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

Hunting The Illinois Whitetail Rut


Bow or gun hunting during the whitetail rut can be one of the most exciting times to be in the deer woods. The Illinois deer rut falls during the month of November. Hunting the Illinois deer rut can be divided up into three different hunting times: the end of the pre-rut, the rut, and the start of the post-rut.


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


Illinois Pre-Rut/Rut Archery Season (November 1st-5th)

This week can be one of the most exciting weeks to be in the Illinois deer woods! Many does are beginning to enter their estrus cycle and the big bucks are out looking for them. It's a transition week from the pre-rut into the peak rut. Whitetail bucks are very responsive to calling during this period. Rattling, doe in estrus bleats, and chasing/ tending grunts can all produce great results. The weather is typically ideal for whitetail deer hunting. Cooler temperatures in the mornings can get the bucks out trolling, looking for does.


Peak Illinois Rut Whitetail Hunting (November 6th-20th)

This is the most popular time for bow hunters to be hunting whitetails in Illinois. This is considered the chase phase and peak breeding period for whitetails in Illinois. Bucks are constantly chasing does. Many times, it's the smaller bucks chasing, as the bigger bucks will stay with a “hot” doe until she is bred. But once he is finished breeding her, he will be back on the search for another “hot” doe.

Illinois first gun season normally falls at the end of this period. Having a short firearm season during the deer rut allows many bucks to make it though the Illinois gun season. For those who enjoy gun hunting, this can be a very exciting three days!

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


Illinois Post-Rut/Rut Whitetail Hunting (November 21st-30th)

This week is the end of the peak rut and the start of the post-rut. Like the pre-rut, it can be very productive, particularly with those bigger bucks looking for the remaining does to come into estrous. Some years, this week has more deer rut activity than any other period in November, especially if unusually warm weather is present earlier in the month.


Top Whitetail Rut Hunting Tips

  1. Illinois Rut Whitetail Pike CountyFind transition areas and funnels between doe bedding areas and feeding areas. Bucks will be scent checking these areas at all hours of the day.
  2. The more time you spend in the woods the better. So if you are able to, pack a sack lunch and sit in the woods all day, as that trophy whitetail buck could come by in the middle of the day just as easily as he could in the morning or evening.
  3. Stop the buck before you take a shot at him. Bucks can be unpredictable while chasing does and moving animals will most likely result in poor shot placement. Do whatever it takes to stop him before you release your arrow.
  4. The month of November experiences drastic weather variations. Temperatures can vary from 80 degrees down to the teens, and rain and snow are also both a possibility. Hunters must come prepared to endure a variety of conditions to be able to remain in the woods.


Fall Turkey Hunt Option

Enjoy bow hunting an elusive gobbler while in your stand. You can have the option of hunting turkeys and whitetail during your fall deer hunt.

It’s nice to be sitting in the stand and if a flock of turkeys come in, you have the option of shooting one with your bow. Your fall archery turkey permit is an either sex tag, so you could shoot a hen or a gobbler.


For more information on our deer hunts go to our main Whitetail deer hunting page.