Five waterfowl blinds will be available for hunting at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Okaw Wetlands” during the 2016-2017 waterfowl hunting season. Due to high water and ice damage the area has been on a first-come first serve basis the last few years. Currently the blinds are in the process of being rehabbed and will be ready by waterfowl season. This year’s waterfowl dates are as follows:
Youth season – Oct. 15-16, Duck – Oct. 22 – Dec. 20 and Canada goose – Oct. 22 – Oct. 30 and Nov. 12 – Jan. 31
Due to limited size of the area, all hunting in the wetland complex will be strictly controlled during the entire waterfowl hunting season. Hunters using the area during the regular waterfowl season are required to have a Special Use Permit in their possession while hunting. To obtain a Special Use Permit initially, all hunters must make a reservation by telephone. Reservations will be accepted Wednesday, October 5, 2016, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Prior to October 5th, no reservations will be taken by mail or in person. Hunters will only be allowed to reserve one block of dates on this day. The telephone number to call when making reservations is: (217) 774-3951 Ext: 7012.
Beginning October 6, hunters may secure up to one additional reservation per week for the remainder of the waterfowl season. Additional reservations may be made at one time by calling (217) 774-3951 Ext: 7049 Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Telephone reservations must be made at least 5 days in advance of the intended hunt date. In person reservations will be accepted Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Last summer four pit blinds were installed and a new disabled access blind for a total of five blinds in three units (Unit 1 – blinds 1 and 2; Unit 2 -blinds 3 and 4; Unit 3 – blind 5). When making a reservation, hunters may choose which numbered blind they want to hunt or which Unit they would like to reserve (Units 1 and 2), depending on current availability. This year hunters may rent a UNIT, rather than just a blind. The wetlands will be hunted Tuesday – Wednesday and Saturday – Sunday during the waterfowl and goose season. Hunting will not be permitted the other three days to allow the area to rest.
A $30, non-refundable permit issuance fee per blind, or $60 per Unit, will be assessed and collected between the time a reservation is made and the time the Special Use Permit is actually issued to the hunter. The Special Use Permit will allow up to two hunters to use a blind for a two-day period.
All permits are non-transferable, which means the person obtaining and signing the Special Use Permit must be in the blind while the blind is in use. The permit holder may bring any hunting partner along on the hunt as he or she chooses. For additional information along with a map of the area and available dates please their website, here.