Good news for sportsmen across Illinois.  The State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources legal division has put out of directive that IDNR police should not take action on prohibited firearms and magazines used for hunting on public lands.

IDNR Conservation Police Officer Trent Reeves spoke in Decatur on Wednesday and he mentioned this new plot twist.  Today, he said he couldn’t forward the directive to us, but he did provide a FAQ page from the IDNR website.

So, according to Reeves and the IDNR website, you can use your AR with standard cap magazines to hunt coyotes, shotguns with long magazines for hunting geese and similar stuff.


Don’t take CPO Reeves’ word for it. Here it is from the IDNR website:

14. How does the Protect Illinois Communities Act affect hunting in Illinois?

The Protect Illinois Communities Act banning assault weapons creates an exemption for possession of weapons used for hunting as permitted by the Wildlife Code. To determine whether it is legal to bring a weapon onto public lands to hunt, you must be in full compliance with the Wildlife Code and administrative rules for the hunting activity that you are engaged in. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is working with the Illinois State Police to put together a list of weapons permitted to be used under the Wildlife Code. Under the Protect Illinois Communities Act, this list must be finished by Oct. 1, 2023. Even though the list is not completed at this time, it is important to emphasize that the exemption from the assault weapons law is tied to the Wildlife Code and that code has not been changed by this Act. If it was legal under the Wildlife Code to use a specific type of weapon last year to hunt snow geese or turkeys, for example, then it is currently legal to use that weapon this year.

7 thoughts on “IDNR: When hunting public lands, if it was legal last year, you can use it this year…”
  1. Color me EXTREMELY skeptical of whether this will be allowed under the so-called exception, or if ISP will honor it at all. I foresee some Paul Blart puke with a badge trying to bust people for PICA who are out hunting coyotes (which I have done many times with a semi-auto rifle over the years). I do not believe for one moment that there will be otherwise well-meaning hunters that will be prosecuted under PICA, ISP and their ‘list’ be damned.

    People can do as they wish, but I wouldn’t trust a statement by any agency of the State of Illinois about their intentions as far as I could throw Fatboy after a day-long donut bender. Until PICA is utterly defeated, I would strongly recommend sticking to private lands with permission to hunt only.

    1. By “fatboy”, are you referring to Officer Reeves? I happen to personally know him and work alongside him on occasion. He’s a former MMA fighter, BJJ practitioner, and could run circles around you.

      You know, we cops aren’t the bad guys. I’ve been to IGOLD, I contribute monetarily to pro-2nd Amendment causes, I’m a member of several pro-2nd organizations, and I personally know all of the conservation officers in my jurisdiction whom all of which wouldn’t enforce this BS.

      How about picking out individual officers instead of grouping us all into one group. It’s kinda like the liberals that group all of us gun owners into the “gun nut” category.

    2. Purdy sure Liberals was referring to JB as fatboy. Impressive history for any conservation cop.

  2. And to add insult to injury, this ‘judge’ is a Reagan appointee, and used to be the Chief Judge of the 7th Appellate. This country seems to be filled with jurist who swear to uphold the Constitution without having any idea what that oath really means. The State used ‘public safety’ as the reason to request the stay of McGlynn’s ruling, and this jackass bought it!

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