Banner Marsh?

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Banner Marsh?

Postby lil_mason09 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:27 pm

Any info on banner marsh would be good. Do i need a boat? Is it worth driving an 1 1/2 hours to come to? Im not asking for blinds that are usually good or anything like that just some general info. Thanks
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby zbitner82 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:34 pm

Banner Marsh has not produced much the last couple years. Just like anywhere else.....it has its good days. The nice part about banner is that you DO NOT need a boat. I think there may only be 2 blinds that you have to have a boat for. You can walk to most of the blinds and it is not a difficult walk. Nice wide paths and flat for the most part. If you have a boat you can boat to the blinds as well. My personal opinion.....I would not drive 1.5 hrs to hunt it. I live 15 mins away and have hunted it 1 time in the last two years becuase it hasn't been producing much. I own a boat now though so I have more options.....before I owned a boat I hunted it alot. Let me know if you have any other questions. You can PM me if you like.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:16 am

Can anyone report on the water levels at Banner for this weekend's opener?
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby zbitner82 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:55 am

No issues that I have seen. I don't think you will have a problem at all.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:21 am

Thanks. I spoke to DNR @ Banner this morning, and confirmed the same. Only trouble is that they also said no birds in the refuge this morning. We can only hope the colder weather brings some down for this weekend.

Emiquon has over 50k birds in the refuge. Maybe they could send a few our way! :help:
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby aunt betty » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:34 am

You come from Tennessee to hunt Banner Marsh? I hunted there and it's pretty cool.
The walk-in area is REALLY different. I mean where you actually have to go thru Banner down Co. 7 or "dike road".

As I recall the draw-in-place is a mobile-home on stilts that's about 20 feet or more off the ground.
Worth the trip just to see that and the hunting can be very good as well. Last time I went there it was all shovelers.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:27 am

Grew up in IL so I still hunt it pretty regularly from Peoria all the way down to the southern tip. Fish it too. East TN has virtually NO duck migration, so I need to go somewhere, and I know IL.

Banner is hit or miss most of the time. We did pretty good last year with Gads, BWT, an occasional goose, and yes, Spoonies. We get some redheads from time-to-time too. Mallards were very late last year and the freeze got us.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby luie b » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:50 pm

Are there any other walk in areas around there? I just can't find any public land that doesn't require a boat. What about Weinberg-King in Brown County? That's a little more than an hour for me but would be the closest public land for duck hunting.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby lil_mason09 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:57 pm

Yea I have heard there are no birds there. My blind is for next Wednesday, figures I would get a date this early. Hopefully this colder weather this week gives them a little push. Do you guys know if it is busy usually during the week?
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby Blackcloud870 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:32 pm

BRCPres wrote:Grew up in IL so I still hunt it pretty regularly from Peoria all the way down to the southern tip. Fish it too. East TN has virtually NO duck migration, so I need to go somewhere, and I know IL.

Banner is hit or miss most of the time. We did pretty good last year with Gads, BWT, an occasional goose, and yes, Spoonies. We get some redheads from time-to-time too. Mallards were very late last year and the freeze got us.


BRCPres, not to sound like a jerk, but you could be saving yourself a TON of time and $$$ simply by hunting Western TN, if I had my choice I'd hunt specifically the Reelfoot/Mississippi areas. A member on this site "Possumfoot", lives and hunts in that area, an I'd be willing to bet my waders that he and his crew probably kill more birds than ANYONE else on this site. And the majority of their birds are killed on Public land. ( For proof, do a search for "Kill Pics" and you will see what I am talking about :eek:
They certainly kill more than anyone that I personally know in IL, be it public or private. Heck, if you played your cards right, he might even be so gracious as to take you out on a hunt with him :yes:

Either way, good luck to man!
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:43 pm

Thanks for the tip. I appreciate the thoughts. Good luck this year. :thumbsup:
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby sgtmac1 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:06 pm

More information on hunting at Banner Marsh. Most blinds at BM are accessible by foot although some have more than a mile walk, and these blinds have boats provided by the state at the blind locations(some of them have unusable oarlocks). Several blinds are only accessible by personal boat and some of the walk in blinds are easier to get to if you have your own boat. Water levels change year to year-have decoys with long cords of 15 to 20 feet or you can borrow bags of decoys at the check station. The southwest corner doesn't do as well as the south east corner, in my opinion. As far as walking in goes, a deer cart or 4 wheel utility cart that will hold a couple of bags of decoys and your other gear will be manageable, carrying everything on your back will give you a real good workout(sweating your rear end off and then sitting in a cold blind for hours is not good). It is usually not a good idea to put decoys out in waders as the varying water levels may get you soaked-one blind has 25 foot water in front of it. The hunting can be great or poor, but because of the blind drawings every day, you rarely get to the same blind two days in a row. It will cost you $10 per hunter-up to 4 in a blind-although some blinds seem awfully cramped for 4 hunters. Blind 26 is reserved for handicapped hunters if they have one as a permit holder and is very spacious for wheel chair hunting. It is hard to say which blinds are better but 20, 18, 23, and 13 seem to do pretty well. Blinds near these also can have their good days. Rice Lake hunting area is a few miles away and draws a hundred hunters for a chance at the draw(they also get twice as many ducks) while Banner doesn't always fill all of their blinds especially during the week. Hunting when the water first starts to freeze seems to be the best as more ducks seem to be moving into the area just ahead of the cold. There have been many days of sitting and watching the blackbirds but others when you wonder if you brought enough shells. Banner is only 20 minutes away from my home vs. up to an hour for some of the more productive areas(Woodford, Emiquon, Spring Lake, Rice Lake, etc.) but you can hunt by yourself if you want more out of the hunting experience than just pulling the trigger. Permits for Banner Marsh can be had by mail or telephone at the Illinois DNR website. Each permit allows you to bring 3 hunters with you on your designated day so 4 buddies can get up to 16 days at BM. I like Banner because it's close, there is a reasonable chance that I can get some shots, and I don't have to fight the huge crowds at the other state sites. Good luck!
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby sgtmac1 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:48 am

On the 27th, I scored the only two ducks taken at Banner Marsh, a drake Woody and a hen Mallard. Had another drake Woody down but he got into the reeds before I could get to him. Three singles in, three singles down by 8 am and that was it for the day. There were 7 blinds being hunted and only two ducks taken. If you can find a better spot, it would make more sense to go elsewhere, if not, there's always Banner.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby timberghost812 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:06 pm

:help: im looking for someone to hunt with at banner or were ever i have all the goodies we need but no boat any one ready ta go ?
Last edited by timberghost812 on Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:39 am

Anyone have any comments as to why BM is soooo bad this year? Yes, the water is low, but I see ducks in skinny water all the time. Plenty of water for them here. With all the ducks in the area, why is Banner so bad?! Thoughts?? :huh:
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby timberghost812 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:04 am

they have been doing pretty good there on the big lake in the back
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:05 pm

We hunted blind 14 about a week and a half ago and didn't see nary a duck. That was the day all the tornadoes hit the area
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby timberghost812 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:36 pm

its a hit n mess at the mash might pick up with the cold front coming seen a lot of geese flying from the south to north yesterday n today also time a tell yes sir
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby BRCPres » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:17 am

Thanks, Ghost. I'm done with Banner this year, so good luck. That skinny water and the lack of food in the immediate area has tried my patience this year. I'd appreciate hearing how you do.

We switched to the big lake in the northern zone (Chicago area) and have been doing well with the divers ... Redheads, Goldeneyes, Bluebills, and Buffies. Been seeing Cans, but have not been lucky yet.

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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby qckhd » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:44 pm

I would venture to say the lack of no feed has put a dampner on BM this year. I mainly hunt there every year and this has been one of the worst but then again it is just about now that BM will start picking up....
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Re: Banner Marsh?

Postby FLTXduck » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:53 pm

sgtmac1 wrote:More information on hunting at Banner Marsh. Most blinds at BM are accessible by foot although some have more than a mile walk, and these blinds have boats provided by the state at the blind locations(some of them have unusable oarlocks). Several blinds are only accessible by personal boat and some of the walk in blinds are easier to get to if you have your own boat. Water levels change year to year-have decoys with long cords of 15 to 20 feet or you can borrow bags of decoys at the check station. The southwest corner doesn't do as well as the south east corner, in my opinion. As far as walking in goes, a deer cart or 4 wheel utility cart that will hold a couple of bags of decoys and your other gear will be manageable, carrying everything on your back will give you a real good workout(sweating your rear end off and then sitting in a cold blind for hours is not good). It is usually not a good idea to put decoys out in waders as the varying water levels may get you soaked-one blind has 25 foot water in front of it. The hunting can be great or poor, but because of the blind drawings every day, you rarely get to the same blind two days in a row. It will cost you $10 per hunter-up to 4 in a blind-although some blinds seem awfully cramped for 4 hunters. Blind 26 is reserved for handicapped hunters if they have one as a permit holder and is very spacious for wheel chair hunting. It is hard to say which blinds are better but 20, 18, 23, and 13 seem to do pretty well. Blinds near these also can have their good days. Rice Lake hunting area is a few miles away and draws a hundred hunters for a chance at the draw(they also get twice as many ducks) while Banner doesn't always fill all of their blinds especially during the week. Hunting when the water first starts to freeze seems to be the best as more ducks seem to be moving into the area just ahead of the cold. There have been many days of sitting and watching the blackbirds but others when you wonder if you brought enough shells. Banner is only 20 minutes away from my home vs. up to an hour for some of the more productive areas(Woodford, Emiquon, Spring Lake, Rice Lake, etc.) but you can hunt by yourself if you want more out of the hunting experience than just pulling the trigger. Permits for Banner Marsh can be had by mail or telephone at the Illinois DNR website. Each permit allows you to bring 3 hunters with you on your designated day so 4 buddies can get up to 16 days at BM. I like Banner because it's close, there is a reasonable chance that I can get some shots, and I don't have to fight the huge crowds at the other state sites. Good luck!

Great info SGT. You sure helped put me on some birds when i was new to Banner. When you headed out again? Maybe i'll make the trip down. Of course, only if you agree NOT to shoot my canvasback this time. Oh wait....3 shots....i missed. Thanks for batting clean up on that one.
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