Best public Deer hunting land? - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best public Deer hunting land?

Im going to try and harvest a deer this archery season and was wondering wich was a productive public land for anyone who hunts deer with a bow.Thanks in advance,by the way im in Chicago if that matters.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sure there are several places that would fit the bill here. Personally, my choice would be to first get away from Chicago a bit. Any of the places in the Chicago area get hit heavily and big bucks are difficult to harvest. They go nocturnal really quickly. My personal choice would be the Shelbyville WMA. I like the terrain better than (say) the Southern Illinois-type terrain with the massive woods. They're simply too big and difficult to read (for me).

I've harvest some near B&C bucks from Shelbyville. And, you can get into some areas with a bow that you can't hunt in gun season. Specifically the Jonathon Creek area. Supposed to be good waterfowl hunting and hence this area is shut down to deer gun hunters. Because there is still some decent pressure I bow hunt it much like gun hunting. In that I mean escape routes and funnels. I don't worry about trying to pattern their feeding habits as that is next to impossible unless you're down there regularly.

DesPlaines Conservation area also has some monsters. Most of which are taken on opening day. This place definitely gets hunted like gun season. They give a ton of archery permits out and then you also have the Field Trialers to move the deer around as well. If you don't mind crowds and you know how to hunt pressured deer, this place might be for you. You need to get in line and get a window permit though to hunt it. And they run out. I believe they do it Septemeber 1st, but you might wish to call them to verify things.

Other than these two places, I'm drawing a blank. Most public land gets significant pressure in Illinoius due to the lack of opportunities given the number of hunters. Shelbyville is close enough where things get much better. Southern Illinois is nice too and you'll bow hunt deer that are a tad more "natural". But then again, that's a pretty decent haul to get down there...
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check out the DNR website. I believe there are like 186 public hunting areas all throughout Illinois. They give brief descriptions on the type of terrain, available acrege and sometimes history on kills from yesteryears. I go to the "Buckhorn unit" in the Siloam Springs State park area every year and have seen some deer that would make you poop your camo. Make sure you look into wether you can shot bucks as some areas have restrictions. Good Luck!!!
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys I will look into that,also have any of you tried the Silver springs area in Yorkville i believe,Thanks again guys.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just in case, The Siloam springs Im talking about is in the "Golden Triangle" area (Pike,Brown,Adams countys). And buckhorn Unit is Illinois residents only!!!!
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Not sure if they have bow hunting but there's enough deer in the Chain O' Lakes State park to feed half the county. Very rare there not seen all over the park and north river.
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Jd i was thinking of going to the fox chain,I was just wondering if there was anything else besides the Fox chain,Thanks again guys,from what i know so far it looks like the Fox.Heres the link i found so far http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/di ... e%2034.pdf
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