Archive for the ‘Illinois Archery Deer Hunting’ Tag


IL Whitetail 0052a

A kind of wooly appearance to the woods greets the dawn in the ShawneeNational Forest.  The archer views it from his treestand perch as he strains to see deer moving toward their bedding area.  Suddenly a multipoint buck appears and moves away out of range.  There will be another day.


Good habitat and acres of public access draw bowhunters to southern Illinois each October to ply their skills with bow and arrow in an attempt to harvest a white-tailed deer.  The archery deer season begins October 1st and continues into mid-January, except during the firearms season.


Although hunting pressure can be intense during the firearms season, the bow season is quite another story.  The combination of public land forest, old crop fields, private hay and grain fields produces some fine hunting situations.  Hunters often make the mistake of thinking that since these deer live in close proximity to man, they are easy to approach.  They are not.


White-tailed deer are often visible.  More often than not they vanish into the vegetation without being observed by the hunter.  Deer cover a lot of country seeking receptive mates as well as food and shelter.  They do not wander around, but rather they travel trails with a destination and a mission.  The trails usually follow the slope of the land and are located in areas that provide cover for their travels.  Deer make the most of cover available to them.


Early season archers encounter pre-rut deer on summer trails as they pass back and forth between bedding and feeding areas.  During the rut, rub and scrape lines mark a buck’s home territory.  Bucks follow the lines from bedding to feeding areas in the evening and vice versa in the morning.  But, they have love on their minds rather than just eating and sleeping.


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