A number of Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation areas and recreation areas will be open to youth waterfowl hunting during the 2018 North Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt and South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently announced.
Local sites include Braidwood Lake SFWA and Kankakee River State Park
At most sites, regulations that apply during the regular waterfowl hunting season apply during the youth hunt (hunters should check for site-specific regulations, including changes in legal shooting hours).
During the youth hunt, the bag limits are the same as during regular seasons.
As part of the youth hunt, hunters age 17 or younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers, as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age.
The accompanying adult cannot hunt these species, but may participate in other open seasons.
Youth hunters must have a hunting license, youth hunting license, or apprentice hunting license. The youth hunter or her or his accompanying adult must have a valid FOID card.
The supervising adult does not need to have a hunting license if they are not hunting other species. Youth hunters age 15 or younger are not required to have state or federal duck stamps.
However, youth hunters age 16 and older must have state and federal duck stamps, even if they are using an Illinois Youth Hunting License.
All waterfowl hunters, including those participating in the youth hunt, are required to register with the Harvest Information Program.
In order to register with HIP, hunters will need to have their hunting license number available.
Hunters should register for HIP at the license vendor when they buy their hunting license, by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648) or by visiting www.dnr.illinois.gov.