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Firearm And Muzzleloader Deer Permits: Last-Minute Strategies For The 2006 Illinois Random Daily Drawings Period


An IllinoisHunter Feature Report

PART 2 of a 3-part series on deer hunting in Illinois (September 2006)

Click Here To View Part 1

Click Here To View Part 3

2006 Random Daily Drawings will be held September 15th through November 8th for remaining regular Illinois Firearm and Muzzleloader Deer Permits that were not issued during the first and second Illinois deer permit lotteries. In contrast to the first two lottery periods, there are no limits regarding the number of firearm or muzzleloader permits that you may apply for (or receive) during the Illinois random daily deer permit drawing period. Although the random daily drawing period will continue until November 8th, permits for most of the popular counties and special hunt areas will be taken in the first week, if not on the first day (September 15th.)

Both Illinois residents and non-residents can apply for these remaining Illinois deer permits. A random daily drawing means that all applications from one day are randomly processed before applications from the next day are randomly processed. Deer permit fees for residents are $15 for each available either-sex or antlerless-only permit. Deer permit fees for non-resident firearm deer hunters are $250 for each either-sex permit, and $15 for each antlerless-only permit.

In the past, hunters were unable to apply for a remaining antlerless-only permit unless they already had an either-sex permit for the same county. Many hunters are still unaware that they can now apply for any remaining antlerless-only permits, whether or not they already have a matching either-sex permit. This feature of the random daily drawing period is ideal for casual hunters who would like to join family hunting groups this Fall, and who would be happy with simply harvesting a doe! For example, on the list of remaining firearm deer permits, Jefferson County does not have any either-sex permits available, yet there are 203 available antlerless-only firearm permits that may be applied for without restriction. In an example from the list of remaining Muzzleloader Permits, Rock Island County in northwestern Illinois no longer has any either-sex permits, yet 39 antlerless-only muzzleloader permits are available to anyone who applies!

In another new development, unfilled 2006 firearm and muzzleloader deer permits for counties that participate in the Late-Winter Firearm Deer Season can be used during the January 12-14, 2007 hunt, with certain restrictions. During the Late-Winter Season, hunters using unfilled muzzleloader deer permits may only hunt with muzzleloading rifles. Hunters using unfilled firearm deer permits, or Late-Winter Season permits, may use all firearms allowed during the Late-Winter Season (shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns.) Only antlerless deer can be taken during the Late-Winter Season, even on either-sex permits. Not all counties will be open for the January 2007 season, and this opportunity does not extend to special hunt areas and other state sites. Read more from the 6/26/06 ILDNR press release!

Most leftover firearm and muzzleloader permits are for individual Illinois counties, although there are a few public hunting area deer permits still available. You should check the cover page of any deer permit application for basic descriptions and codes regarding Special Hunt Area regulations, or navigate through the IDNR Hunter Facts Sheets web page for detailed local hunting regulations of state sites that support hunting programs.There are a few additional public sites throughout Illinois which occasionally allow firearm deer hunting, but don't appear on the permit application list. They rely on special local drawings for holders of county-specific permits, and receive very little publicity. Area newspapers are the traditional sources for this kind of information.