Rend Lake’s Abundant Waterfowl
The area is noted for its spectacular waterfowl populations that begin migrating into the area during late August. Blue winged teal stop over to enjoy the abundance of plant and animal life on the ponds, lakes, and back woods potholes. The season normally starts the first week in September. A limit of four green-winged or blue-winged teal can be harvested each day with eight in possession. Hunters find success in hunting them with two dozen or fewer teal decoys. Small shot sizes of #3 steel or #6 Bismuth will easily take these small ducks if your aim can catch up with them.
Early November finds duck hunters hiding in duck blinds, cattails, or behind oak trees in flooded timbers. Rend Lake draw migrating puddle and diving ducks by the thousands. Duck hunters come to the area to hunt mallards, teal, gadwalls, bluebills, redheads, and canvasbacks. Hunters should bring their duck boat, several dozen mallard decoys, a couple dozen Canada goose decoys and a camera to record some lasting memories.
Waterfowl gunners flock to southern Illinois each fall when the Canada goose season opens. The Canada goose, snow goose, and white-fronted goose season is set by the Fish and Wildlife Service each year and recently it has been opening in late November. The majority of the Canada geese migrate into the area during late December. Hunters will find approximately 320,000 Canada’s and over 90,000 snow geese in the area. Bird watchers enjoy photographing the ducks, geese, and bald eagles.
Waterfowl hunters will need a state license, federal duck stamp, state duck stamp, and Recreational User fee is charged to those hunting on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife property. The recreational User Permits are available at the Crab Orchard Visitor Center on Route 148 South, daily from 8 A.M.-5 P.M. Federal duck stamps may be purchased at your local U.S. Post Office. Hunting licenses are available through various vendors in southern Illinois. Hunters may also order license or stamp over the Internet immediately by visiting the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Home Page at http://dnr.state.il.us