Union County State Fish and Wildlife Area

Union County Hunting Areas

Total acres: 6,202
Water Acres: 1,300
Huntable Acres: 2,800
Timber Acres: 1,900

Open, Cultivated, or Fallow Land Acres: 2,950

This area is located in the Lower Mississippi River Bottomlands Division of Illinois. The topography is relatively flat with numerous shallow sloughs and other water areas scattered throughout the area. More prominent water areas include Grassy Lake with 350 acres and Lyerla Lake with 275 acres.

AVAILABLE GAME SPECIES: Canada Geese, Ducks, Doves, Deer, Squirrels

This area is managed primarily for Canada geese and other waterfowl. Approximately 30,000 geese winter here each year. Many other species of waterfowl stop here during the spring and fall migrations. White-tailed deer, bald eagles and many other forms of wildlife are commonly observed by visitors to the area. The Firing Line Unit is open for the hunting of ducks, geese, squirrel, turkey and deer. The Public Duck Hunting Area is located at the south end of the Area. Duck hunting is on a permit basis with $15 permits being issued from the Springfield office upon application by interested hunters. A total of 35 blinds can accommodate 70 hunters per day. This area also has deer, squirrel and dove hunting during specific time periods prior to the duck season. Check at the Area Headquarters or with the local Conservation Police Officer for seasons, bag limits, etc.

OTHER FACILITIES AVAILABLE: Fishing in Grassy and Lyerla Lakes, Sightseeing, and Wildlife Photography.


1. All hunters must sign in and out and report harvest.
2. Night hunting on this area is prohibited.
3. Dove hunting is allowed (#6 or smaller steel shot only) on the Public Duck Hunting Area Sept. 1 - October 21st. SHOOTING HOURS ARE FROM NOON TO 5:00 PM., Sept. 1-5, and sunrise-sunset from Sept. 6 - Oct. 21.
4. Squirrel hunting is allowed on the Controlled Shooting Area, Aug. 1-Oct. 31; in the Firing Line Unit, squirrel hunting is allowed during the statewide season. All squirrel hunting is by shotgun, using non-toxic shot or .22 rifle.
5. Firearm and muzzleloader deer hunting are allowed in the Firing Line Unit during the statewide season.
6. Archery deer hunting is allowed on the Public Duck Hunting Area Oct. 1 until 7 days prior to the opening of the waterfowl season, and on the Firing Line Unit during the statewide season.
7. Only portable stands are permitted for deer hunting; no permanent stands, screw-in steps, or other devices that pierce the bark of trees. Tree stands must be legibly marked with the owner's name, address, and telephone number when left unattended. Tree stands may only be left unattended from Sept. 15 through January 31. Limit one tree stand per hunter.
8. Waterfowl blinds in the Firing Line Unit, are allocated in a daily drawing (no fee charged) conducted at the shop building 60 minutes prior to shooting time. After the close of duck season, goose hunters must abide by a shell limit of 5 shotshells per Canada goose allowed in the daily bag.
9. All waters that are open to fishing will be closed to fishing from Oct. 15 through February 28, both dates inclusive.
10. This area is closed to goose hunting during any September goose season.

For further information, contact the Site Superintendent at Union County Conservation Area, 2755 Refuge Road, Jonesboro, IL 62952, Phone (618) 833-5175 .

PERMIT INFORMATION: Duck hunting applications are available at the site, or from the Permit Office: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.


7 miles west of Jonesboro off Route 146 in Union County