Archery hunting around here is a big deal, and rightly so. About 90 percent of our whitetail hunting is done during bow seasons and we take pride in doing it extremely well. But Illinois does offer limited gun hunting opportunities. Because gun hunts aren’t as prevalent here, we often receive questions about these opportunities.
Here are three things you should know about the Illinois gun hunts.
- It’s Archery Style Hunting…with a Gun
Here at Hadley Creek Outfitters, we are set up for archery hunting. It’s what we specialize in. Our farms are laid out with archery hunting in mind, including stand locations, food plots and the larger agricultural scheme.
Considering how well we do during archery seasons each year, it’s clear why our gun hunters are so successful. We do have some specialty blinds for gun hunts. But most of our setups are designed with archery in mind. So when a situation requires reaching a little further across a field, our gun hunters are able to close the deal.
- Illinois Gun Seasons are Limited
Pike County, Adams County and the greater “golden triangle” area of Illinois has been known for decades for producing giant whitetail bucks. There are many reasons for that, including genetics, habitat and management. A part of that management equation is the fact that gun hunts are limited in Illinois.
Each year, there are two short gun seasons that account for 7 total days of hunting. Additionally, there is a short, three-day muzzleloader only season. Outside of these brief windows, hunters are limited to archery seasons. The state also offers a youth gun hunt, that is limited to hunters 17 or younger. This is a great opportunity to get kids out on a hunt!
- Gun Seasons Are Limited to Shotgun and Muzzleloader
Our Illinois gun hunts are limited to slug guns and muzzleloaders only. There are no high-powered rifle seasons. While nobody would argue the efficacy of a slug gun over a rifle, here at Hadley Creek it doesn’t really matter. Our setups are designed for archery anyway. A shotgun provides all the extra advantage you’d need during the limited gun season.
While it’s a small part of our season here in Illinois, the gun hunts are always a fun time when our hunters have a little extra reach. We do have a few openings left for the 2018 gun seasons. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us or give us a call at 217-335-3804.
Photos from the 2017 gun seasons: