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
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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

  • 3.5 Things to Do When You Kill a Doe
    10/22/2014
    3.5 Things to Do When You Kill a Doe
    Posted by admin
    3.5 things to do when you kill a doe Shooting does, we understand the importance for herd management, the fantastic eating and confidence boosters. We also understand what they mean to big bucks. But are we really taking full advantage of does on
  • The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation
    10/22/2014
    The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation
    Posted by admin
    The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation Nurse……Scalpel. You hear line this in many TV hospital dramas. Doctors have many instruments to choose from when in the operating room and when it comes time to doctoring a scrape, do you have the proper instru
  • 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
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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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Illinois Archery Hunts

Illinois bow hunting for whitetail deer is as good as you will find anywhere in the country. Archery hunters enjoy bow hunting in Illinois because of its generous season dates and quality of whitetail deer. If you enjoy whitetail archery hunting, then Illinois is the state for you!

Bow Hunting Whitetails at Heartland Lodge & Outfitter

We take archery hunting very seriously at Heartland. All the guides working at Heartland are avid and accomplished archers. Even our housekeeper is a diehard bow hunter. (She currently holds the world record for largest turkey ever taken with a bow by a female!) Bow hunting for whitetails is a year-around job: trail cams, scouting videos and shed hunting in the spring are all part of our annual whitetail scouting program. You won’t find anyone more passionate about whitetail archery hunting than the staff at Heartland Lodge!

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

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 Archery Season

Illinois archery season for deer opens October 1st and runs through the middle of January. Illinois has a very short gun season, which comprises only three days during the rut. This reduces the chances of our large whitetail bucks being harvested with a firearm increasing your bow hunting opportunities. Illinois also has a later gun season than other states that falls around the first weekend of December. Both gun seasons are shotgun or muzzleloader only. All of these factors combine to make Illinois primarily an archery hunting state.

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Illinois Whitetails

What makes Illinois such a great bow hunting state to pursue whitetails? There are many factors, but low pressure and great genetics, along with a healthy age structure, make Illinois the best destination for hunting mature whitetails. Within Illinois, Pike County is the premier county for trophy whitetails and we are located in the prime countryside of Pike County. Pike County is located in between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers offering superb habitat. This fertile land has all the minerals whitetails need, along with an abundance of agriculture mixed in with just the right amount of hardwoods and cover that whitetails desire. All whitetails are free roaming when hunting at Heartland Lodge.

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The Heartland Lodge Difference

What makes us different than all the other hunting outfitters in Illinois and the Mid-West?

  1. Long-term deer management. Most of our whitetail properties have been under our management for 10+ years. Some for 20+ years!
  2. No smoke-and-mirrors marketing. All of our deer photos and trail cam photos are from our hunters and properties. Many outfitters post photos of friends’ and families’ deer, along with trail cam photos on properties you will never be hunting.
  3. Our guides do not hunt the properties. Many outfitters allow their guides to hunt the same stands and properties as the hunters decreasing your opportunities.
  4. Personal Service. We stay “small” by choice and only have one deer camp/lodge. We like to develop long-term friendships with all of our hunters. You will see the owner every day at the lodge. Low pressure and low volume on our properties keeps those mature whitetails from going nocturnal. Many outfitters run a high volume operation and you are just a number to them. We want you to be just as excited to return to Heartland as when you first arrived. 
  5. 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.  

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Archery Permits in Illinois

Purchasing your archery tag and hunting license is a very easy process. Beginning in June, all hunters can purchase their archery permit online, or alternatively through the mail using our outfitter number. All of our hunters have received their archery permits when applying before June 30th. All leftover tags are then sold directly online or at one of the IDNR licensed venders. There are normally plenty of deer permits even until the end of the season.

Nonresident archery permits come with an either-sex tag and an antlerless-only tag. Nonresidents are limited to one buck during the archery season. But there are no limits to the number of does you may harvest.

Resident hunters can purchase their hunting license direct at any license vender or through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources web site. All resident hunters can harvest two bucks and unlimited does.

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Top Whitetail Archery Hunting Tips

You can hunt in the best location, have an incredible stand set up, and have that buck of your dreams standing at 20 yards, but if you are not prepared, it may not turn out the way you played it in your head over and over. We want to make sure you are successful, and the following archery tips will help you be better prepared:

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice – This is the first tip for a reason, you don’t want the chance of a lifetime to be an errant shot.
  2. Practice shooting at longer ranges – This makes the closer yards seem like a chip shot.
  3. Practice shooting from different elevations – Many hunters just practice from a standing position on the ground. If you are going to be in a tree stand or may even shoot sitting down, practice this.
  4. Practice shooting with the same clothes on that you will be wearing during your hunt. This includes gloves!
  5. Practice using your range finder and estimating yardages. When you arrive in your stand, make sure you use your range finder and have all your yardages down.
  6. If you are able to sharpen your broadheads, then practice with the same broadheads that you will be hunting with. This builds confidence and assures that your arrows are flying properly.
  7. Practice shooting in low light conditions dusk/dawn. Shoot until you cannot see your pins. Try to stretch it until dark. Many opportunities happen first thing in the morning or at last light.
  8. The power of visualization….. When you are practicing, visualize each shot as if you are shooting at that whitetail. Then when you are in the field and are getting ready to shoot, visualize the shot going exactly where you want.
  9. The most important tip is, regardless of how the hunting ends up, to still have a great time. It’s not all about the harvest, it’s about creating great memories that will last a lifetime.

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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.