News & Promotions

  • 9/3/2014
    "Buy it Now" - Special Offer
    Posted by admin
    Buy it Now – Special Offer Many hunters who enter our Ultimate Hunt Giveaway can’t wait until the winner is announced and would like the option to “Buy it Now”. For a limited only during the promotion we are offering our hunts at a very specia
  • Muzzleloader Deer Hunt Special
    8/27/2014
    Muzzleloader Deer Hunt Special
    Posted by admin
    We are offering our 2014 Muzzleloader only hunt at a special rate for a limited time. This hunt is normally $2,450 and we are offering it for $1,950. There are limited spots and are available to the first hunters who call in. If you are reading this post
  • 12/5/2013
    Book Your 2014 Whitetail Hunt Now!
    Posted by admin
    Now is the time to reserve your 2013 deer hunting dates, especially if you want to come during a prime time. We have some great whitetail hunting dates available, but they won't last long. Most of our prime dates fill up early. We had a good 2012 white
  • View All

Tips from our Experts

  • Here Comes the Fall...
    8/27/2014
    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
  • The Quiet Gobbler
    5/23/2014
    The Quiet Gobbler
    Posted by admin
    Well as sad as it is for me to say this; my turkey season has now come to a close. The 2014 Turkey Season was a successful one and added many new stories that I will treasure for years to come. From successful youth hunts, some first time gobblers, and s
  • Deer Herd Health in the Midwest
    1/15/2014
    Deer Herd Health in the Midwest
    Posted by admin
    I guess one could say that I stay in tune with the whitetail deer hunting world all year long. I visit hunting forums, social media, websites, read magazines, and subscribe to various blogs and e-articles. I don’t have outdoor television programming at
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Recent Blogs

  • 9/30/2014
    Checking A Tree Stand
    Posted by admin
    Checking A Stand In theory, we should all have checked our tree stands before the hunting season starts, to cut shooting lanes, and to check on the status of your stands. But what if you haven’t had time? I fully understand many hunters do not have
  • Don’t Standout In A Layout Blind
    9/30/2014
    Don’t Standout In A Layout Blind
    Posted by admin
    Don’t Standout In A Layout. Excited honks crashed the air waves as we responded with calm groans and single clucks back to the group of geese circling our spread. Just a few yards closer is all we really needed for the birds to be in range but as t
  • Three Ways To Introduce A Kid To Hunting
    9/29/2014
    Three Ways To Introduce A Kid To Hunting
    Posted by admin
    Three Ways To Introduce A Kid To Hunting Sun fading brightly in the western sky, the clouds bled vibrant pink and orange. The group of deer milling under the stand of my father and I had nary
  • Tips for Picking the Right Tree When Using a Climber Stand
    9/18/2014
    Tips for Picking the Right Tree When Using a Climber Stand
    Posted by admin
    Tips for picking the right climber tree. Look, picking that one tree out of a million others in which you will hopefully arrow a deer is perhaps one of the most frustrating and maddening aspects of deer hunting. Thoughts, strategy, and second guesses
  • View All

Testimonials

  • Thank you so much for a wonderful stay (again).  Your staff is impeccable and like family.  Many thanks to Yankee for all he does for the guest. Many thanks to your incredible chefs, I now fear I will starve to death when I go home.
    - Geoff Duncan, Decatur, IL
  • We didn't know what to expect when we arrived.  It didn't take long to realize that we had made an Excellent decision to come here!  Everything is wonderful: food, rooms and the staff is off the charts!!!  Our entire experience was so nice.  A return visit is for sure in our future!!
    - Gil Hubbard, Sugar Grove, IL
  • Always love coming to Heartland.  The staff makes you feel like family.......Like coming home.
    - Geoff Duncan
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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.

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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.

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

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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>>>

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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.

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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.

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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.

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