Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Illinois: Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Public Hunting Updates

With fall just around the corner a lot of you are gearing up for the 2020-2021 hunting season. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge has a long history of providing unforgettable hunting opportunities. Each year thousands of hunters from across the nation are attracted to the Refuge to hunt a diverse list of species, including trophy bucks, turkeys, small game and waterfowl. For management purposes, the lands within the Refuge have been divided into an open area and a restricted area. The restricted area contains 21,000 acres and is only open to public hunting by refuge special regulations. The open area contains 23,000 acres where public hunting is permitted in accordance with Illinois Department of Natural Resources hunting regulations and seasons.

To ensure your safety and enjoyment while visiting Crab Orchard NWR, please take the time to become familiar with refuge hunting regulations as well as state regulations and seasons. The Refuge would like to also remind hunters of changes and updates to this year’s hunting program.

  • The refuge has expanded deer hunting opportunities by adding an archery deer hunt within the southern sections of the restricted hunt area. This area will be open to archery deer hunting for the first time from October 24 through November 7, 2020.
  • The refuge has also discontinued the daily draw for blinds within the controlled waterfowl hunt. This area of the refuge is now part of the public hunting program and is open to waterfowl hunting per refuge and state regulations.
  • A free General Hunting Permit is required for hunting on the Refuge. This permit can be found on the front of the Crab Orchard NWR Hunting brochure. This permit must be signed to be valid and must be carried by the hunter while hunting on the refuge. Hunting maps and regulations are available at the Crab Orchard visitor center on Route 148 or at

    For additional information contact the refuge visitor center at 618-997-3344, email us at or write to: Refuge Manager, 8588 Route 148, Marion, IL 62959.

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.