The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding waterfowl hunters of key dates and other information regarding the 2021–2022 waterfowl seasons.
Changes at waterfowl hunting sites
Changes to daily procedures at IDNR waterfowl hunting sites are possible due to health and safety protocols. Please check with sites for specific procedures. All site visitors are reminded to follow current guidance from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health regarding face masks and social distancing.
2021-2022 Waterfowl Seasons
Illinois waterfowl hunters are reminded of the season dates and bag limits for the 2021–2022 seasons.
Illinois seasons include 60-day duck seasons in each of the state’s four waterfowl hunting zones, along with 107 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the North and Central zones (15 days in September, two days of youth hunting and 90 days of “regular” goose season), 95 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Central Zone, and 81 days of Canada goose hunting opportunity in the South Zone. Goose season lengths are shorter in the South Central and South zones to coincide with duck season dates and to match hunter preferences.
The 2021–2022 Illinois season dates are the first year of a five-year plan that was developed in 2020. This fall, Illinois will open the regular duck, Canada goose, and snow goose seasons on Oct. 23, 2021 in the North Zone, Oct. 30, 2021 in the Central Zone, Nov. 13, 2021 in the South Central Zone, and Nov. 27, 2021 in the South Zone. White-fronted goose (specklebelly) seasons will open Oct. 25, 2021 in the North Zone, Nov. 5, 2021 in the Central Zone, and on the same date as duck season in the South Central (Nov. 13, 2021) and South zones (Nov. 27, 2021).
The daily duck bag limit is six (6) and may include no more than four (4) mallards (two hens), three (3) wood ducks, two (2) redheads, two (2) black ducks, two (2) canvasback, one (1) pintail, and one (1) mottled duck. Scaup (bluebills) will have a bag limit of two (2) for the first 45 days of the season in each zone and one (1) for the last 15 days of the season in each zone. The daily bag limit of mergansers is five (5), only two of which may be hooded mergansers. The possession limit for ducks and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit by species and sex.
During the regular season, Canada goose limits will be three (3) with a possession limit of nine (9). White-fronted goose daily bag limits will be two (2) with a possession limit of six (6). The snow goose daily bag limit is 20 birds, with no possession limit, during the fall and winter season. The spring Light Goose Conservation Order will open Jan. 21, 2022 in the North Zone and Feb. 1, 2022 in the Central, South Central, and South zones, ending April 30, 2022 in all zones. There is no daily bag or possession limit on snow, blue, and Ross’ geese during the spring conservation order.
The IDNR 2021–2022 season dates are outlined below.
Illinois Waterfowl Season Dates for 2021–22
North Zone Youth Hunt Duck Canada Goose
2021–22 Oct. 16 – 17 Oct. 23 – Dec. 21 Oct. 23 – Jan. 20
2021–22 Oct. 23 – 24 Oct. 30 – Dec. 28 Oct. 30 – Nov. 7 and Nov. 12 – Jan. 31
South Central Zone
2021–22 Nov. 6 – 7 Nov. 13 – Jan. 11 Nov. 13 – Jan. 31
2021–22 Nov. 13 – 14 Nov. 27 – Jan. 25 Nov. 27 – Jan. 31
Illinois 2021–22 Snow Goose and White-Fronted Goose Season Dates
Regular Season: Oct. 23 – Jan. 20
White-fronted Geese: Oct. 25 – Jan. 20
Regular Season: Oct. 30 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 5 – Jan. 31
South Central Zone
Regular Season: Nov. 13 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 13 – Jan. 31
Regular Season: Nov. 27 – Jan. 31
White-fronted Geese: Nov. 27 – Jan. 31
The Illinois waterfowl hunting zone maps and anticipated season dates for the 2021–2025 seasons are available on the IDNR website at:
Additional details on the duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting seasons are available on the IDNR website and in the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2021–22, available on the IDNR website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/Pages/HuntTrapDigest.aspx
Note that sunrise and sunset times are not included in the Hunting and Trapping Digest this year. Hunters should refer to this website for their local sunrise and sunset: https://www.weather.gov/dvn/sunrise-sunset