Illinois Outdoor Adventure: Public Squirrel Hunting Sites Now Open


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CARBONDALE, IL – Public squirrel hunting opportunities are available in Illinois from August 1st through September 15th at over 30 private land hunting sites enrolled in the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP). 

The program has leased more than 4,400 acres of private land for squirrel hunting in 2023, creating accessible sites in 18 counties. These hunting sites are available at no cost.

To participate, hunters must register and sign a liability waiver through IRAP’s online system. Registered hunters can add up to three more hunters for a group hunt. Youth hunters (age 17 and younger) must be accompanied by an adult supervisor who is at least 21 years old, with both registering and reserving online. All hunters born in 1980 or later must complete a department-approved hunter education course and possess required permits.

After reservation, hunters receive a valid site permit and windshield card. Small game hunting is an ideal way to introduce young and first-time hunters to the activity and outdoor traditions. IRAP has leased 27,000+ acres in 52 Illinois counties for semi-controlled hunting and fishing since 2011, funded by the Voluntary Public Access Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). For more information, visit or contact


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