Youth Deer Hunt
What is the Lake Shelbyville youth deer hunt?
The youth deer hunt is held annually at Lake Shelbyville during Illinois youth deer season. Youth hunters interested should keep an eye out for applications in the month of August and September. To apply for the hunt, youth must be less than 16 years old during the time of the hunt. Youth must also be accompanied by an adult on the hunt, and be a resident of Illinois. A youth either sex deer permit valid for the year of the hunt is also required. Generally, these are available for purchase in the month of September. Deer camp is held at the Okaw Bluff Group Camp where the young hunters and adults are welcome to stay for the duration of the hunt. Interested participants are encouraged to call our project office at (217) 774-3951 X4.
2023 Youth Deer Hunt Application
Please see the below application for information regarding dove hunting at Lake Shelbyville.
2023 Lake Shelbyville Controlled Dove Hunt Application
Looking for an accessible & stress free place to hunt waterfowl? Okaw Bluff Wetland might be just the place for you!
MAP OF OKAW BLUFF WETLAND
2023-2024 WATERFOWL HUNTING PROCEDURES ANNOUNCED FOR THE OKAW WETLANDS
Four waterfowl blinds will be available for hunting at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Okaw Wetlands” during the 2023-2024 waterfowl hunting season. 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. 21-22,
Duck - Oct. 28 – Dec. 26
Canada goose - Oct. 28 – Nov. 5 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 Tuesday, October 3, 2023, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Prior to October 3rd, 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: 7001.
Beginning October 4, 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.
When making a reservation, hunters may choose which numbered blind they want to hunt depending on current availability. 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 will be assessed and collected between the time a reservation is made and the time the Special Use Permit is 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 please visit
Deer Hunt for People with Disabilities
Lake Shelbyville proudly hosts an annual deer hunt for sportsmen with disabilities. The hunt headquarters are out of Okaw Bluff Group Camp where hunters are treated to feasts & lodging for the duration of 1st deer season.
Hunters have exclusive access to recreation areas around Lake Shelbyville where hunting is not permitted on any other occasion throughout the year. This event is put on FREE of charge, but limited spots are available. Applications for the annual deer hunt are available for download in March of each year with an application deadline of March 31.