Discover 10 Animals That Prowl Near Charles Mound – Illinois’s Highest Point

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: July 13, 2023
© Patterson
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The Midwest is not known for having mountainous high points. Yet, every state, Illinois included, has one part of its land that’s higher than the rest, even if it’s not that impressive. The highest point in Illinois is called Charles Mound. This rural area near the state’s border with Wisconsin has a wide assortment of nearby wildlife. Take a look at 10 different animals that prowl near Charles Mound and learn what animals to seek!

About Illinois’s Highest Point

Illinois has many beautiful rural areas away from its major cities.


Charles Mound is a 1,235-foot hill found in the northwestern part of Illinois. While the elevation is not very significant, it’s still the tallest point in the state. This part of the Midwest is known more for the Great Plains than it is for great elevation changes.

The highest point in Illinois is located in Scales Mount Township in Jo Daviess County. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this hill is barely located in Illinois at all. In fact, a quarter mile north of this location is the state’s border with Wisconsin!

The area is surrounded by rural communities, and the hill itself lies on private property. That means a person has to seek permission from the owners to reach Charles Mound.

10 Animals That Prowl Near Charles Mound
You may run into any or all of these animals on a trip to Charles Mound.

The 10 Animals That Live Near Charles Mound

Large white-tailed deer buck shaking off rain in an open meadow during a rain storm in Smoky Mountain National Park. Motion blur from slow shutter speed
White-tailed deer are common throughout Illinois.

©Tony Campbell/

Given the location of Charles Mound in a rural area of Illinois, people can find several different animals nearby. Discover some of the most interesting animals that you may encounter during a journey to see the highest point in Illinois.

1. Coyote

coyote in sunlight
Coyotes can pose a threat to humans, but encounters and attacks are rare.

©Mircea Costina/

Coyotes are widespread throughout Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, these mammals live in rural, suburban, and urban places. These omnivorous creatures usually weigh less than 50 pounds and measure about 3 feet long. Their distinctive pointy nose and ears are an easy way to distinguish coyotes from domestic dogs. These animals can pose a risk to humans and their pets, but attacks are very rare. Still, these animals may prowl near Charles Mound.

2. Red Fox

Close up of a red fox in a forest, UK.
Fox vocalizations include yips and barks, which can travel great distances.


Red foxes are found in grasslands, fields, and woods throughout the state of Illinois. They’re mostly carnivores, but these foxes also eat berries and fruits in addition to the rodents and rabbits that make up most of their diet. These animals are usually hesitant to go near humans. However, they may show up in places where humans live in pursuit of prey, especially on farms containing poultry or other small animals.

3. Pheasant

Ring-Necked or Ringneck Pheasant
Pheasants are game birds that people often hunt in Illinois.

©Piotr Krzeslak/

Many different birds live throughout Illinois, but the pheasant is one of the few in the state that is a very popular game bird. In fact, Charles Mound is about a mile away from a pheasant hunting preserve. The chances are high that a person looking for pheasants in this area will see one of these birds. They can range in size, but they’re often about 2 to 2.5 feet long.

4. Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern gray squirrels are very common tree squirrels that are typically seen looking for food.

© Harris

The eastern gray squirrel is one of the most common tree squirrels in North America. They’re often seen climbing trees or running across the forest floor in search of the nuts and seeds that make up their diet. Interestingly, this is not the only species of squirrel found in Illinois. Other tree squirrels, like fox squirrels and red squirrels, are also found throughout Illinois.  

5. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal in flight
Northern cardinals consume mostly seeds as part of their diet.

©Rob Palmer Photography/

The northern cardinal is a common songbird in Illinois and many other parts of North America. These birds often live near woodlands, shrublands, and other wetlands. A visitor to Charles Mound is bound to find these animals by looking up in trees for a mid-sized, bright red bird. At least, that’s the case for males. The females of this species are usually an olive-brown color with bits of red in their feathers.

6. White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are the smallest species in North America.

©Amy Lutz/

The white-tailed deer is one of the most common species of deer in North America. They’re also one of the smallest deer species in this part of the world. Usually, males weigh between 150 and 300 pounds while females weigh between 90 and 200 pounds.

They’re often found in wooded areas, clearings, and places along the edges of forests. White-tailed deer are herbivorous animals, eating a variety of different plants depending on the time of year. Anyone keeping an eye on the wooded areas will see these animals prowl near Charles Mound.

7. Indiana Bat

Indianna bat
The Indiana bat is an endangered species in Illinois.


The Indiana Bat is one of 13 different bat species that live throughout Illinois. Although the thought of one swooping by a person at dusk might be frightening, these animals are harmless to humans. These mammals are insectivores, and that means they primarily subsist on insects like mosquitoes and beetles. For that reason, these bats are helpful because they reduce insect populations. Still, they may not be the most favored animal for someone to see.

8. Eastern Raccoon

Raccoon Den
Raccoons like to nest in hollows of old oak trees, rock crevices, burrows dug by other animals, and tree crotches.

©Georgi Baird/

Eastern raccoons are small mammals known for their long gray, brown, white, and black fur. They often have black fur “masks” on their face and a ringed tail. These animals live in woodland areas, usually near the water. Usually, these animals will avoid humans unless something is wrong with them. Like other animals on this list, it’s best to admire these creatures from a distance.

9. Blue Jay

blue jay close up
Like other birds, blue jays molt and do not look their best when they do.

© Hamilton

The blue jay is a songbird native to North America. In this area, the most common variety would be the northern blue jay. These birds usually have blue feathers on their heads, gray or white throats, blue backs, and a chest that is gray or white as well. They also frequently have black bands on their throats. These birds are distinguished by their looks as well as their calls.

10. Groundhogs

Groundhog emerging from winter den
Many animals, like groundhogs, enter true hibernation during winter to survive the cold

©Brian E Kushner/

Groundhogs, or woodchucks, are the largest squirrels in Illinois. These burrowing mammals can grow upwards of 2 feet long and weigh as much as 13 pounds. These omnivores often spend time in forests and woodlands. They’re also found near gardens and farms where they try to score a quick and easy meal. These animals prowl near Charles Mound, but they may have a fox or coyote on their heels if they’re not careful.

Many animals live near Charles Mound, Illinois. Even though it’s the highest point in Illinois, Charles Mound is not particularly difficult for animals to reach. However, this area is small. As a result, you probably will see more of these animals in the surrounding area than at the peak of this hill. Still, visitors have many opportunities to see some of the incredible wildlife in Illinois if they keep their eyes open for animals.

Summary of 10 Animals Prowl Near Charles Mound – Illinois’s Highest Point

AnimalFun Fact
1CoyoteCoyotes prey on pets – please keep them on a leash!
2Red FoxRed foxes scream at each other during mating season – loudly
3PheasantPheasants are popular game birds for hunters
4Eastern Gray SquirrelSquirrels hide nuts and seeds to store for the winter
5Northern CardinalCardinals generally mate for life
6White-Tailed DeerThey are one of the smallest deer species in North America
7Indiana BatThese bats are good! They eat deadly mosquitoes
8Eastern RaccoonRaccoons like to nest in the hollows of old trees
9Blue JayBlue Jays mate for life after an elaborate courtship ritual
10GroundhogsGroundhogs are a large species of squirrel

The Featured Image

Sand Ridge State Forest
Dispersed camping at Sand Ridge State Forest, Mason county, Illinois.
© Patterson

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About the Author

I've been a freelance writer since 2013, and I've written in a variety of niches such as managed service providers, animals, and retail distribution. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading, and writing for fun.

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