The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has released 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 by clicking here.

This year, 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 obtained 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.

(North Dakota Game and Fish Department via AP, File)

Hunters must pay for permits bought online over a secure system using a major credit card. A transaction fee of $1 for a single hunter or 2.25% of the permit fee for multiple hunters will be assessed for each permit, except for permits for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt. These permits are issued at no cost.

All but one of the controlled pheasant hunting sites have plenty of reserved permits available for all days of the controlled hunting season. Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt permits are available on most controlled pheasant hunting sites. Hunters are asked to make the necessary planning adjustments early 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 changed at many controlled pheasant hunting sites this season and will be announced during the registration process.

Because of issues with raising 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 added to the flock to give ample hunting opportunity to hunters. 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.

Hunters should note that 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.