Illinois Gun & Firearm Whitetail Hunts

September 27, 2018 – Pike County Illinois Whitetail Firearm Report – With recent rainfall, our brassica and late season food plots are looking lush and should be in great shape for our Illinois firearm seasons. Overall we’ve had a great growing season for whitetails this summer and bucks have had optimal antler development. The forecast for firearm season looks like its going to be a great fall!

Illinois firearm whitetail hunting, especially in Pike County, has been a tradition at Heartland that dates back to when Heartland’s owner, Gary Harpole, grew up hunting as a child.  The anticipation of opening day of Illinois’ whitetail gun season was more exciting than any holiday or occasion. The firearm season was spent at Gary’s Grandpa’s house. (This home still stands next to Heartland and now Gary resides there.) The Illinois gun season always opens on a Friday and all the local schools close for the occasion. Gary grew up in Quincy, but just the same, he would get excused from school and make the exciting drive to the area where Heartland Lodge is now located.

What makes us different than all the other whitetail 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.
  • Full time whitetail guides – Year-round whitetail guides and supporting staff. Most outfitters are only part time operations. At Heartland Lodge, we are a full-time whitetail outfitter that starts preparing for our next hunt the day after deer season ends
  • 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.
  • 23+ Years – Many outfitters come and go, Heartland Lodge has been a whitetail outfitter in Pike County IL for over 23+ years!
  • 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.