Bow hunting season begins in Iowa and Illinois

By  | 

DAVENPORT, Iowa. October 1st marks the beginning of hunting season and before we head out, there is a lot of ground to cover. We met with Iowa DNR officer Jeff Harrison to go over the rules and regulations to make sure we start the hunting season off on the right foot.

With the archery season opener, you'll want to make sure you have your hunting license, habitat fee, and deer license. You can get all of these at either local, big box stores or online. However, if you do choose to go online, remember it will take 5-7 days to get it mailed out. If you hope to hunt prior to that, you'll want to pick these up in store.

For multi use areas, such as Lost Grove Lake, remember there are people taking part in a variety of different hobbies. There are people still kayaking, walking, swimming, hiking, fishing and beyond. All of these spaces are shared during this time. Harrison reminds us, "They're going to be in camouflage, they are going to be well-hidden, this and that. It's not someone doing something wrong, it's not something to call 911 over".

For hunters, it's a good time to reconsider your safety practices, "Keep in mind if you're in the tree stand, use safety. Use a harness. Make sure you're harnessed, you're locked in. When you're climbing up, when you're in the tree, when you're getting down. Also make sure you know where you're going to be at, someone knows where you're going to be at. So that should you have a problem, incident, they know", says Harrison.

2019-2020 Deer Hunting Seasons
Youth Season: Sept 21 - Oct 6
Disabled Hunter: Sept 21 - Oct 6
Archery: Oct 1 - Dec 6 AND Dec 23 - Jan 10, 2020
Muzzleloader: Oct 12 - 20 (Early) AND Dec 23 - Jan 10, 2020 (Late)
Shotgun: Dec 7 - 11 (First) AND Dec 14 - 22 (Second)
Nonresident Holiday: Dec 24 - Jan 2, 2020
January Antlerless: Jan 11 - 26, 2020
2019 Fall Turkey Hunting Seasons
Gun/Bow: Oct 14 - Dec 6
Archery Only: Oct 1 - Dec 6 AND Dec 23 - Jan 10, 2020

For more information on hunting in Iowa, head here.

2019 Firearm Deer Seasons
Firearm 1st Season - November 22, 23 & 24
Firearm 2nd Season - December 5, 6, 7 & 8
2019 Archery Deer Season
October 1, 2019 - January 19, 2020

For more information on hunting in Illinois, head here.

More information from Illinois:
Youth Deer Permits: Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The 2019 Youth Deer Hunt is Columbus Day weekend, Saturday, Oct. 12 through Monday, Oct. 14.

Firearm Deer Permits: Over-the-counter sales of remaining 2019 Illinois Firearm Deer Permits will begin on Oct. 15. Permits will be sold until quotas are exhausted or until the close of the season, whichever occurs first. Individual hunters can purchase one or more permits beginning Oct. 15, subject to availability. For a list of the number of permits available following the final lottery drawing, check the IDNR website:

Resident Archery Deer Permits: Resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor link here:

Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits: Illinois Non-Resident Archery Deer combination permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Illinois Archery Deer Season is open through Jan. 19, 2020 (except closed during firearm deer season in counties open to firearm deer hunting).

CWD Sampling: Deer hunters statewide in Illinois are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing from adult deer they harvest. For a list of locations that are serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads through the end of the archery season in January 2020, click on this link:

Waterfowl Regulations Open Houses: The IDNR invites hunters to attend public open houses to provide input on waterfowl hunting regulations for the 2021 through 2025 hunting seasons. Hunters will have the opportunity to review information used to make waterfowl season recommendations, talk with IDNR biologists and provide their preferences for waterfowl zone lines and season dates. Dates and locations for upcoming open houses include:
• Tuesday, Oct. 1 – Illinois Natural History Building, University of Illinois Campus, 1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820
• Tuesday, Oct. 8 – John A. Logan College, Hancock Center Room F119, 700 Logan College Drive, Carterville, IL 62918
• Wednesday, Oct. 9 – The Hall, 7132 Marine Rd (HWY 143), Edwardsville, IL 62025
• Thursday, Oct. 10 – Illinois Department of Natural Resources Headquarters, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702
Open houses will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at each location; attendees may arrive at any time during the open house. No formal presentations will be given.

Public Hunting Areas Report: The latest edition of the IDNR Illinois Public Hunting Areas Report – with details on public lands hunting effort and harvest – is available online on the IDNR website at this link:

Learn to Hunt: The Illinois Hunter Recruitment Program provides free education and training workshops and additional information to teach adult participants how to hunt deer, turkey, squirrels, pheasants, ducks, geese and other game. For more information: