Tags: Gun Control | hunting in illinois | top spots | prairie state

Hunting in Illinois: Top Spots for Hunting in the Prairie State

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 02:47 PM

From whitetail deer to waterfowl, turkey to coyote, The Prairie State has much to offer hunters in the way of species variety and available landscape. However, when it comes to hunting in Illinois, there are certainly locations that hit the mark, so to speak, when it comes to great hunting.

Here are the top spots for hunting in the Prairie State:

1. Mississippi River Pool 24
Underutilized most likely because the islands are only accessible by boat, these patches of land on the Illinois side of the Missouri-Illinois state line offer 10,211 acres of dense, woody hunting on federally owned land, ideal for deer hunting.

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2. Pike County
This Illinois county has had the highest number of deer harvests, including record-setting deer takes, of the state for the last 20 years. In 2013 7,241 of the animals were claimed. Brown and Adams counties join Pike County in forming a "Golden Triangle" of quality deer hunting and award-winning trophies.

3. Shawnee Forest
For squirrel, deer, and rabbit, and plenty of other game, Shawnee Forest in Southern Illinois is popular with hunters. While a fair amount of hunter presence exists, underutilized and less populated areas can be found by using a map to veer off the beaten path. Sometimes, all it requires is a hike through brush to find that sweet spot.

4. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

In Northern Illinois, this waterfowl refuge offers hunting for big game, upland game, waterfowl, migratory birds and furbearers on 44,000 acres that include hardwood forests, brushlands, wetlands, and more. Documented bird species have been numbered at 245 and mammals at 33.

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5. Jo Daviess County
The highest turkey hunt numbers were in this county in 2013, according to Game and Fish magazine. Hunters claimed 552 during the spring turkey season. A top hunting spot in the county is Apple River Canyon State Park, which includes seven separate hunting areas.

6. Trail of Tears
This state forest provides hunting opportunities for deer, turkey, squirrel, raccoon, and more and reports a fair quantity of each. The habitat is maintained so the population of animals thrives. The Ozark Hills Nature Preserve located in the forest is closed to hunting, but there are 4,784 acres available to hunters.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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From whitetail deer to waterfowl, turkey to coyote, The Prairie State has much to offer hunters in the way of species variety and available landscape.
hunting in illinois, top spots, prairie state
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 02:47 PM
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