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Illinois

Hunting

Deer Hunting Seasons

Deer Firearm and Muzzleloader Hunting Information

​2021 SEASON DATES

  • 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

2021 FIREARM/MUZZLELOADER DEER SEASON INFORMATION SHEET

Click here for the 2021 Firearm and Muzzleloader Deer Season Hunting Regulations & Harvest Reporting Information Sheet.

2021 FIREARM/MUZZLELOADER DEER SEASON INFORMATION SHEET FOR CWD-TESTING COUNTIES

Click here for the 2021 Firearm Deer Season Hunting Regulations Information Sheet for CWD-Testing Counties. Testing of deer for Chronic Wasting Disease by IDNR personnel will occur (so long as funding is available) during the Firearm Deer Season dates Nov. 19 - 21, 2021 and Dec. 2 - 5, 2021.

LOTTERY APPLICATION PERIODS

*Landowner permit applicants, please refer to note at bottom of page if you also plan to apply in the Lottery Drawings 1st Lottery: March 9, 2021 - April 30, 2021

2nd Lottery: May 1, 2021 - June 30, 2021

  • Illinois residents who did not apply/were not successful in the 1st Lottery Drawing
  • Nonresidents
  • Firearm - Limit 1 application (online or paper application)
  • Muzzleloader - Limit 1 application (online or paper application)
  • Click here to submit an online application (nonresident application available May 1, 2021)
  • Click here to print and mail a paper application (nonresident application available May 1, 2021)
  • Group Hunt applications are accepted in the 2nd Lottery

3rd Lottery: July 1, 2021 - August 20, 2021

  • Illinois residents and nonresidents
  • No application limit for Firearm or Muzzleloader
  • Click here to submit an online application
  • Click here to print and mail a paper application
  • Group Hunt applications are NOT accepted in the 3rd Lottery
  • County-specific Firearm and Muzzleloader permits remaining after the 3rd Lottery Drawing will be available for sale only over the counter at License Vendors beginning October 19, 2021, on a first-come, first-served basis

LANDOWNER APPLICANTS: The application deadline date for 2021 Resident and Nonresident Landowner Fall Turkey and Deer applications is September 1, 2021. Landowner applications received after September 1, 2021, will not be processed for 2021.
* Individuals who have received a Landowner permit, or who have submitted application for a Landowner permit that is still pending, may not apply for additional permits in the First or Second Lottery Firearm Deer Drawing, but may apply in the Third Lottery Firearm Drawing. Landowners who receive permits in the First or Second Lottery Firearm Deer Drawing are not eligible for Landowner Firearm Deer permits. These individuals, however, are eligible to apply for additional permits in the First or Second Lottery Muzzleloader Deer Drawing.​​

Firearm Deer Check Stations

Deer Archery Hunting Information

2021-2022 DEER ARCHERY HUNTING SEASON DATES:

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

2021-2022 DEER ARCHERY INFORMATION SHEET

Click here for the 2021-2022 Archery Deer Hunting Regulations & Harvest Reporting Information Sheet

NON-RESIDENTS

DATES TO PURCHASE OR APPLY FOR ARCHERY DEER PERMITS

  • Between June 1 - June 30, 2021: Combination Deer Archery Permit (1 either-sex and 1 antlerless-only permit). Online application only.

  • Between August 3, 2021 - January 16, 2022: Combination Deer Archery permit OR a Single Deer Archery Antlerless-Only Permit. Purchase over the counter at a License Vendor.

Non-Resident applicants may apply for and receive a maximum of one Nonresident Combination Archery Deer permit during a license year. (Receiving Nonresident Landowner Archery Deer permits does not preclude the recipient from also applying for and receiving the regular Nonresident Combination Archery Deer permit.)

Non-Residents may not purchase a Combination Archery Deer permit after September 30 if they have previously purchased any Single Antlerless-Only Archery Deer permit for the current deer season.

ILLINOIS RESIDENTS

DATES TO PURCHASE OR APPLY FOR ARCHERY DEER PERMITS

  • Between August 1, 2021 - September 1, 2021 - Single Deer Archery Either-Sex Permit. Must complete and mail a paper application.

  • Between August 3, 2021 - January 16, 2022 - Combination Deer Archery Permit or a Single Deer Archery Antlerless-Only Permit. Purchase over the counter at a License Vendor only.

Youth Firearm Deer Season Information

2021 YOUTH FIREARM DEER SEASON: October 9 - 11, 2021

  • The Youth Firearm Deer Season is only open to hunters who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the opening date of the season.
  • The $10.50 Youth Firearm Either-Sex Deer Permit is available to eligible resident and nonresident youths. The statewide-issued permit is valid on private land, with landowner permission, or on public land sites open to the Youth Firearm Deer Season.
  • Hunters may only purchase one Youth Firearm Deer permit (available for purchase over the counter August 3, 2021 - October 11, 2021).
  • In addition to their permit, all eligible youth hunters must have a current, valid hunting license (see Other Requirements below).

Click here to view the 2021 Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Hunting Information Sheet.Click here to view the list of public land sites open to hunt the 2021 Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Season.

DATES TO PURCHASE A PERMIT

  • August 3, 2021 - October 11, 2021: Purchase over the counter at a License Vendor only. Please note: Youth Firearm Deer Season permits cannot be replaced after October 11, 2021.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

In addition to a 2021 Youth Firearm Deer Permit, all eligible youth hunters must have a current, valid Hunting License (may be a Youth Hunting & Trapping license, an Apprentice Hunting License, or a Regular Hunting License), unless exempt. Purchase online or over the counter at a License Vendor.

2020-2021 Late-Winter Deer Season Hunting Information

SEASON DATES: December 31, 2020 - January 3, 2021 and January 15-17, 2021

HUNTING HOURS: One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

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.

PERMIT REQUIREMENTS: Illinois resident hunters must purchase a valid Late-Winter Deer Season permit OR have a valid unfilled deer permit. Nonresident hunters must have a valid unfilled deer permit.

HUNTING ON PRIVATE LAND COUNTIES OPEN TO LATE-WINTER DEER SEASON

  • Brown
  • Clay
  • Crawford
  • Effingham
  • Fulton
  • Hamilton
  • Henderson
  • Knox
  • Lee
  • Macoupin
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • McDonough
  • Mercer
  • Monroe
  • Perry
  • Putnam
  • Rock Island
  • Saline
  • Shelby

OBTAIN A PERMIT

1. Purchase an OTC county-specific Late-Winter Deer Season permit:
a. Sold over the counter by IDNR License Vendors - Illinois residents only b. No purchase limit
c. Fee $18.00
d. Available December 8, 2020, through January 17, 2021

OR

2. During Late-Winter Deer Season, persons hunting on private land may use an unfilled deer permit valid for the previous firearm, muzzleloader* or youth deer season and valid for one of the open counties listed above. Unfilled firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are valid only forthecountyforwhichtheywereoriginallyissued. Unfilledlandownerfirearmdeerpermitsare valid only for the farmlands that the person to whom it was issued owns, leases or rents, in the open counties. Unfilled youth deer permits issued as part of the statewide youth-only deer hunting season are valid for all the open counties listed above. *Hunters using an unfilled muzzleloader deer permit may only use a muzzleloading rifle.

HUNTING ON PUBLIC LAND

PUBLIC LAND SITES OPEN TO LATE-WINTER DEER SEASON

(REQUIRE A SITE-SPECIFIC PERMIT)

Franklin Creek SNA in Lee County

OBTAIN A PERMIT

Online-only application for a Lottery-Drawn site-specific permit a. Illinois residents only

b. Application limit – 1
c. Fee $17.50
d. Available October 27, 2020, through November 23, 2020

https://www.il.wildlifelicense...

PUBLIC LAND SITES OPEN TO LATE-WINTER DEER SEASON

(REQUIRE A COUNTY-SPECIFIC PERMIT FOR THE COUNTY IN WHICH SITE IS LOCATED)

  • Brown County - Spunky Bottoms Unit of Weinberg-King SP; Buckhorn Unit of Siloam Springs
  • Crawford County - Crawford County SWA
  • Effingham County - Wildcat Hollow SHA
  • Hamilton County - Hamilton County SFWA; Ten Mile Creek SFWA (Dahlgren and Goshen Trail Units only)
  • Henderson County - Big River SF; Mississippi River Pool 18
  • Knox County - Spoon River SF
  • Lee County - Green River SWA
  • McDonough County - Argyle Lake SP
  • Mercer County - Mississippi River Pool 17
  • Perry County - Pyramid SP (Captain, Denmark and Galum units only)
  • Putnam County - George S. Park SNA; Miller Anderson Woods (Putnam portion only)
  • Rock Island County - Mississippi River Pool 16
  • Saline County - Sahara Woods SFWA; Saline County SFWA

OBTAIN A PERMIT

1. Purchase an OTC county-specific Late-Winter Deer Season permit:
a. Sold over the counter by IDNR License Vendors - Illinois residents only b. No purchase limit
c. Fee $18.00
d. Available December 8, 2020, through January 17, 2021

OR

2. As in years past, unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, and youth firearm permits for the county in which the site is located will be valid for Late-Winter Deer Season at the sites listed above. Unfilled site-specific firearm or muzzleloader deer permits are also valid for the sites listed above. Unless otherwise listed, where site boundaries extend over more than one county, only the portion of the site that lies within an open county is open to hunting.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

In addition to your Late-Winter Deer Season permit, you must have the following:

Hunting License: A valid Illinois Hunting, Sportsman’s, Youth, or Apprentice License unless you are:

    1. A disabled person with a State ID card available from the Secretary of State through the driver license examining station showing a P2, P2A, H2 or H2A disability.
    2. A disabled veteran with a Veterans disability card (at least 10% service related); available from local Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs offices.
    3. An Illinois resident on active duty and on leave from the U.S. Armed Forces.
    4. A landowner or tenant residing on farmlands, or the children, parents, brothers and sisters

    Habitat Stamp: Before any person 18 years of age or older takes, attempts to take or pursues a deer, he or she shall first obtain a State Habitat Stamp. Disabled veterans and former prisoners of war shall not be required to obtain State Habitat Stamps. Any person who obtained a Lifetime License before January 1, 1993, shall not be required to obtain a State Habitat Stamp.

    FOID Card (issued by Illinois State Police): Regardless of who owns the gun, anyone who has a firearm, including muzzleloaders, or firearm ammunition in their possession must have in their possession a valid Firearms Owner’s I.D. (FOID) Card unless he or she is:

    A licensed out-of-state-sportsman hunting in Illinois, or under the age of 21 and under the immediate control of a parent, guardian, or responsible adult who has in their possession a valid FOID Card. For FOID Card information, call 217-782-7980.

    REPORTING DEER HARVEST

    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. They will be provided with a confirmation number to verify that they checked in their harvest. This number must be written by the hunter on the temporary harvest tag (leg tag). If the condition of the tag precludes writing on the tag in the appropriate space (i.e., bloody, etc.), the confirmation number shall be written elsewhere on the tag, or onto a piece of paper and attached to the deer along with the temporary harvest tag. The deer must remain whole (or field dressed) until it has been checked in. In instances where deer are checked in while the hunter is still afield, the deer may not be dismembered while afield beyond quartering the animal. If quartered, all parts of the carcass (except the entrails removed during field dressing) must be transported together and evidence of sex must remain naturally attached to one quarter. Evidence of sex is:

    A. For a buck: head with antlers attached to carcass or attached testicle scrotum, or penis.

    B. For a doe: head attached to carcass or attached udder (mammary) or vulva.

      The harvest tag (leg tag) and confirmation number must remain attached to the deer until it is at the legal residence of the person who legally took or possessed the deer and final processing is completed. If the head/antlers are delivered to a taxidermist for processing, the confirmation number must be recorded on the "head tag" portion of the permit and both must remain with the deer while at the taxidermist. If the carcass is taken to a meat processor, the harvest tag (leg tag) with confirmation number must remain with the deer while it is processed and until it is at the legal residence of the person who legally took or possessed the deer. Persons delivering deer/parts of deer to a tanner for processing must supply the tanner with either their deer permit number, their confirmation number, or a written certification by the person from whom the deer was received that the specimen was legally taken or obtained.

      Please call 217-782-7305 or email us at DNR.Permits1@illinois.gov if you have any questions.

      For IDNR site-specific information:

      Hunter Fact Sheets - https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/h...;Hunt Illinois – https://huntillinois.org/

      2020-2021 Special CWD Deer Season Hunting Information

      Map CWD / Late Winter (AO) ONLY Counties

      SEASON DATES: December 31, 2020 – January 3, 2021 and January 15 -17, 2021

      HUNTING HOURS: One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

      BAG LIMIT: One deer per legally authorized either-sex or antlerless-only permit. Deer taken during the Special CWD Deer Season are not subject to the antlered deer bag limit restrictions imposed during t he firearm, muzzleloader, youth and archery deer hunting seasons.

      PERMIT REQUIREMENTS: Hunters must purchase a valid CWD Deer Season permit OR have a valid unfilled deer permit from the previous firearm, muzzleloader or youth deer season. Persons using an unfilled deer permit may only take deer appropriate for that permit type (either-sex or antlerless-only).

      Late Winter CWD/Deer Seasons

      HUNTING ON PRIVATE LAND

      COUNTIES OPEN TO SPECIAL CWD DEER SEASON

      • Boone
      • Carroll
      • DeKalb
      • Grundy
      • JoDaviess
      • Kane
      • Kankakee
      • Kendall
      • LaSalle
      • Livingston
      • McHenry
      • Ogle
      • Stephenson
      • Will
      • Winnebago

      OBTAIN A PERMIT

      1. Purchase an OTC county-specific Special CWD Deer Season permit:
      a. Sold over the counter by IDNR License Vendors - Illinois residents and nonresidents b. No purchase limit
      c. Fee $5.50 (these permits are antlerless-only)
      d. Available December 8, 2020, through January 17, 2021

      OR

      2. During Special CWD Deer Season, persons hunting on private land may use an unfilled deer permit valid for the previous firearm, muzzleloader* or youth deer season and valid for one of the open counties listed above. Unfilled firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are valid only forthecountyforwhichtheywereoriginallyissued. Unfilledlandownerfirearmdeerpermitsare valid only for the farmlands that the person to whom it was issued owns, leases or rents, in the open counties. Unfilled youth deer permits issued as part of the statewide youth-only deer hunting season are valid for all the open counties listed above. *Hunters using an unfilled muzzleloader deer permit may only use a muzzleloading rifle.

      HUNTING ON PUBLIC LAND

      PUBLIC LAND SITES OPEN TO SPECIAL CWD DEER SEASON

      (REQUIRE A SITE-SPECIFIC PERMIT)

      • Apple River Canyon – Thompson/Salem Units SP in JoDaviess County
      • Castle Rock SP in Ogle County
      • French Bluff SNA in Carroll County
      • Goose Lake Prairie SNA/Heidecke SFWA/Morris Wetland in Grundy County
      • Hanover Bluff SNA in JoDaviess County
      • Kishwaukee River SFWA in DeKalb County
      • Lake Le-Aqua-Na SP in Stephenson County (Closed in 2020 for construction)
      • Lowden-Miller SF in Ogle County
      • Mississippi Palisades SP in Carroll County
      • Rall Woods (Falling Down Prairie) SNA in JoDaviess County
      • Starved Rock SP – includes Starved Rock SP, Mathiessen SP, Margery C Carlson SNA, Mitchell’s Grove SNA and Sandy Ford SNA in LaSalle County
      • Tapley Woods SNA in JoDaviess County
      • Wards Grove NP in JoDaviess County
      • White Pines SP in Ogle County
      • Winston Tunnel SNA in JoDaviess County
      • Witkowsky SWA in JoDaviess County

      OBTAIN A PERMIT

      Online-only application for a Lottery-Drawn site-specific permit (these are antlerless-only permits)

      a. Illinois residents only
      b. Application limit – 1
      c. Fee $17.50
      d. Available October 27, 2020, through November 23, 2020 https://www.il.wildlifelicense...

      PUBLIC LAND SITES OPEN TO SPECIAL CWD DEER SEASON

      (REQUIRE A COUNTY-SPECIFIC PERMIT FOR THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE SITE IS LOCATED)

      • Carroll County – Mississippi River Pool 13
      • JoDaviess County – Mississippi River Pool 12
      • LaSalle County – Marseilles SFWA (open only during first four-day segment of the Special CWD Deer season)

      OBTAIN A PERMIT

      1. Purchase an OTC county-specific Special CWD Deer Season permit:
      a. Sold over the counter by IDNR License Vendors - Illinois residents and nonresidents b. No purchase limit
      c. Fee $5.50 (these permits are antlerless-only)
      d. Available December 8, 2020, through January 17, 2021

      OR

      2. As in years past, unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, and youth firearm permits for the county in which the site is located will be valid for Special CWD Deer season at the site. Unfilled site-specific firearm or muzzleloader deer permits are also valid for the sites listed above. Unless otherwise listed, where site boundaries extend over more than one county, only the portion of the site that lies within an open county is open to hunting.

        ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

        In addition to your Special CWD Deer Season permit, you must have the following:

        Hunting License: A valid Illinois Hunting, Sportsman’s, Youth, or Apprentice License unless you are:

        1. A disabled person with a State ID card available from the Secretary of State through the driver license examining station showing a P2, P2A, H2 or H2Adisability.
        2. A disabled veteran with a Veterans disability card (at least 10% service related); available from local Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs offices.
        3. An Illinois resident on active duty and on leave from the U.S. Armed Forces.
        4. A landowner or tenant residing on farmlands, or the children, parents, brothers and sisters permanently residing on such lands, and hunting only the lands resided on.

        Habitat Stamp: Before any person 18 years of age or older takes, attempts to take or pursues a deer, he or she shall first obtain a State Habitat Stamp. Disabled veterans and former prisoners of war shall not be required to obtain State Habitat Stamps. Any person who obtained a Lifetime License before January 1, 1993, shall not be required to obtain a State Habitat Stamp.

        FOID Card (issued by Illinois State Police): Regardless of who owns the gun, anyone who has a firearm, including muzzleloaders, or firearm ammunition in their possession must have in their possession a valid Firearms Owner’s I.D. (FOID) Card unless he or she is:

        A licensed out-of-state-sportsman hunting in Illinois, or under the age of 21 and under the immediate control of a parent, guardian, or responsible adult who has in their possession a valid FOID Card. For FOID Card information, call 217-782-7980.

        REPORTING DEER HARVEST

        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 www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx. They will be provided with a confirmation number to verify that they checked in their harvest. This number must be written by the hunter on the temporary harvest tag (leg tag). If the condition of the tag precludes writing on the tag in the appropriate space (i.e., bloody, etc.), the confirmation number shall be written elsewhere on the tag, or onto a piece of paper and attached to the deer along with the temporary harvest tag. The deer must remain whole (or field dressed) until it has been checked in. In instances where deer are checked in while the hunter is still afield, the deer may not be dismembered while afield beyond quartering the animal. If quartered, all parts of the carcass (except the entrails removed during field dressing) must be transported together and evidence of sex must remain naturally attached to one quarter. Evidence of sex is:

        A. For a buck: head with antlers attached to carcass or attached testicle scrotum, or penis.

        B. For a doe: head attached to carcass or attached udder (mammary) or vulva.

          The harvest tag (leg tag) and confirmation number must remain attached to the deer until it is at the legal residence of the person who legally took or possessed the deer and final processing is completed. If the head/antlers are delivered to a taxidermist for processing, the confirmation number must be recorded on the "head tag" portion of the permit and both must remain with the deer while at the taxidermist. If the carcass is taken to a meat processor, the harvest tag (leg tag) with confirmation number must remain with the deer while it is processed and until it is at the legal residence of the person who legally took or possessed the deer. Persons delivering deer/parts of deer to a tanner for processing must supply the tanner with either their deer permit number, their confirmation number, or a written certification by the person from whom the deer was received that the specimen was legally taken or obtained.

          Please call 217-782-7305 or email us at DNR.Permits1@illinois.gov if you have any questions.

          For IDNR site-specific information:

          Hunter Fact Sheets - https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/... default.aspx Hunt Illinois –https://huntillinois.org/