Illinois Hunting Seasons, 2017-2018

During Illinois hunting seasons, you’ll find a variety of standard game animals, including deer, turkey, rabbit and other small game.

Illinois offers online hunting permit registration and purchase, and permits are available for state residents and nonresidents. For some small game, permits are free of charge.

Deer Seasons


Oct. 1-Jan. 14


Nov. 20-Dec. 3
Dec. 8-10


Nov. 17-19
Nov. 20-Dec. 3

Late Winter & Special CWD Season

Dec. 28-31
Jan. 12-14

Youth Hunt, Firearms

Oct. 7-9

* Season may vary by county. For more on hunting in a specific region, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

Wild Turkey Seasons

Fall Firearms

Oct. 21-29

Fall Archery

Oct.1-Jan. 14*

Spring Season
(Firearms or Archery)

South: TBD
North: TBD

Youth Hunt

South: Mar. 31-Apr. 1
North: Apr. 7-8

* Closed during firearms deer season.

Small Game Seasons

Cottontail/Swamp Rabbit

Nov. 5-Feb. 15

Daily: 4
Possession: 10

Cock Pheasant

Nov. 5-Jan.15*

Daily: 2
Possession: 6

Hungarian Partridge

Nov. 5-Jan.15*

Daily: 2
Possession: 6

Bobwhite Quail

Nov. 5-Jan.15*

Daily: 8
Possession: 20

Fox/Gray Squirrel

Aug. 1-Feb. 15**

Daily: 5
Possession: 10


Jun. 1-Mar. 31**

No Limit

*The season ends on Jan. 8 in Northern Illinois
**Season is closed Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4 in counties open for firearm deer hunting.


The state of Illinois does have strict firearms laws that may affect transportation of hunting guns and ammunition within the state. For additional information about gun transportation and storage laws during hunting season, read through the Illinois State Police ‘Commonly Asked Questions’ brochure.

Bag limits, special seasons and hunting regulations for Illinois hunting seasons do vary based on animal and seasons. For more information on obtaining licenses, permits and regulations, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.