Facility Rules and Policies
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge offers many opportunities for public use including hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The refuge is open to the public use during daylight hours only. Refuge hunting and fishing regulations generally follow applicable Illinois and Wisconsin state seasons and regulations - some special regulation apply.
To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of our rules and regulations. Please consult the refuge manager at 815-678-4532 ext. 8206 or by email at email@example.com if you have questions.
Welcome to your. Discover new places to hunt, fish, take pictures, watch wildlife, walk, cross-country ski and snowshoe. Enjoy spending time outdoors alone or with friends and family. If you have any questions please consult the refuge manager at 815-678-4532 ext. 8206. To ensure your safety and protect wildlife and habitat, please be aware of these regulations. Additional site specific regulations may be posted at the properties.
Access to the refuge is open from 1 hour before sunrise until 1 hour after sunset unless otherwise posted of stated in hunting regulations.
Training of dog and allowing dogs off leash from April 15th to August 15th. Pets must be under the owner’s control when not on a leash.
All motorized vehicles on all refuge land (including on frozen bodies of water) except on designated parking areas and public roads. Public access is via foot travel only unless otherwise authorized.
Camping, open fires and overnight parking
Abandoning, discarding or otherwise leaving any personal property
All property brought onto a refuge must be removed at the end of each day. This includes all common items like decoys, blinds, trail cameras, geo-caching items, photography equipment, portable stands, ice houses, climbing sticks and trash.
Destructing, defacing, disturbing or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource or government property
Introducing, liberating, or placing plants or animals or their parts on refuge lands or waters
The use of horses or other domestic livestock for recreational trail riding, big game retrieval or any other purpose.
Disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood or other debris
Cutting, mowing, sawing, digging, collecting, injuring or removing vegetation
Collecting or gathering of edible plants, seeds, mushrooms and deer sheds are prohibited
Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the refuge. This includes for recreational or commercial purposes.
Commercial enterprise without a special use permit
Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited
Hunting is an approved use on the refuge that activity may have additional requirements than state regulations based on location, timing, species, methods of take, etc. See refuge specific regulations below.
All property brought onto a refuge must be removed at the end of each day. This includes all common items like decoys, blinds, trail cameras, portable stands, climbing sticks and trash.
Hunters may only possess approved non-toxic shot, including turkey hunters
During the small game and migratory bird seasons, hunting dogs must be under the immediate control of the hunter
No night hunting is allowed
No marking or flagging of any tree or other refuge feature with reflectors, paint, or other substance.
Hunters must wear an article of blaze orange/pink consistent with state regulations
We prohibit constructing or occupying permanent stands or blinds, the use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree, into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter. Portable tree stands and ground blinds must be set up and removed each day and be used in accordance to state regulations.
We prohibit organized deer drives. We define a “deer drive” as an organized or planned effort to pursue, drive, chase, or otherwise frighten or cause deer to move in the direction of any person(s) who is part of the organized or planned hunt and known to be waiting for the deer.
We prohibit the use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting
We prohibit distribution of feed or bait, or hunting over bait. This includes salts and minerals.
Portions of the land within or surrounding the boundaries of refuge are private. Persons wishing to hunt on private land must gain permission from the landowner.
Blackmon is CLOSED to hunting. Blackmon is located within the Richmond, Illinois city limits at the intersection of Hwy 12 and Hunter Drive.
Trapping is prohibited.
Fishing is an approved use on the refuge that activity may have additional requirements than state regulations based on location, timing, species, methods of take, etc. See refuge specific regulations below.
We prohibit all motorized vehicles including the use over frozen water bodies
Collection of frogs and turtles are prohibited
You may not use a spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to spot, locate or take any wild animal in a refuge
Special use permits may be issued for compatible activities including research, wood cutting and other activities on the refuge. We proudly work with researchers from all backgrounds and specialties to learn more about the health of the Hackmatack ecosystems and public resources.
For more detailed information, click to learn how to obtain a permit, see frequently asked questions and facts or application forms. (links to come)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife laws and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country. Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited. Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards visitors and wildlife. Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward.