Below you will find a quick summary of the current crossbow hunting regulations in the state of Illinois. This data was collected on July 31, 2013, and at the time we believe it to be fully accurate based on the research we did on the subject. We cannot guarantee, however, that the references below are void of any factual or legal errors. We did our best to ensure that everything was up to date, and we even contacted the authorities when something was not clear to us, just to confirm the current legal situation in Illinois. However please remember that these regulations do change from time to time, and that is possible we might have misinterpreted something. Which is why we ask that you treat the information you read here as a reference only, and not as legal advice.
Make sure to checkout our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.
Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Illinois
Update: Details can be found herein 2017, governor Pat Quinn signed legislation making it legal for everyone, not only the disabled, to hunt with a crossbow during both archery deer season as well as fall archery wild turkey season. .
The regulations and laws in Illinois are a little confusing, so let us try to break it down for you:
- For the temporarily disabled and permanently disabled: hunting with a crossbow is legal during the entire archery season. Certification from a licensed physician is required, and you will need to apply for an exemption by contacting the DNR Office of Law Enforcement at 217-782-6431.
- For those age 62 and older: hunting with a crossbow during archery season is legal in Illinois, and no special permits are required. You do, however, need to carry a valid ID with a current picture and date of birth at all times while hunting; not having the ID with you will result in a fine, even if you really are 62 or older.
- For everyone else: as long as you own a crossbow and a valid archery hunting license, you can legally hunt deer in Illinois beginning the first Monday coming right after the second deer firearm season in the state.
The following is also worth noting:
- Each hunter is allowed to harvest a maximum of 2 deer per year, regardless of the number of permits and licenses you hold.
- The minimum crossbow draw weight is 125 lbs, while the maximum allowed is 200 lbs.
- While hunting with your crossbow, it’s illegal to carry with you any firearms, even if you do not intend to use it.
- Taking migratory game birds with a crossbow is prohibited.
- The minimum length of your crossbow from the stock butt and to the back of one of the limbs (stirrup not included) must be 24″
- The length of the arrow shaft plus nock must be a minimum of 14″. (Length of the head is not included.)
- Using expandable broadheads is legal.
- Any broadheads used must have a cutting diameter of 7/8″ or more.
- The use of any electronic tracking devices or calling systems is strictly prohibited.
We will update the above once we are aware of any important changes.
Help Us Improve
As mentioned earlier, we strive to keep the information presented in this guide to crossbow hunting regulations in Illinois as current as humanly possible. There might have been a recent change, however, which we completely missed for some reason, and hence we provide no guarantee as to the accuracy of the above. If you believe that any of the references above should be changed, updated or simply deleted, drop us an e-mail and we’ll investigate and make the required changes where applicable. Thank you.