When is Deer Season in Illinois? Your Comprehensive Guide.

When is Deer Season in Illinois

Deer season in Illinois is an exciting time for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a chance to test your skills, enjoy the beauty of nature, and potentially bring home a prized trophy. But before you head out into the field, it’s important to know when deer season occurs in Illinois and what regulations are in place.

In Illinois, deer season is divided into various segments throughout the year. The archery season typically begins in early October and extends through the middle of January. This is the longest season and offers hunters ample opportunities to hunt deer using bows and crossbows. Archery season is a popular choice for many hunters due to the peacefulness of the woods and the challenge it presents.

Firearm deer season, on the other hand, is more restricted and happens in multiple phases. The first firearm season takes place for a few days in mid-November, usually following the archery season. The second firearm season occurs in early December, and there is also a Late Winter Antlerless-only Season in late December and early January. During firearm season, hunters can use shotguns, muzzleloaders, and other types of firearms as specified by state regulations.

Regulations and Licensing Requirements

To participate in deer season, hunters must possess the appropriate hunting licenses and tags. In Illinois, residents and non-residents are required to have a valid hunting license before they can purchase deer permits. It’s important to note that there are separate licenses for archery and firearm season, and hunters must choose the appropriate license type based on their preferred method of hunting.

In addition to the hunting license, deer hunters in Illinois must also have a valid deer permit. The number of permits available is limited, and hunters must apply and be selected through a lottery system. This ensures the sustainability of the deer population and maintains a balanced ecosystem. It’s crucial to review the state’s regulations and obtain the necessary permits before heading out to hunt.

Bag Limits and Harvest Reporting

Bag limits in Illinois vary depending on the season and the county in which you are hunting. During the archery season, hunters can only harvest one antlered deer per season, regardless of the number of permits they possess. Firearms seasons may have different bag limits, so it’s essential to review the regulations specific to the season you plan to hunt.

After harvesting a deer, hunters must report their harvest within 48 hours using the Harvest Reporting System. This system allows the state to collect data about the number and demographics of deer harvested each year. Reporting your harvest is a legal requirement, and failure to do so may result in fines and penalties. It’s crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure the proper management of the deer population.

Frequently Asked Questions For When Is Deer Season In Illinois? Your Comprehensive Guide.

What Are The Hunting Seasons In Illinois?

Hunting seasons in Illinois include deer, turkey, waterfowl, and upland game seasons. Each has specific dates and regulations set by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

How Long Does Deer Season Last In Illinois?

Deer season in Illinois typically lasts for several months, usually starting in October and ending in January. The exact dates may vary each year, so it is essential to check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website for the current season dates.

Can You Hunt Deer With A Rifle In Illinois?

Yes, deer can be hunted with rifles in specific counties in Illinois. However, there are regulations in place, such as caliber restrictions and specific permits required for rifle hunting. Always ensure you follow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources guidelines.

What Is The Bag Limit For Deer In Illinois?

The bag limit for deer in Illinois varies depending on the county and the type of deer being hunted. It is crucial to review the regulations set by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to know the bag limit for a specific area.


Deer season in Illinois is a thrilling time for hunters, but it’s important to understand the regulations and follow them carefully. Whether you prefer archery or firearm hunting, knowing the specific dates, licensing requirements, bag limits, and harvest reporting guidelines is crucial. By adhering to these regulations, you can enjoy a safe and successful deer hunting season while also helping to maintain a healthy and sustainable deer population in Illinois.

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