 Sep-24 Dec 2023
  • Hours: 8
  • Daily Limit: 24

Ducks (But See Scaup Below)

  • 11 Nov 2023 - 9 Jan 2024
    • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
    • Daily Limit: 6
    • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • The basic daily limit is 6 ducks of any species.
    • Daily limit can consist of no more than the following:
      • 4 mallards (of which no more than 2 can be hen mallards),
      • 3 wood ducks,
      • 2 Scaup for the first 45 days in each zone,
      • 1 Scaup for the last 15 days in each zone,
      • 2 redheads,
      • 2 canvasback,
      • 2 black ducks,
      • 1 pintail, and
      • 1 mottled duck.
    • The possession limit for ducks is three times the daily limit by species and sex.

Mergansers

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Mergansers do not count toward your daily limit of ducks, but only 2 can be hooded mergansers.
    • Merganser possession limit is no more than three times their daily limit, including a maximum of 6 hooded mergansers.

Coots

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 15
  • Possession Limit: 45

Scaup (aka, Bluebills)

  • 11 Nov - 25 Dec 2023
    • Daily Limit: 2/day
    • Possession Limit: 6
    • FWS regulations require 45 days with a 2/day bag limit, 15 days with a 1/day bag limit.
  • 26 Dec 2023 - 9 Jan 2024
    • Daily Limit: 1/day
    • Possession Limit: 3

Canada Geese (Early Season)

  • Dates: 1–15 Sep 2023
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: 15

Canada Geese (Regular Season)

  • Dates: 11 Nov 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 3
  • Possession Limit: 9

Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 11 Nov 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 20
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited

Brant

  • Dates: Same as light geese
  • Daily Limit: 1
  • Possession Limit: 3

White-fronted Geese (aka, Specklebellies)

  • Dates: 11 Nov 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: 6

Conservation Order Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 1 Feb - 30 Apr 2024
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
  • Daily Limit: Unlimited
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Unplugged shotguns may be used, and there is no limit to the number of shells that may be placed in a shotgun.
    • Electronic calling devices may be used.
    • Federal duck stamp not required.
    • Illinois duck stamp and hunting license are required.

Youth Waterfowl

  • Dates: 4-5 Nov 2023
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Daily Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Possession Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Youth hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and must have a hunting license and HIP registration/certification unless hunting on the property where they reside.
    • No stamps are required for youths under age 16.
    • Federal waterfowl stamps are required for all hunters age 16 and older.
    • Hunters aged 18 years and older may not hunt waterfowl and coots during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days, even if hunting with a Youth License.

South Zone

Teal (Early Season)

  • Dates: 9-24 Sep 2023
  • Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Daily Limit: 6
  • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, and cinnamon teal are the only legal duck species during this season.
    • Daily and possession limits are for all teal species combined (in the aggregate).

Rails (Sora & Virginia)

  • Dates: 9 Sep-17 Nov 2023
  • Hours: 25
  • Daily Limit: 75
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Daily and possession limits are for both rail species combined (in the aggregate).

Snipe (Wilson's)

  • Dates: 9 Sep-24 Dec 2023
  • Hours: 8
  • Daily Limit: 24

Ducks (But See Scaup Below)

  • 2 Dec 2023 - 30 Jan 2024
    • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
    • Daily Limit: 6
    • Possession Limit: 18
  • Additional Regulations:
    • The basic daily limit is 6 ducks of any species.
    • Daily limit can consist of no more than the following:
      • 4 mallards (of which no more than 2 can be hen mallards),
      • 3 wood ducks,
      • 2 Scaup for the first 45 days in each zone,
      • 1 Scaup for the last 15 days in each zone,
      • 2 redheads,
      • 2 canvasback,
      • 2 black ducks,
      • 1 pintail, and
      • 1 mottled duck.
    • The possession limit for ducks is three times the daily limit by species and sex.

Mergansers

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 5
  • Possession Limit: 15
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Mergansers do not count toward your daily limit of ducks, but only 2 can be hooded mergansers.
    • Merganser possession limit is no more than three times their daily limit, including a maximum of 6 hooded mergansers.

Coots

  • Dates: Same as ducks
  • Daily Limit: 15
  • Possession Limit: 45

Scaup (aka, Bluebills)

  • 2 Dec 2023 - 15 Jan 2024

    • Daily Limit: 2/day first 45 days
    • Possession Limit: 6
    • FWS regulations require 45 days with a 2/day bag limit, 15 days with a 1/day bag limit.
  • 16-30 Jan 2024

    • Daily Limit: 1/day last 15 days
    • Possession Limit: 3

Canada Geese (Early Season)

  • Dates: 1–15 Sep 2023
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: 15

Canada Geese (Regular Season)

  • Dates: 2 Dec 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 3
  • Possession Limit: 9

Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 2 Dec 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 20
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited

Brant

  • Dates: Same as light geese
  • Daily Limit: 1
  • Possession Limit: 3

White-fronted Geese (aka, Specklebellies)

  • Dates: 2 Dec 2023 - 31 Jan 2024
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: 6

Conservation Order Light Geese (Snow/Blue/Ross' Geese)

  • Dates: 1 Feb - 30 Apr 2024
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
  • Daily Limit: Unlimited
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Unplugged shotguns may be used, and there is no limit to the number of shells that may be placed in a shotgun.
    • Electronic calling devices may be used.
    • Federal duck stamp not required.
    • Illinois duck stamp and hunting license are required.

Youth Waterfowl

  • Dates: 25-26 Nov 2023
  • Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • Daily Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Possession Limit: Same as during regular duck, goose, and coot seasons
  • Additional Regulations:
    • Youth hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and must have a hunting license and HIP registration/certification unless hunting on the property where they reside.
    • No stamps are required for youths under age 16.
    • Federal waterfowl stamps are required for all hunters age 16 and older.
    • Hunters aged 18 years and older may not hunt waterfowl and coots during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days, even if hunting with a Youth License.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.