ILLINOIS LAWS & REGULATIONS
What are the Hunting Laws and Regulations in Illinois?
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources manage, conserves and protects Illinois’ natural, recreational and cultural resources, further the public’s understanding and appreciation of those resources. When hunting season begins in Illinois, all hunters must have a valid hunting license along with required permits and stamps depending on the hunted specie. It is unlawful to surpass the daily limit as well as sell, buy, or negotiate any game without a permit. No hunter shall trespass private land without having permission and damage the natural habitats of the species. It is also unlawful to hunt while being in a powered-on vehicle or use any aircraft to locate the hunted game.
*Visit Illinois Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guidebook for More Information*
The white-tailed deer is the most hunted game animal in Illinois. To have a successful hunt during the white-tailed deer season, all hunters must have a hunting license, harvest record, and a wildlife management permit. There is a limitations to the deer you can harvest. To learn more on the rules and regulations refer Illinois Deer Hunting Guide.
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 a State Habitat Stamp.
- First Firearm Deer Season: November 20, 21 & 22, 2020
- Second Firearm Deer Season: December 3, 4, 5 & 6, 2020
- Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season: December 11, 12 & 13, 2020
- Hunters may also use a muzzleloader permit with a muzzleloading rifle during 2nd Firearm Season December 3 – 6, 2020
*Seasons differ based on sex, antlerless and buck hunts in different zones – Visit Illinois Deer Hunting Guide for specific zones*
In order to hunt turkey in Illinois, a person needs to have a valid hunting license a state habitat stamp and a turkey permit. IDNR allows turkey hunting at many of our owned or managed sites. Hunting is also allowed on private property IF you have received prior permission from the landowner or tenant.
After a successful hunt, you are required to report the harvest by 3:00 p.m. for Spring Turkey Season and by 10:00 p.m. for the Fall Turkey Seasons that same day. Several measurements are required before either method of check-in can be completed.
- Spring Youth Season – The two consecutive weekends prior to the opening of South Zone’s first season.
- Spring South Zone Season – Begins on the first Monday in April after April 2 and ends 32 days later. Lengths for each season (in days) are 5, 6, 6, 7 and 8, respectively.
- Spring North Zone Season -Same as South Zone except one week later.
- Fall Gun Season-The nine days beginning on Saturday of the second complete two-day weekend (Saturday and Sunday) after Oct. 10.
- Fall Archery Season – Oct. 1 through the first Sunday after Jan. 13, except closed during firearm deer seasons.
*Seasons may vary for more information – Visit Illinois Turkey Guide*
Illinois has a large enough population to allow trapping of Red Foxes. These creatures are rare in most parts of America making them exempt in most states. Foxes fall under the furbearers guide lines so for more information refer to Illinois Furbearer Hunting Guide.
- General Trapping Season: Nov 10 2020 – Feb 15 2021