News & Promotions

  • Save On 2016 Whitetail Hunts!
    Save On 2016 Whitetail Hunts!
    Posted by admin
    Now is the time to reserve your 2016 Whitetail Hunt. Prime dates get filled a year in a adance so don't wait to book your
  • Book Your 2015 Whitetail Hunt Now!
    Book Your 2015 Whitetail Hunt Now!
    Posted by admin
    Now is the time to reserve your 2015 whitetail deer hunting dates, especially if you want to come during a prime time!! We have some great hunting dates available, but they won't last long! The 2015 season should be one of the best in many years. If yo
  • Trail camera not just for big game
    Trail camera not just for big game
    Posted by admin
    Nowadays, just about everyone is using trail cameras for hunting, but the real question is, “Are you getting your money’s worth out of your camera and using it to its full potential?” Most hunters dust the camera off about mid-August to early September, s
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Tips from our Experts

  • Early Summer Whitetails…What Should(‘nt) I be doing?
    Early Summer Whitetails...What Should(‘nt) I be doing?
    Posted by admin
    For many of you die hard whitetail hunters there is an itch that you feel right now. An itch that, you so very much, would like to scratch. Turkey season is over, you have already drowned several dozen nightcrawlers, the green fields are growing, and th
  • Before the Spring Thaw…
    Before the Spring Thaw…
    Posted by admin
    As we enter the last week of February most people grow anxious for the warmth of spring. Although I share in this enthusiasm I know that there is work to be done before the flowers start to bloom. This is the optimum time of the year to make habitat imp
  • Here Comes the Fall...
    Here Comes the Fall...
    Posted by admin
    This time of the year is an exciting time for whitetail hunters. September marks the start of many states deer hunting season and for others it is the final month countdown to go time. With all of this anticipation there is usually a flurry of activity
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Recent Blogs

  • Connecting the Dots on Your Target Buck
    Connecting the Dots on Your Target Buck
    Posted by admin
    I’m flipping through hundreds of trail camera photos of does, yearlings, and small bucks using the small spring fed water hole in the late August heat and finally BOOM! A massive velvet toting rack fills my computer screen. After a few mesmerizing seconds
  • A Hunting Honeymoon = The Perfect Honeymoon
    A Hunting Honeymoon = The Perfect Honeymoon
    Posted by admin
    In just a few days, some friends of ours will celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary and of course, seeing their anniversary on the calendar reminded me of their wedding back in 2008. The groom is an avid hunter…and the bride was (and still is) his perfe
  • Are Deer Drives a Thing of The Past?
    Are Deer Drives a Thing of The Past?
    Posted by admin
    “Loop around this wooded funnel in the corn field and walk through, push something to me.” My father had just given a near holy task to me as a 12 year old boy, push a deer to him. As a young boy, spending a morning freezing with my dad was darn special
  • Building Your Waterfowl Blind Bag
    Building Your Waterfowl Blind Bag
    Posted by admin
    Building Your Blind Bag Wind howling, my brother and I looked at each other and traded our gear out quickly. Taking the bows out of the truck, we loaded our duck decoys, shotguns, boats and headed for the swamps. Mallards flew high, teal whistled b
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  • Anticipation!! I booked my hunt with Heartland Lodge in July of 2014 for the last week of October 2015.  I must say I have never had to endure a wait this long or this exciting.  My wife says I'm unbearable to live with.  I have all of my gear packed and ready to go (except my bow, got to practice) and can't wait to get to Illinois for my first ever Mid-West hunt.  I guide whitetail hunts in South Texas and I'm really looking forward to being the one guided this time!! I promise to write about my experience with Gary and Heartland Lodge when my hunt is complete at the end of October.  Ahh the ANTICPATION is killing me!! Happy hunting and shoot straight!!
    - Rick Myers-Beeville, TX
  • The experience was absolutely great!! While my son and I didn't shoot a deer, we had a great time.  We could have shot deer but chose to wait on a trophy. We can't wait to come back!!
    - Eric Stratman-Quincy, IL
  • Every time I come it's harder to leave.  I feel like this place is my home away from home!  I always speak highly of this place and do my best to get the word around.  It means a lot to me that everyone on staff treats me as their friend.  The personal touch and getting to come hunt with my friends is what keeps me coming back
    - Jim Palermo
View More Testimonials

Whitetail Deer Hunting

2015 - 2016 Whitetail Deer Hunting Report

Save on 2016 hunts. Click Here for Details>>.

Photo Cam Whitetail Deer

October 3rd - We are starting to see some really nice bucks on on our trail cameras. Cold weather but gusty north winds have deer movement slowed the first two days of season. We are offering incentives to book your fall 2016 hunts now. Go to our
Save on 2016 hunt page for the details>>


August, 2015 - A favorite evening pass time in the summer for locals that live in Pike County is looking at the whitetail bucks that frequent the bean fields in the summer. The last two evenings I drove around and was very impressed with the number of nice bucks in the fields. Over the two evenings I saw a total of 54 bucks and 20 of them being shooters already with a month left for antler development. There were 10 studs that are going to be very impressive this fall. The corn is at that "sweet stage" that whitetails enjoy so these numbers will increase once the corn hardens. A positive from all the recent rains in our area is that whitetails have everything they need for maximum growth and development. Make sure you are in a tree stand somewhere in Illinois this year! Gary Harpole

July, 2015 - We are seeing a lot of nice bucks in bachelor groups. It has been the best summer for big buck sightings that we have had in the last 2-3 years. Recently we saw a group of three bucks running together and all will go over 140+, one close to 150 and its only July 9th. Matt saw another group of bachelor bucks two days ago with 5 bucks all 130+. Early trail camera photos are coming back with more big whitetails than we have seen in several years. If you are deer hunting in Illinois this year you picked the right year. We can't wait until the season gets here! If you haven't booked a hunt yet it's not to late. Go to 2015 Whitetail Hunts>>

Be sure to watch the video and listen to John Brewer's amazing hunt. John has shot two bucks out of the same stand almost one year to the day apart. He stayed positive, hunted hard and his persistence paid off with these two Illinois Whitetails of a lifetime! If you would like to read more about John's amazing two year run, you can read the blog about John Brewer's buck.  


Whitetail Deer Hunting at Heartland

Visit Heartland Lodge for legendary Pike County Illinois deer hunting, in one of the finest whitetail deer hunting lodges & outfitters in the country! Heartland Lodge is located in the middle of incredible Illinois deer hunting country. Located between the Mississippi and Illinois River drainages, Heartland provides habitat that is perfect for large whitetail bucks. The four key ingredients to having a quality deer herd are all found at Harpole's deer hunting lodge & outfitter. You must have genetics, food, habitat, and a good age structure to produce monster bucks and quality whitetail deer hunting. The genetics here in Illinois are the best in the country. The food and habitat could not be better. With a strict management program in place to preserve growth, Heartland has it all when hunting for incredible whitetail bucks.

Harpole's Lodge owns and leases thousands of acres of the best hunting ground in Pike County, Illinois' deer hunting territory. The land is scouted year round, thus Heartland is not just a seasonal operation. We are working for you not only in the fall, but all year to assure you the best deer hunt possible. Heartland's reputation precedes itself as one of the finest whitetail deer hunting lodges & outfitters ever opened to the public.

Our goal is to have 100% satisfaction for each deer hunter. Compare us with other whitetail deer hunting lodges & outfitters. You won't be disappointed. We are among the finest in the country - and the only Orvis-approved hunting lodge in Illinois.

A Hunting Tradition

Your stay with us is more than a deer hunt. It’s part of a strong hunting tradition that started back when Heartland’s owner Gary Harpole was a child. Each year new traditions are being created by our guests. It’s our hope that you create your own memories at Heartland with your family or friends and carry on a tradition that started many years ago.

Click the sections below for more information.

View Rates

Whitetail Photos

Trail Cam Photos

Orig Lodge Virtual Tour

New Lodge Virtual Tour

Rooms Virtual Tour


Deer Hunting Outfitters

When looking for a hunting outfitter, especially a whitetail deer hunting outfitter, you need to make sure you do your home work. There are so many Illinois outfitters and many are located in Pike County and West Central Illinois. New deer outfitters are popping up every year and whitetail hunters should make sure they have been in business at least 10 yrs. When hunting with an outfitter make sure you ask all the questions and if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

Watch this video of Ron Way's 192" Monster Whitetail!!
Read more about Ron's Massive Buck Here>>>


Illinois Bow Hunting Packages

Archery Deer HunterSix night, five-day package - Arrive the night before between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Hunt five full days and depart after breakfast on your sixth day. Archery deer hunts are what we specialize in. If you are an archery hunter, you will feel at home at Heartland. Our Illinois bow hunting deer packages are the hunt of a lifetime!

Four night, three-day packages - Available in October, December and January. (Whitetail deer hunting in January is a local favorite.)

Seven night, six day archery-muzzleloader combo package - Arrive on Monday between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Hunt three full days of archery and then hunt three full days of muzzleloader. This whitetail deer hunt usually falls on the second week and weekend of December.

Ask about our Doe Derby deer hunts in December & January.

Fall Turkey Hunt Option - Enjoy bow hunting an elusive gobbler while in your stand. You can have the option of hunting both turkeys and whitetails during your fall hunt.


Illinois Gun Hunting Packages (Shot gun or muzzleloader)

Gun Deer HunterFour night, three day November package - Arrive on Thursday between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Gun hunt three full days and depart on Monday after breakfast. This Illinois firearm deer hunt usually falls the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Five night, four day December package - Arrive on Wednesday between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Hunt four full days and depart on Monday after breakfast. This Illinois gun deer hunt usually falls the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Four night, three day muzzleloader package - Arrive on Thursday between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Hunt three full days and depart on Monday after breakfast. This Illinois muzzleloader deer hunt usually falls on the second weekend of December.

Seven night, six day archery-muzzleloader combo package - Arrive on Monday between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Hunt three full days of archery and then hunt three full days of muzzleloader. This archery and muzzleloader deer hunt usually falls on the second week and weekend of December.

Four night, three day firearm doe hunts - There are two doe only gun seasons in Illinois. The first doe hunt normally starts on the last Thursday of the year and ends on Sunday. Doe hunters arrive on Wednesday and depart on Monday. The second doe season our hunters arrive on Thursday between 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Hunt three full days and depart on Monday after breakfast. This deer hunt is in January.

* For all gun tags you need to contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Please call 217-782-7305 to have the application sent to you, or visit them online at


Whitetail Deer Shed Hunting

Goody BuckEnjoy hunting for some of the largest whitetail buck sheds in North America. All you have to do is book a room at the lodge and you have access to our properties on the days you are staying. Go to our shed antler hunting page for more info>>

The buck pictured on the right is called the "Goody" buck. This buck was found while shed hunting. If you would like to read the amazing story, just go to "The Goody Buck"


Reservation Information

Please call our office at 1-800-717-4868 or you can email us at to book whitetail deer hunting reservations.

Where Are We?
Heartland Lodge is in Pike County, Illinois, (Illinois deer hunting capital) northeast of St. Louis, Missouri and southwest of Springfield, Illinois. Click here for directions and a map.

All of our hunts are booked double occupancy.  Private rooms and luxury suites are available, for an additional charge.  Please view our virtual tours of the Original Lodge, New Lodge and Rooms to get a better idea of our accommodations.

Groups - Size And Level Of Experience
We welcome seasoned veterans and those who are just learning how to deer hunt. With deer hunting tips and strategies from our guides, your group is sure to have an incredible time. We limit our whitetail hunters to 12-16 per week, depending on the time of year. Additional upland and waterfowl hunters may be staying at the lodge during your hunt.

How To Secure A Spot Every Year?
You may reserve a spot each year by signing a year-to-year contract. Please ask about this if you are interested.

Deposit Policy
A payment of 50% of your total hunt is due when making your reservations.

Cancellation Policy
If you cancel before June 1st of year arriving at Harpole's Heartland Lodge, your deposit will be refunded less 10% of total hunt. No refunds are given after June 1st.

Airport transportation is provided by "Hubb's Transportation." St. Louis, Lambert airport, is the closest major airport. For private planes, Quincy and Pittsfield airports are the closest. For more information you can contact Hubb's Transportation at 800-201-0707. Visit our directions page for directions for driving to the lodge.


Important Whitetail Deer Hunting Information

  • All whitetail are free roaming.
  • All hunts are fully guided. Guides take you to and from the stand. Guides do not sit in the stand.
  • We hunt on approximately 5,000 acres located in Pike and Calhoun Counties.
  • The average opportunity rate is approximately 60%.
  • We only harvest deer scoring 130 Pope & Young or better. Some areas are 140 or better.
  • We encourage the harvesting of does.
  • Cross bows can be used by attaining a special permit from the IDNR or if you are over 62yrs old.
  • Slugs are used with shotguns. Buckshot is not allowed.
  • All guns must be plugged and can only hold 3 shells at a time.
  • All guns and bows must be in cases while in the vehicle.
  • When a deer is wounded, a possible 48-hour search may be required, before hunting is resumed.
  • Gun hunters must wear a solid orange cap and vest.
  • Average tree stand height-15'-18'. Higher and lower stands are available. Ground blinds are also available. Please call ahead to let us know any special requirements.
  • We use tree steps and stacking sticks with our lock on stands.
  • Ladder stands are available.
  • Guides will field dress your deer.
  • Processing - A local processor can process your deer or you can process your deer yourself at the lodge.
  • Caping-There is a fee paid directly to a local processor.
  • Smoking Policy-No smoking in lodge, tree stands, or in guides' vehicles.


What To Bring

  • Your bow or gun
  • Gore-Tex or rain gear
  • Knee high rubber boots recommended
  • Orange hat and vest (Gun only)
  • Bow or gun case
  • Rattling antlers (Optional)
  • Grunt tube (Optional)
  • Pull up rope
  • Safety belts are required
  • Binoculars (Optional)
  • Flashlight (Optional)
  • Hand warmers (Optional)
  • Camera (Optional)
  • Cooler (Optional)
  • Slippers or heavy socks (Shoes are removed in mud room)
  • Range finder (Optional)


Trip Insurance

Harpole's Heartland Lodge strives to give our guests the best experience possible. We understand that your upcoming trip is a significant investment. We offer trip insurance through North America's leading provider of Travel Insurance called "Travel Guard".

There are many circumstances that could change your plans. Please take a few minutes to learn how you can protect yourself. If you choose to decline this valuable coverage, you are assuming any financial loss associated with a cancelation or a change in your travel arrangements.

Please click here for more information