What to Know About Illinois Hunting Regulations

By Sam Feeder , last updated December 29, 2011

There are a variety of different things you should know about Illinois hunting regulations before you go hunting in the Land of Lincoln. Every state in America has different specific rules about what types of licenses hunters need to hunt game within their borders, the types of guns and ammunition they can use and how many animals they can kill per hunt, among other things. Illinois is no different, as they have a number of rules and regulations to protect the wildlife in their state from being over hunted. Check out a few of the most important things to know about hunting in Illinois, listed below.

Animals to Hunt in Illinois

There are specific animals that you are allowed to hunt in Illinois if you have the proper licenses. These animals entail white tail deer, wild turkey, upland small game species like pheasants, quail and cottontail rabbits, migratory waterfowl like ducks and other game birds, and furbearers, like raccoons, coyotes, gray fox opossum and striped skunk. All of the hunting seasons for these animals vary based on species and location in the state. You can find out specifics on when you can hunt each species of animal in the Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations or the Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations published by the state of Illinois.

Permits and Licenses Necessary

Anyone who wants to hunt anything in the state of Illinois will need to purchase a hunting license. These hunting licenses vary in price and requirements based on what you are hunting for, be it for commercial purposes or personal purposes. Hunting permits also vary based upon what specific animal you are planning on hunting. You will need a different permit for each animal you plan on hunting, on top of the hunting license. The hunting license requirement also varies based on how old you are, be it for a youth or a senior, and whether you are a resident or non-resident of the state.

More Paperwork Needed

Even more paperwork and approvals are needed beyond the permits and licenses alone, as Illinois wants to ensure everyone who is hunting in their state knows exactly what they are doing. A state habitat stamp will also be required on these licenses or permits, which can be purchased at a local post office. Anyone hunting who was born after the 1st of January, 1980 will need to have their Hunter Safety Education Certificate on hand. Anyone using firearms to hunt will also need a Firearm Owner Identification Card to be able to present to Illinois State Police upon request. Absence of any of this can result in a ticket and fine from the state.

What You Must Wear

All hunters in the state of Illinois are required to wear an orange vest over their hunting outfits, by law. This entails wearing an orange vest and hat that creates at least 400 square inches of orange blazer material. This applies to all hunters, be they hunting with firearms or bows and arrows. Certain hunters hate wearing these vests because they think it makes them stand out to the animals they are trying to hunt, so they will wear orange camouflage to try to satisfy state requirements and keep themselves hidden. However, this is not legal and will result in a ticket or fine if they are caught wearing it.

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