The Hunter Recruitment Program provides FREE education and training workshops to teach ADULT participants how to hunt deer, turkey, squirrels, pheasants, ducks, geese and other game. Waterfowl and terrestrial game workshops are open to individuals who have not previously hunted those species.

Advanced registration is REQUIRED to participate in workshops. No FOID card or prior shooting or hunting experience needed to participate.

Workshops include presentations and hands-on activities on the following topics:

  • Hunting history and ethics
  • Game animal behavior and ecology
  • Safely using firearms and archery equipment
  • Purchasing and using proper clothing and gear
  • Hunting laws and licenses
  • Butchering, storing and cooking harvested game
  • Scouting and accessing land
  • Target shooting exercise
  • Live hunt with an experienced hunting mentor

Workshop presenters include staff from the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and several partner organizations.

Click here to Register

Interested in Mentoring workshop participants? Email:

Hunters are Stewards of Wildlife

Hunting is an important tool for effectively managing and maintaining healthy wildlife populations and natural ecosystems in Illinois. Through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, an 10–11% excise tax is placed on hunting and shooting equipment purchases, which provides critical funding for the majority of wildlife conservation by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Through this cyclic funding, sports(wo)men help conserve hunting and target shooting opportunities, as well as conservation of habitat and numerous non-game animals. This system, known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, was developed in the 1930’s and has been immensely successful for conservation because sports(wo)men have been willing to pay to be stewards of the environment and maintain our long-standing heritage of publicly available hunting opportunities. Click the Wildlife Restoration logo below to know more.