Illinois Archery Hunts
November 23, 2018 – Pike County Illinois Archery Report – Our Illinois archery season has been great so far! We have had some great hunts and look forward to what the tail end of the rut will hold for our archery hunters. With cold and snow in the forecast, we expect to continue to have some great 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! 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. Your fall archery turkey permit is an either sex tag, so you could shoot a hen or a gobbler.
|2018 Archery Dates Available:|
|More on our Archery Hunts>> *SPECIAL hunt prices below are valid for a limited time.|
|October 1st–5th (Opening Week - 5 Days of Hunting)||$2,650|
|October 8th-10th (3 Days of Hunting)||$1,650|
|October 8th-11th, 12th am (4 1/2 Days of Hunting)||$2,580|
|October 15th–18th, 19th am (4 1/2 Days of Hunting) SOLD OUT!||$2,580|
|October 22nd–27th (6 Days of Hunting)||$4,380|
|October 22nd–26th (5 Days of Hunting)||$3,650
|October 29th-November 2nd (5 Days of Hunting) Guides' favorite week! SOLD OUT!||$4,250|
|November 4th–8th (5 Days of Hunting) - SOLD OUT!||$4,250|
|November 10th-14th (5 Days of Hunting) - SOLD OUT!||$4,250|
|November 23th-27th (5 Days of Hunting) Thanksgiving Week Special!||$2,150|
|Six night, five day Dec & Jan||SPECIAL $1,650 Reg $2,150|
|Four night, three day Dec & Jan||SPECIAL $1,250 Reg $1,650|
|Four night, three day Dec & Jan Doe Reduction||$950|
|Fall Turkey Hunt Option (More Info Here)||$250|
|2018 Firearm Dates Available:|
|More on our Firearm Hunts>> *SPECIAL hunt prices below are valid for a limited time.|
|Youth Season October 6th, 7th, 8th (Shotgun or Muzzleloader)|
(Doe only - 2 Days $750)
|2 Days $1,000
3 Days $1,500
|November 16th-18th (Shotgun or Muzzleloader) PEAK RUT!!||$4,700|
|Nov 29th–Dec 2nd (Shotgun or Muzzleloader)||$3,750|
|December 7th-9th (Muzzleloader Only)||$2,650|
|Seven night, six day December Archery/Muzzleloader combo||$3,150|
|**includes guides, meals, accommodations & game cleaning|
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 $100 ($125 in the fall) for each night for a regular room. Call for pricing on other rooms.
- Private rooms are available upon request.
- $100 for a private regular room (Jan-September) each night at The Original Lodge.
- $125 for a private regular room (Oct-Dec) each night at The Original Lodge.
- $150 for the Angler room (Queen Bed) each night at The Original Lodge.
- $175 for the Whitetail suite (King Bed & Jacuzzi) each night at The Original Lodge
- $225 for the Luxury suite (King Bed, Jacuzzi, & Fireplace) each night at Prairie Ridge Lodge
Enjoy one of our Luxury Suites during your stay. For only $112.50 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, Jacuzzi, fireplace, gun holders, private decks and entrance. Prices are valid only when purchasing a hunt package above, otherwise our regular room rates apply.