Return of deer hunting season

Deer hunting season has officially returned to the Land of Lincoln. Deer archery hunting season began October 1 and will run through January 2024. For Illinois residents, the application for a single deer archery either-sex permit is already closed. A combination deer archery permit or a single deer archery antlerless-only permit are still available for purchase over the counter at a licensed vendor until January 14, 2024.

The first firearm deer season is scheduled from November 17 to November 19; the second firearm deer season is set from November 30 to December 3; and the muzzleloader-only deer season is set from December 8 to December 10.

All 2023 deer lottery application periods are now closed. However, remaining county-specific permits after the Lottery 3 drawings will be available for sale over the counter only at license vendors on a first-come, first-served basis beginning October 17. 

Important information to remember during the ongoing deer hunting season to remain safe and to avoid potential legal issues, includes:

  • You must have a valid Illinois Hunting, Sportsmen, Youth or Apprentice License in addition to your deer permit.
  • The hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
  • When in the field, be sure to wear your pink or orange outer garments.
  • Drive with caution in areas where deer crossing signs are posted, as hunting season can cause deer to be more active.

For more information on safe hunting in Illinois, visit:

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