SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters of new regulations in effect for the 2007-2008 deer hunting seasons, which are set to begin Oct. 1. The department has received calls from several individuals looking for clarification about the new changes for this year, specifically:
• Governor Blagojevich in August signed House Bill 320, which extends the allowable hunting hours for firearm deer hunting in Illinois by one-half hour. The previous firearm deer hunting hours were one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The new law extends legal hunting hours for firearm deer hunting to one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
• Hunters 62 years of age and older are now permitted to use a crossbow without a special permit. Prior to the change, only persons with a disability or persons who had obtained a special use permit were allowed to use the devices. Hunters using a crossbow will need an archery deer permit and proof of age in the form of an official ID. Crossbows used in hunting as authorized by a permit issued under this section shall meet all of the following specifications:
1) Shall have a minimum peak draw weight of 125 pounds and a maximum peak
draw weight of 200 pounds.
2) Shall have a minimum limb width of 24 inches and a minimum overall length
(from butt of stock to front of limbs) of 24 inches.
3) Shall have a working safety.
4) Shall be used with bolts or arrows of not less than 14 inches in length (not
including point) with a broadhead. Broadheads may have fixed or
expandable blades, but they must be barbless and have a minimum 7/8 inch
diameter when fully opened. Broadheads with fixed blade must be metal or
flint-, chert-, or obsidian-napped; broadheads with expandable blades must
Hunters who are under 62 years old and wish to use a crossbow are still required to
obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.
Reminder: Some IDNR-managed areas that are open to firearm deer hunting are closed to all non-hunters during the weekends of Fri., Nov. 16- Sun., Nov 18 and Thurs., Nov. 29- Sun., Dec. 2. Visitors are encouraged to contact the site office in advance of visiting on these weekends for more details.