Illinois Department of Natural Resources


For decades, Illinois outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed learning about the state’s natural resources and recreational activities through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) former, award-winning magazine OutdoorIllinois. Today, persons interested in the Prairie State’s wildlife resources  endangered and threatened species, and high quality remnants of the natural landscape that greeted the first settlers—our natural heritage—are able to access similar articles in the form of OutdoorIllinois Journal, an online magazine.

OutdoorIllinois Journal will feature timely, seasonally based stories about the state’s wildlife resources and recommended wildlife management practices for the private landowner, as well as related recreational activities, including hunting, trapping and wildlife watching and photography, and places to recreate in Illinois.

Among the authors contributing to the magazine are university professionals responsible for much of the current wildlife- and natural heritage-based research taking place in Illinois, current IDNR staff, several retired IDNR wildlife, natural heritage and conservation law enforcement professionals with decades of experiences to share, and resource professionals from other organizations within the state.

OutdoorIllinois Journal is a collaborative effort of people and institutions led by the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Illinois. Other organizations include the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Division of Wildlife Resources and Division of Natural Heritage, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration. Funding for OutdoorIllinois Journal was made available through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project W-147-T and the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.

Project Staff

  • Dr. Richard (Dick) E. Warner
  • Kathy Andrews Wright
  • John Buhnerkempe
  • Lynn Hawkinson Smith
  • Sarah Marjanovic


Illinois Department of Natural Resources Content Review

  • Ann Holtrop, Chief Division of Natural Heritage
  • Todd Strole, Program Section Manager, Division of Natural Heritage
  • Mike Wefer, Chief, Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Chris Young, Director, Office of Resource Conservation


Our sincere appreciation to the photographers who have graciously allowed use of their images to illustrate this website. Photographs remain the sole and exclusive owner of all rights, title and interest to the photographs. Photographs are copyrighted and may not be used without the written permission of the photographer.

Unless otherwise noted with individual photo credit, the images contained on the site are property of the State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources or staff of the Website Development Team. If you wish to reproduce photographs from this site please contact IDNR at:


OutdoorIllinois Journal website was developed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in partial fulfillment of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project W-147-T. Expansion of OutdoorIllinois Journal occurred in November 2020 through funding from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center and partners have formed a collaboration with the capacity to assist private landholders in addressing soil, water, and wildlife conservation goals through Farm Bill conservation programs targeting watersheds. In this context NGRREC and partners are developing a “land-grant” approach that fosters learning, discovery, work force development and engagement to sustain agriculture and critical ecosystem functions in watersheds. In-kind support was provided to fund web production of this project.

A graphic with several logos including the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Wildlife and Fish fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Restoration, The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, and Illinois Extension College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.