A Way of Life in the USA

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Illinois Deer Hunting Season

  • May 23, 2013 /

Illinois is a state that is well known and respected for its deer hunting seasons. Below is a description of deer hunting season in Illinois.

Species of Deer to Hunt

Illinois is home to whitetail deer. The populations are very strong in the state, and they can be found in many locations and areas across the state.

Methods to Hunt Deer in Illinois

In Illinois, several different methods are used to hunt deer. Early season there is a special archery season, where you can use one of several bow and arrow techniques to kill a deer. Typically, stand hunting is used for whitetails when archery hunting. Later in the season, the general rifle tags open up. This allows for rifle hunting, and is the most popular. Spot and stalk is very common while rifle hunting, as is using calls or decoys. There are also muzzle-loader seasons for those who wish to use that particular weapon type.

Permits and Seasons

A valid hunting license is required to hunt deer in Illinois. You must acquire an Illinois hunting license first. This may require taking a hunters education class depending on when you were born. This license costs $12.50 for residents, and $360 for non-residents, and can be purchased online. After you have you’re license, you will have to put in to draw for a deer tag. Illinois uses a lottery system to determine who is eligible to hunt and where, and you can apply at several times throughout the year.

Seasons vary by hunt type and area. The archery season opens in October and runs in to the middle of January. Muzzle loader seasons are in November. There is a special youth hunt for two days in October. The rifle seasons are in late mid November, and then again in late November to early December. There are also late hunt/winter seasons in December and January.

Other Laws and Regulations

In Illinois, it is only legal to hunt from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset. Once you harvest a deer, you must file an online hunt report on the state website.

Where you can Hunt

Deer are populous throughout the state, although some areas are better than others. Do some research before you decide on a location to hunt in. Illinois has very little public land for hunters to use. Just over 2% of the state is publicly owned. However, you are allowed to hunt on private property as long as you have the permission of the owner of the land.

Illinois is one of the most popular deer hunting states. If you’d like to see more about the state’s deer hunting, check out the Illinois Department of Natural Resources deer hunting page, where you can see the latest in deer hunting season dates and laws.