About the Illinois Hunting Season

White tailed deer along with all other wildlife belong to the people of Illinois. There are so many people who come out to make a living based on these animals. With as many available options as there are for hunting and using the beautiful public and private lands there’s a chance the conservationist system will last well into our futures.

Come out and enjoy all that there is to offer including watching nature up close and personal and getting in touch with it in a way that so many before have been able to do as well. With its snowy winters and warm summers there are options on how you would like to spend your time visiting or living up north! Be sure to check out the links below as well.

Illinois Hunting Seasons Offered

Big Game: Deer, Wild Turkey

Birds: Waterfowl, Upland game, Dove

​Deer Firearm and Muzzleloader Hunting 2021

  • First Firearm Deer Season: November 19, 20 & 21, 2021
  • Second Firearm Deer Season: December 2, 3, 4 & 5, 2021
  • Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season: December 10, 11 & 12, 2021 – Hunters may also use a muzzleloader permit with a muzzleloading rifle during Second Firearm Season December 2 – 5, 2021

Click here for more detailed information.

Deer Archery Hunting 2021 -2022

  • In Cook, DuPage and Lake counties, and that portion of Kane County east of State Rte 47: Oct 1 – Jan 16, 2022
  • In all other counties and that portion of Kane County west of State Rte 47: Oct 1, 2021 -Jan 16, 2022. EXCEPTION: Archery deer hunting is CLOSED during Firearm Seasons Nov. 19–21 & Dec. 2–5

Click here for more detailed information.

Turkey Hunting 2021 – 2022

  • Shotgun: Oct. 23 – Oct. 31, 2021. Only the county, counties, or special hunt area designated on your permit.
  • Archery: Oct 1, 2021 through Jan 16, 2022 EXCEPT closed during the 1st and 2nd Firearm Deer Hunting Seasons. All counties are open to the Fall Archery Turkey Season.
  • Please see table below for Spring 2022 dates and limits as they vary by season and zone.

Illinois Deer Hunting 2021-2022 Season Dates and Limits

(Counties with a firearm season
and west of Route 47 in Kane
Oct 1 – Nov 18
Nov 22 – Dec 1
Dec 6 – Jan 16 2022
One deer per
archery permit
**See footnote below
(Cook, DuPage, Lake and Kane
[east of route 47] Counties)
Oct 1 – Jan 16 2022One deer per
archery permit
**See footnote below
(Shotgun, Muzzleloader, Handgun)
Nov 19 – 21
Dec 2-5
One deer per
firearm permit
**See footnote below
MuzzleloaderDec 10 – 12One deer per
**See footnote below
Special CWD 30 Dec 2021 – 2 Jan 2022Dec 30 – Jan 2 2022
Jan 14 – 16 2022
One deer per
valid permit
Antlered deer limit in footnote
below does not apply to this season. See Special CWD Deer Hunting section for open counties.
Late Winter Antlerless
(Shotgun, Muzzleloader, Handgun)
Dec 30 – Jan 2 2022
Jan 14 – 16 2022
One antlerless
deer per permit
Counties open during this season
will be posted online in October.
Youth FirearmOct 9 – 11One deer**See footnote below
*No hunter, regardless of the quantity or type of permits in his/her possession, may harvest more than two antlered deer during a year, including the youth, archery, muzzleloader and firearm seasons except as allowed during the special CWD season. For this harvest limit, deer seasons are in the same year if their
opening dates are within the same 12-month period that begins July 1.

Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset

Public land sites open to late- winter deer seasons require a site- specific permit
Be sure to check with the the wildlife commission to confirm.

Illinois Turkey Season Dates and Limits 2021 – 2022

Oct 23 – 31One either-sex turkey per permit, maximum of 2 Fall Turkey Shotgun permitsSee map of fall firearm
turkey hunting below.
Oct 1 – Jan 16 2022One either-sex turkey per permit, maximum of 2 Fall Turkey Archery permitsSeason open in all counties, statewide. Closed during firearm deer season in counties open to firearm deer hunting.
(shotgun and archery)
SegmentNorth DatesSouth Dates
1Apr 11 – 15 2022Apr 4 – 8 2022
2Apr 16 – 21 2022Apr 9 – 14 2022
3Apr 22 – 27 2022Apr 15 – 20 2022
4Apr 24 – May 4 2022Apr 21 – 27 2022
5May 5 – 12 2022Apr 28 – May 5 2022

Spring Turkey Limit: One tom, jake or bearded hen per permit, maximum of 3 Spring permits

Spring Turkey Additional Regulations: See map of turkey hunting zones for specific season segments in each zone.

Illinois Hunting License Info

Purchase an Illinois specific license here:

Resident/ NonresidentLicenseCost
ResidentLifetime Hunting$360.00
ResidentLifetime Sportsman’s Combo
Hunting/Fishing License
ResidentSportsmen’s Combo Hunting/
Fishing License


NonresidentLandowner Deer
Firearm Permit
ResidentDeer Firearm lottery
Permit Application
(Either Sex)
ResidentDeer Firearm Lottery
Permit Application
(Antlerless Only)
ResidentDeer Muzzleloader
Lottery Permit Application (Either
Sex & Antlerless Only)
ResidentDeer Archery OTC
Permit (Antlerless

IL Hunting Lottery Application Dates

PermitApplication Date
1st Lottery (firearm deer drawing)March 10- April 30, 2020
2nd LotteryMay 1- June 30, 2020
3rd LotteryJuly 1- August 21, 2020

Illinois Hunting news

Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that maintains the health and abundance of game species and the balance of natural resources. There are many designated public hunting areas and a site specific permit might be required to hunt as well.

Find a Hunting Guide

Hunting Guides in Illinois

Official Sites and Links

Illinois State Regulations Site
Illinois Hunting Regulations PDF
Illinois Hunting Licenses and Permits