Heartland Wildlife Refuge updates guidelines, opens new hunting options

Changes in hunting guidelines

MARION, Ill. (KFVS) -The Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge is home to some of the best trophy bucks, turkey and other game animals. This season hunters will notice changes before showing up on the Refuge.

The Refuge states nearly 80% of the people who come and hunt on their property are from the Chicagoland area.

“They have to get a permit through the state of Illinois, Illinois DNR. So, they will have their permit and well get their addresses from Illinois DNR that mailed them their information.”

Neil Vincent, Visitors Service Manager at Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge, wants to curb the number of hunters physically entering the visitor center.

“Self-check stations, you know. We’ll have a map where they can just show up at a certain point, get that information at that bulletin board or kiosk and just drop that information off at a drop box to try and keep everyone from getting lined up coming into the visitors center.”

Also new this season, a special archery hunt. “This year is the first time were doing the archery hunt is October the 24 through November the 7th,” stated Vincent.

Crab Orchard is adding 12,000 acres just for archery. It’s an effort to attract more victors to the Refuge.

“Nationwide, we are trying to make public lands more accessible to individuals in different ways anything from hunting, fishing activities to you know maybe new trails or something like that.”

Vincent has this tip for hunters coming down to enjoy the Refuge “Be safe when you are here and follow the rules and regulations and enjoy your visit to your national wildlife refuge while you are here.”

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