Hunting Illinois Deer

If you would like to hunt trophy whitetails, hunting Illinois deer should be considered. Illinois is well known throughout the whitetail hunting community as the land of the giants, and is always on the short list for top deer hunting destinations.

Mel Johnson with his World Record Pope and Young Typical Whitetail
Mel Johnson’s 1965 Peoria County buck sets atop the P&Y record book as the world’s largest typical ever taken by a bowhunter, with a net score of 204 4/8.

Hunting Illinois deer:

  • Above average trophy quality.
  • Our outfitters keep hunting pressure low and quality high. Many of them have a self imposed rule where they only allow themselves to harvest deer no less than 140″.
  • Seasons go from the beginning of October to the beginning of December.
  • You can hunt from the beginning of October, through the rut, and into December.
  • Illinois is a draw state, but the archery tags never sell out, which basically makes it an over-the-counter tag.
  • Tags are more expensive than some other states.
  • More than 95% of Illinois is privately owned. Only about 900,000 acres are public, and fewer than 10,000 deer are taken on those acres each season. However, the DNR is good about managing what it does have. It even produces public hunting area reports every year. These are excellent tools for planning a potential hunt.

Best Counties to Hunt in Illinois

Based on a compilation of the last few years, the best counties in Illinois for deer hutting are as follows:

  • Calhoun County
  • Pike County
  • Brown County
  • Pope County
  • Hardin County
  • Jefferson County
  • Johnson County
  • Williamson County
  • Union
  • Schuyler

West-Central Illinois Deer Hunting in the Golden Triangle

Best Counties for Whitetail Deer in Illinois
Best Counties for Whitetail Deer in Illinois

Adams, Hancock, and Pike County in West-Central Illinois make up the famed Golden Triangle of Illinois deer hunting. For the trophy of a lifetime, look know further. The whitetail found in Adams, Hancock and Pike county are like nothing you will have ever seen before.

Since Pope & Young (P&Y) records began, archers just in this small corner of the state have recorded well over 1,000 qualifying bucks, with hunters in Pike County alone accounting for almost 600. That puts Pike second only to Wisconsin’s Buffalo County in terms of all-time P&Y whitetails.

Whitetail Hunts Offered by Outdoors International

Are you interested in booking a hunt?

Ask For Pricing or More Information

Here are some other hunts that you might like:

Ask us about a trip

Request Pricing, Availability or More Information

Just fill out the form below, and please be thorough so we can get you exactly the type of hunt you're looking for.

Outdoors International

Discover why thousands of hunters have trusted us with their adventures.

Talk To a Hunting Consultant Meet An Outfitter