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Illinois Hunting Seasons

We set out to create the most simplified guide to Illinois hunting seasons for 2021-2022.

Want to find out season dates, learn about regulations and bag limits, understand license requirements, and get access helpful links?

Then you’ll love the info outlined in today’s guide. Let’s dive right in.

Illinois Hunting Seasons

Illinois Hunting

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

Illinois Deer Seasons

SeasonDatesLimitsDetails
Archery
(Counties with a firearm season
and west of Route 47 in Kane
County)
Oct 1 - Nov 18
Nov 22 - Dec 1
Dec 6 - Jan 16 2022
One deer per
archery permit
**See footnote below
Archery
(Cook, DuPage, Lake and Kane
[east of route 47] Counties)
Oct 1 - Jan 16 2022One deer per
archery permit
**See footnote below
Firearm
(Shotgun, Muzzleloader, Handgun)
Nov 19 - 21
Dec 2-5
One deer per
firearm permit
**See footnote below
MuzzleloaderDec 10 - 12One deer per
muzzleloader
permit
**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.

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

Illinois Deer Archery Season 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

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 Wild Turkey Seasons

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.

SeasonDatesLimitDetails
Fall
(shotgun)
Oct 23 - 31One either-sex turkey per permit, maximum of 2 Fall Turkey Shotgun permitsSee map of fall firearm
turkey hunting below.
Fall
(archery)
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.
Spring
(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 Small Game Seasons

Bobwhite Quail: November 6 - January 15

Hungarian Partridge: November 6 - January 15

Rabbit: November 6 - February 15

Gray and Fox Squirrel: August 1 - February 15 (closed during deer firearms seasons)

Crow: October 28 - February 28

Illinois Hunting Zones

See the map below for a breakdown of Illinois's hunting zones:

Illinois Bag Limits

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

Deer bag limit: One ANTLERLESS deer per legally authorized permit. Only ANTLERLESS deer may be harvested during Late-Winter Deer Season. An antlerless deer is defined as a deer without antlers or a deer having antlers less than 3 inches long.

Illinois Hunting License

Resident/ NonresidentLicenseCost
ResidentHunting$12.50
ResidentLifetime Hunting$360.00
ResidentLifetime Sportsman's Combo
Hunting/Fishing License
$765.00
ResidentSportsmen’s Combo Hunting/
Fishing License
$26.25

Illinois Hunting Permits

Resident/
Nonresident
PermitFee
ResidentLandowner
application
0.00
NonresidentLandowner Deer
Firearm Permit
Application
$175.00
ResidentDeer Firearm lottery
Permit Application
(Either Sex)
$25.00
ResidentDeer Firearm Lottery
Permit Application
(Antlerless Only)
$17.50
ResidentDeer Muzzleloader
Lottery Permit Application (Either
Sex & Antlerless Only)
$42.50
ResidentDeer Archery OTC
Permit (Antlerless
Only)
$15.50

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 Regulations

Hunting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset

Successful hunters must register their harvest by 10:00 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer was taken by calling the toll-free telephone check-in system at 1-866-ILCHECK or by accessing the online check-in system at www.dnr.illinois.gov/Hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx

Helpful Resources

Official State Site: https://huntillinois.org/

FAQs
Will Illinois allow rifles for deer hunting 2021?

You can hunt with shotguns, loaded with slugs only, single or double barreled muzzleloading rifles of at least .45 caliber, and centerfire revolvers or centerfire single-shot handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a minimum barrel length of 4 inches.

What animals can you hunt in Illinois?

You can hunt deer, turkey, coyote, bobcat, fox, pheasant, quail, duck, goose and dove in Illinois.

What hunting season is it in Illinois?

Hunting seasons vary by weapon, animal and zone so please refer to our detailed page or the official state site for more info.

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Born in the northeast, Hunters Guides originally began as a resource to help hunters navigate complex season regulations. After a few months, we realized there was a greater opportunity to help promote hunting. So we started creating the resource we wish existed - a site rich with videos, tutorials and how-to's.

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