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Small Game Hunting

The Basics

The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) leases squirrel and rabbit hunting property throughout Illinois and makes it available for controlled, public access. Small game hunting is a great way to introduce a youngster to hunting, since it teaches everything you need to know for hunting larger species, just on a smaller scale. Small game hunters must register and reserve a hunting site online through IRAP's Reservation System, and then IRAP serves as the "middle person" in order to connect hunters to places to hunt while keeping the identity of the hunter and landowner seperate. Thus, hunters are not to contact the landowner, and landowners are not to contact the hunter. 

Who: Any legally licensed hunter (Illinois resident or non-resident) who has completed their hunter safety course (if born in 1980 or after) and who complies with all Illinois hunting laws may register.

When: IRAP's Squirrel hunting period occurs from August 1 through September 15. IRAP's Rabbit-only hunting period occurs from December 10-31.

Where: Please see the statewide maps for squirrel hunting below:

(Rabbit hunting locations can be viewed from within the IRAP reservation system.)

What: Reserve your squirrel or rabbit hunting site below:

How It Works

  1. A participant must first register online and receive an IRAP participant ID Number.
  2. During the registration process, the participant must agree to and sign the Liability Waiver.
  3. Once the IRAP participant is registered, they may go to IRAP’s reservation system and make up to three reservations at a time for small game sites.
  4. When a reservation is complete, hunters will then have access to driving directions, a hunting site map, and a site permit to print and take with them.
  5. If a youth is accompanying an adult, they must also register as a participant.
  6. No more than 4 hunters are allowed per hunting site.
  7. Foot traffic ONLY.
  8. Illinois Hunting Rules and Regulations must be followed.


IRAP access is provided through the cooperation of private landowners and the IL Dept. of Natural Resources.

Participating in this program is a special priviledge.

Please be respectful, ethical and safe.

Leave the site as you found it. Take ALL garbage with you.

Park vehicle in designated parking area.