When Does Bow Hunting Season End In Illinois

Affiliate Disclaimer: If you purchase items through a link we may earn commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

As an avid bow hunter in Illinois, I know firsthand the excitement and anticipation that comes with the hunting season. Bow hunting not only allows for a thrilling and challenging experience, but it also provides an opportunity to connect with nature and test our skills as hunters. However, it’s important to be aware of the regulations surrounding hunting seasons, including when the bow hunting season ends in Illinois.

In Illinois, the bow hunting season typically starts in early October and extends through early January. The exact dates may vary slightly from year to year, so it’s essential to consult the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for the most up-to-date information. This ensures that you are hunting within the legal boundaries and avoid any unnecessary penalties.

One thing I appreciate about bow hunting in Illinois is the extended season. Unlike firearm hunting, which has a more limited timeframe, bow hunting provides us with the opportunity to be out in the field for a more extended period. This allows for more chances to observe deer behavior, explore different hunting locations, and increase our chances of a successful hunt.

When planning my hunting season, I like to take into consideration the timing of the rut, which is the peak breeding period for deer. In Illinois, the rut typically occurs in late October to early November. During this time, deer are more active and more likely to respond to calls and attractants. It’s an exciting time to be in the woods, as you never know what you might encounter.

One thing to note is that Illinois has different regulations and seasons for different counties. Some counties may have a shorter bow hunting season or different restrictions, such as antler point restrictions. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations for the county where you plan to hunt. The IDNR website is a valuable resource for finding this information and staying up to date with any changes or updates.

As the bow hunting season in Illinois comes to an end in early January, it’s important to reflect on the season’s experiences and successes. Whether you were fortunate enough to harvest a deer or not, the memories made and the time spent in nature are invaluable. The end of the season also marks the beginning of a period of reflection and preparation for the next hunting season.

Overall, bow hunting in Illinois offers a unique and rewarding experience. The extended season, the thrill of the hunt, and the beauty of nature all contribute to making it a cherished pastime for many outdoor enthusiasts. Just remember to always prioritize safety, respect the laws and regulations, and embrace the experiences that come with being a bow hunter in Illinois.


Bow hunting season in Illinois is an exciting time for outdoor enthusiasts like myself. With its extended timeframe, it provides ample opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature, test our skills as hunters, and create unforgettable memories. Remember to stay up to date with the regulations and guidelines set by the IDNR to ensure a safe and legal hunting experience. Happy hunting!