Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Wildlife Management

White-tailed Deer Surveys & Summaries

Deer population goals are set on an annual basis in consultation with biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. When the aerial surveys show a population in excess of the goal, a deer reduction program is implemented.

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County is committed to maintaining viable populations of white-tailed deer in its preserves and some regional parks. However, without control, deer populations increase to the point where they start to damage vegetation and deer/car collisions increase. Sharpshooters are used to keep populations in balance with available habitat.

FPWC conducts annual aerial deer surveys in selected parts of the county that have historically suffered from deer over-population. Surveyors are flown by helicopter at 100 to 200 feet above the ground in the winter with good snow cover, which allows the brown deer to be seen on the white background. Not all deer are seen during the surveys, so any deer counts are considered the minimum number in the area.

Wood Duck Management Reports

The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County’s wood duck program is a great conservation success story. Beginning in 1994, the District’s efforts to support the native wood duck populations have had significant positive impact on wood duck nesting and hatch rates in the forest preserves. Hatch rates have been steadily trending upward throughout the history of the program, ultimately meeting FPWC’s target rate of over 50% each year since 2010.

FPWC’s goal is to continue to carefully monitor the Wood Duck program to maintain current success rates. Monitoring each nest is critical to evaluating success and analyzing various factors that contribute to nest success or failure.

Wood Duck Management