A Brief Overview of Hunting in Illinois
In some States, hunting feels like running away from the law. You have to constantly be on the lookout for some legal loophole; there is always something restricting you, holding you back, simply because your profession is deemed ‘dangerous towards the environment’. If you aren’t careful, your life as a hunter can quickly be over. However, the entire world doesn’t spin the same way round.
Take Illinois as an example. The Prairie State has a rich history of hunters, both native and American, and its landscape, as much as it has changed over the centuries, is still coveted and treasured by its citizens.
That hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the favorite States to go hunting in, though. Thankfully, Illinois’ politicians have realized that regulating every single square inch of Illinois’ land is no fun, so there’s a lot of freedom to exercise if you want to enter it as a hunter. The State of Illinois and its Natural Resources Department sees hunters as an important part of the natural ecosystem, just as important as the animals and plants themselves. There is almost no limit to who can hunt, where hunting is permitted and what kind of game can be hunted. Of course, it’s not that simple in practice, though.
For example, there are quite strictly enforced rules on what equipment is allowed. You have to wear blaze orange when hunting deer with firearms—don’t ask why, but it really is that specific sometimes.
Furthermore, protected species, of which there are lots, may not be hunted with anything but bow and arrow or a gun. So, those two might be your only weapons of choice when it comes to hunting in Illinois, really, as anything else is strictly policed and only allowed in very certain, precise circumstances.
Needless to say, you’ll also need your fair share of licenses, like anywhere else in the US, from gun ownership licenses to hunting licenses. Thankfully, these are very easily obtained, online license.
*Remember that the law doesn’t discriminate based on residency—you want to hunt in Illinois?
You need to abide by the local rules, then. Simple as that.
Okay, having taken all that bureaucratic gibberish in, what really awaits you in The Prairie State as a hunter?
Diversity, that’s what. Both the flora and fauna of Illinois are truly incredible in person, and since there are almost no limits to where you can go to hunt, you’ll truly have a chance to see it all.
From your usual turkey and deer to rare avian species not found anywhere else—Illini’s got literally hundreds of them—and exotic mammals like wolves, jackals, bobcats and more, there is a broad spectrum of game to explore and hunt. Not to even mention the State’s geography!
You’ll need to conquer everything from steep mountaintops, valleys, riverbanks to deep forests on your average hunting trip here, especially in the northern parts of the state—they’re the most rural and natural, while the southwest is the most densely populated and thus the most urbanized.
No matter where exactly you go, though, Illinois is truly magical to go hunting in.
See you there and good hunting!