Approximately 12,000 of the 23,000 land acres at Lake Shelbyville are forested. Oak and hickory are the dominant species. The remaining land acres are open or brush covered. Game species available for hunting include dove, quail, rabbit, pheasant, whitetail deer, grey and fox squirrel, wild turkey, fox, coyote, raccoon, woodcock, and waterfowl.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources manages the Shelbyville Wildlife Area, located in two units, the Kaskaskia Unit and the West Okaw Unit. Both are located in the northern ends of the lake.
The Corps of Engineers provides special hunting and fishing opportunities to serve a greater segment of the outdoor community.
* A specially designed fishing pier is provided at Opossum Pond for persons with disabilities and children 12 years of age and younger.
* An annual deer hunt is held for persons with disabilities.
* Controlled dove hunting is conducted during the first two days of the dove hunting season in managed sunflower fields. A permit is required for opening day.
* Youth dove hunts and squirrel hunts are occasionally held where an adult and a youth share a day in the field.
* For members of the public without a boat, sixteen managed farm ponds are available.
* Controlled waterfowl hunting is available at Okaw Wetlands each year. A permit is required.
Shelbyville Wildlife Area
Located along the Kaskaskia and West Okaw Rivers near Sullivan, the Lake Shelbyville Fish and Wildlife Management Area offers some of the best hunting, river fishing and nature study opportunities in the state. The two areas contain over 6000 acres of mixed habitats including forests, prairies, restored grasslands, old fields, brush, wetlands, rivers, streams, and cropland. All are situated in the upper reaches of the 34,000-acre Lake Shelbyville project area.
Hunters are welcome throughout the area, except where hunting is prohibited within 100 yards of residences and in other areas as posted. The site offers ample opportunities for rabbit, pheasant and quail in upland settings. Fox and gray squirrels are plentiful in the timbered areas. Deer are common and can be taken with shotgun, bow or muzzle-loading rifle. Dove are seasonally abundant, especially in sunflower fields planted on site. Woodcock and common snipe are present in huntable numbers during migrations.
Waterfowl management and hunting are feature programs on both management units. Five subimpoundments provide excellent mid-migration habitat and quality walk-in or boat waterfowl hunting opportunities. Hunters do need to be aware that during the first few days of the season, duck and goose hunting sites are allocated by daily drawings. Contact the site office for details and rules.
Address: 1 m E of Shelbyville off IL Route 16
Our Email: Lakeshelbyville@mvs02.usace.army.mil
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