Illinois Archery Hunts
September 26th, 2023 – Pike County, IL Outfitter Report – “We have a few spots available in October and November during our pre rut and rut! Call 217-982-4039 or E-Mail to inquire about our compound, recurve, or crossbow deer hunts today!”
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! Heartland Lodge is located in prime bluff country deer habitat. The hilly terrain creates great funnels and pinch points that make for perfect ambush style hunts for bowhunters.
Bow Hunting Whitetails with Pike County Illinois’ #1 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>>>
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.
What makes us different than all the other hunting outfitters in Illinois and the Midwest?
Long-term deer management – Most of our whitetail properties have been under our management for 10+ years. Some for 20+ years!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) licensed vendors. 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 directly at any license vendor or through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) web site. All resident hunters can harvest two bucks and unlimited does.
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.
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.
Practice shooting at longer ranges – This makes the closer yards seem like a chip shot.
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.
Shoot with the same clothes –Practice shooting with the same clothes on that you will be wearing during your hunt. This includes gloves!
Range Finder – 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.
Practice with broadheads – 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.
Practice shooting in low light conditions at 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.
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.
Most important tip – 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.
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. We allow the harvest of toms only.
|2023 Archery Dates Available:|
|More on our Archery Hunts>>|
|October 1st–5th (Opening Week - 5 Days of Hunting) Click Here For More Info.||SOLD OUT!|
|October 9th-12th (4 Days of Hunting)||$2,650 (1 spot remaining!)|
|October 14th-16th ( 3 Days of Hunting)||SOLD OUT!|
|October 18th–20th, (3 Days of Hunting)||SOLD OUT!|
|October 23rd-27th, (5 Days of Hunting) Click Here For More Info.||$4,150 (1 spot remaining!)|
|October 29th-November 2nd (5 Days Hunting)||$5,250 (1 spot remaining)|
|November 4th-9th (7 Nights, 6 Days Hunting)||$5,750 (3 spots remaining)|
|November 11th-15th (5 Days Hunting) Click Here For More Info.||$5,500 (2 spots remaining! Peak Rut!)|
|November 24th- 28th (5 days of hunting) Click Here For More Info.||$2,550|
|6 Night, 5 Day Dec. & Jan. Hunt||$2,250|
|4 Night, 3 Day Dec. & Jan. Hunt||$1,750|
|4 Night, 3 Day Dec. & Jan. Doe Reduction Hunt Click Here For More Info.||$1,250|
|Fall Turkey Hunt Option (More Info Here)||$250|
|2023 Firearm Dates Available:|
|More on our Firearm Hunts>>|
|November 17th-19th (Shotgun, Rifle or Muzzleloader)||SOLD OUT!|
|Nov. 30th–Dec 3rd (Shotgun, Rifle or Muzzleloader) 4 Day Hunt Click Here For More Info.||SOLD OUT!|
|December 8th-10th (Muzzleloader Only) 3 Day Hunt Click Here For More Info.||$2,950 (1 spot remaining)|
|7 night, 6 Day Dec. Archery/Muzzleloader Combo Hunt Dec. 5th- 10th||$4,700|
|**includes guides, meals, accommodations & game cleaning|
Click Here For More Info. on Legal Rifles
All bookings are double occupancy in regular room at the Original Lodge, unless other arrangements are made. Private rooms can be arranged if available. All rooms have private baths. As part of the care and maintenance inside our lodge, we ask that you bring slippers or wear socks. Boots and shoes are removed in the mud room. The Original Lodge is for hunters only October – December 25th. Prairie Ridge Lodge is for hunters only the entire month of November.
- Non-hunting guests are welcome. The rate is $125 ($150 in the fall) for each night for a regular room. Call for pricing on other rooms.
- Non-hunting guest meal package is $80 per night.
- If non-hunting guest would like to sit in the stand with hunters, the fee is $150 per hunting day. (we have limited space in guide vehicles)
- Private rooms are available upon request.
- All Lodges/ Cabins have WIFI
- $125 for a private regular room (Jan-September) each night at The Original Lodge.
- $150 for a private regular room (Oct-Dec) each night at The Original Lodge.
- $175 for the Angler room (Queen Bed) each night at The Original Lodge.
- $200 for the Whitetail suite (King Bed & Whirlpool) each night at The Original Lodge
- $250 for the Luxury suite (King Bed, Whirlpool, & Fireplace) each night at Prairie Ridge Lodge
- $350 for the Private Luxury Cabins (King Bed, Whirlpool, Fireplace & Private Deck) each night at the Luxury Cabins
Enjoy one of our Luxury Suites during your stay. For only $125 per hunter (per night – based on double occupancy) you can stay in one of these incredible rooms. Each spacious room has two king size beds, Whirlpool, fireplace, gun holders, private decks and entrance. Prices are valid only when purchasing a hunt package above, otherwise our regular room rates apply.
If you are looking for a rewarding and fulfilling job as a whitetail hunting guide at one of the best whitetail hunting outfitters in the country, look no further than Heartland Lodge!
All of our whitetail hunting guides are experienced, accomplished deer hunters. We manage over 5,000 acres of the best whitetail hunting habitat in the country for trophy whitetails. We put in several acres of food plots, run trail cameras and scout year-around. Whether it be glassing summer bean fields in July or shed hunting in February, you will be hard-pressed to find more compassionate deer hunting guides. Our guides take great pride in our ability to pattern deer, and give our clients the best guided deer hunting experience available. Please follow the link below for more information.