Illinois hunting regulations

Illinois Hunting Regulations

Illinois is all about the deer hunting. There is also great turkey, small game and waterfowl but the state is really renowned for producing world class whitetails. The Illinois hunting regulations and license system is a little difficult to navigate with several similar looking licenses and fee schedules. There are some over the counter options and also a lottery system for limited deer and turkey areas.

Illinois Hunting License Fees

Resident:

  • Hunting – $12.50
  • Lifetime Hunting – $360
  • Lifetime Sportsman Fish and Hunt – $765
  • Senior Hunting – $6.50
  • Senior Sportsman’s Hunt and Fish – $13.50
  • Annual hunt and fish combo – $26.25
  • Veteran hunting license – $6.50
  • Veteran sportsman hunt and fish – $13.50
  • Resident youth hunting – $7.50
  • Deer firearm lottery app – $25
  • Deer firearm lottery antlerless – $17.50
  • Deer firearm lottery either sex and antlerless – $42.50
  • Deer muzzleloader antlerless – $17.50
  • Deer muzzleloader either sex and antlerless – $42.50
  • Deer firearm OTC county permit – $25.50

Non-resident:

  • Hunting – $57.75
  • 5 day – $35.75
  • Hunting preserve license – $12.50
  • Hunting apprentice license – $7.50
  • OTC Archery – $100.50
  • OTC antlerless archery – $25.5
  • Deer combo archery – $410
  • Deer combo archery OTC – $411
  • Deer Firearm lottery application – $25
  • Deer firearm lottery either sex – $300
  • Deer OTC firearm county permit – $300.50
  • Deer landowner archery – $210
  • Deer muzzleloader either sex – $300
  • Deer Muzzleloader OTC county permit – $300.50
  • Fall turkey archery – $75.50
  • Fall turkey shotgun – $125
  • Spring turkey – $125

Illinois Hunting Season Dates

Deer:

  • Firearm 1st Season – November 16, 17 and 18
  • Firearm 2nd Season – November 29-30, December 1-2
  • Muzzleloader 1st season – November 29-30, December 1-2
  • Muzzleloader Only Season – December 7-9
  • Archery – October 1 – January 20
  • Youth Firearm – October 6-8

Turkey:

  • Youth – March 25-26 South, April 1-2 North
  • Spring Shotgun or Archery – April 3 – May 4 South, April 10 – May 11 North
  • Fall shotgun – Oct 22-30
  • Fall archery – Oct 1 – Jan 15

Small Game:

  • Rabbit – Nov 5 – Feb 15, 4 daily, 10 in possession
  • Pheasant, Hungarian partridge, Bobwhite quail – Nov 5 – Jan 8 North, Nov 5 – Jan 15 South
  • Squirrel – Aug 1 – Feb 15 statewide – 5 daily, 10 in possession
  • Woodchuck – June 1 – March 31, no limit
  • Raccoon and opossum – Nov 5 – Feb 10 north, Nov 10 – Feb 15 south
  • Bobcat and fox – Nov 10 – Jan 31
  • Coyote and striped skunk – Year-round

Birds:

  • Teal – Sept 3-18, 6 daily, 18 in possession
  • Early Canada Geese – Sept 1-15
  • Ducks – Oct 15 – Jan 12 North, Oct 22 – Dec 20 central, Nov 11 – Jan 9 south-central, Nov 24 – Jan 22 south

Application Periods and Deadlines:

  • Deer firearm/muzzleloader – 1st lottery (residents only) March 13 – April 30, 2nd lottery May 1 – June 30, 3rd lottery July 1 – August 17.
  • Deer archery non-resident- June 1-30, Aug 7-31 OTC, Sept 1 – Jan 20 OTC
  • Deer archery residents – Aug 7 – Jan 20 OTC, Aug 7 – Sept 1 app period

There are additional seasons for Canada Geese, snow geese and several bird species. Check the complete season dates here –┬áhttps://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntSeasonDatesAndLimitInfo.pdf. Illinois hunters can access state lands but many hunters also focus on leases and private access. Areas with food plots and permanent blinds are ideal but public land hunters can set tree stands and game cameras. Check the rules for each individual area. Some areas are ok for semi-permanent stands while others are temporary only.

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