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THOMSON, Ill. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the drawing for Potter’s Marsh waterfowl hunting sites will be July 31 in the parking lot of Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center, 7071 Riverview Road, Thomson.

The application/drawing process will be adjusted so that COVID safety guidelines are implemented. Applications will be accepted from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. for the 49 hunt sites. Hunters will complete the application in person and designate their top 10 hunt site preferences. A $10 application fee is required. Hunters will submit their application and immediately depart the site.

At 1 p.m., USFWS staff will conduct a random drawing of applications inside the Learning Center; the drawing will not be open to the public. When an applicant is drawn, hunt site assignment will correspond to site availability on their preference list. Upon completion of the drawing, hunters will be immediately notified by telephone of their site selection. In addition, a notification letter will be sent to each successful applicant. The hunter will have two weeks to submit the $100 non-refundable site permit fee via mail. Twenty standby applicants will also be drawn in the event that successful applicants do not want the hunt site that is available.

All hunt sites that are not taken by Sept. 1 will be offered to hunters on a first-served basis by calling the USFWS office.

Applicants are required to show the following information: photo identification, 2021 Hunting or Sportsman’s License, 2021 federal waterfowl stamp, 2021 state duck stamp and a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card (Illinois residents only). Residents under 21 do not need the FOID but must be accompanied by an adult (21 or older) who has a valid card. Non-residents can provide a current year license and state stamp from their resident state. Applicants must be a minimum 16 years old.

For additional information and copies of the regulations, hunters can call the Refuge Office at 815-273-2732. Information can also be found at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/upper_mississippi_river

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