Bow Hunting in Illinois During Shotgun Season: What You Need to Know


Bow hunting has become increasingly popular in recent years, and many hunters have been asking whether it’s possible to bow hunt during shotgun season in Illinois. This is a valid question given the state’s regulations, so let’s dive deeper into the topic.

The Regulations on Bow Hunting During Shotgun Season

In Illinois, hunting with firearms is allowed during shotgun season, which typically runs from late November to mid-December. However, bow hunting during this time period is usually not permitted. According to state law, only those who possess a valid firearm deer permit are allowed to hunt with firearms during shotgun season. If you’re caught using a bow and arrow instead of a firearm during this time period without proper authorization, you could face steep fines or even jail time.

Exceptions to the Rule

While bow hunting isn’t normally allowed during shotgun season in Illinois for safety reasons (given that there will be many people out at once), there are some exceptions that may apply depending on what county you reside in or if you qualify for certain permits as stated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It’s always best to check your local DNR office before going out into the field just to be sure.

Tips for Bow Hunting Outside of Shotgun Season

Fortunately for archery enthusiasts, there are plenty of opportunities outside of shotgun season where they can freely pursue their passion. For instance –there’s early archery deer season that typically begins around October 1st each year and lasts until January 19th! Additionally – late winter antlerless-only seasons begin after Christmas all across Illinois making it an exceptional way for hunters start off their new year right!

With these tips and information about regulations in mind – happy hunting!