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Portions of the refuge are open to hunting and trapping in accordance with federal, state and local regulations with the most restrictive regulation applying on the refuge. Hunting is prohibited from March 16 through August 31, except spring wild turkey seasons and squirrel hunting, on the Illinois portion of the refuge.

During the fall migration, deeper waters on the river draw huge flocks of diving ducks, especially canvasbacks, with ring-necked ducks, goldeneye, redheads and scaup also commonly sighted.

Marshlands and floodplain forests adjacent to the river attract wood ducks, blue-winged and green-winged teal, mallards, wigeon, gadwall, and pintail. Hunters equipped with a boat and a large spread of decoys can have good hunting opportunities for diving ducks, puddle ducks, and Canada geese.

In addition, numerous forested islands on the river offer excellent deer hunting opportunities. Small game and turkey hunters also find success in the floodplain forest. Smaller swaths of prairie land offer chances to hunt doves. Many hunters enjoy the solitude and abundant wildlife on this refuge, which is considered one of the most scenic stretches along the Mississippi River.

Two managed deer hunts, one for youth (ages 10-17) and one for adults with disability (18 and older), are conducted within designated Closed Areas of Lost Mound at the former Savanna Army Depot. All hunters must be accompanied by an adult able-bodied attendant that is capable of tracking and retrieving a deer.

The application period extends from July 1 through July 31 and is open to residents and non-residents. All applications will be entered into a random drawing for 35 hunt sites.

Click here for more information on hunting on the refuge and applications for the special hunts at Lost Mound.