The diversity of Starved Rock Country provides ample opportunities for hunting a variety of species in Illinois. From ducks to deer, the majestic landscape of Illinois has a variety of hunting experiences available.

For hunters just getting started, finding and taking a hunter safety course is required by law for persons born after January 1, 1980. Hunters will learn about safety, ethics and many of the skills to become a successful hunter. After taking the course, a person should learn how to use their hunting weapon and practice with it often until they are proficient in using it. Anyone born after January 1, 1980, will need to have a copy of the Hunter Safety Education Certificate available while hunting.

In Illinois you can hunt deer, turkey, upland/small game species, migratory waterfowl/dove/game birds and fur-bearers.


If hunting for wild game birds is your sport then Starved Rock Country is just where you want to be, particularly through the fall and winter seasons. Many companies and businesses enjoy group hunting outings as well as families who wish to hunt and capture turkey or pheasant for their holiday meals. No matter what your personal or business desires, there are hunting spots in or near Ottawa, Illinois that can accommodate your wild bird game hunting needs.

As the most sought after game animal in North America, the Whitetail Deer has always intrigued both hunters and non-hunters alike. Today, the whitetail is the most widespread deer in the world. The lifespan of a whitetail is 11 to 12 years but most free-roaming deer never live that long; they are hit by cars, succumb to disease, killed by predators or shot by hunters. Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that maintains the health and abundance of game species and the balance of our natural resources. Hunters play an important role in managing wildlife. There are specific hunting seasons throughout the year for different species. Be sure to check with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for seasonal dates. http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/PDF/season_dates.pdf If you want to know where you can hunt there are a variety of hunting clubs and designated areas in Starved Rock Country.

Illinois River Adventures

Illinois River Adventures is a new hunt club that recently opened in our area. Owner, Paul Mustered has access to approximately 1,000 acres of hunting grounds for upland and wetland bird hunting, as well as, deer, turkey & pheasant hunting. This premier hunting land is located throughout LaSalle, Bureau & Putnam County. Illinois River Adventures offers private events for hunters that live both locally and in the Chicagoland Market. For more information about scheduling a hunting adventure contact Paul at paul@illinoisriveradventures.com or 708-557-1663

Vermilion River Outfitters

Located in North Central Illinois about 90 miles (1 1/2 hrs) southwest of the Chicago area in LaSalle County offering Archery Deer Hunting, Spring Wild Turkey Hunting, Semi-Guided Hunts, and Lodging. Located between the Illinois and Vermilion Rivers near Starved Rock State Park.

Call (815) 252-1192 or click here for more info

IDNR has Public Hunting Areas designated at many of the IDNR site. Site specific permits are required to hunt in most of these areas. Check out the Hunter Harvest results from the previous hunting season on public land sites. Hunting is also allowed on private land with the permission of the landowner.

So now that you know what to hunt and where to go… you need to know what to bring… So here is a list:

  • Hunting license, permits, habitat stamp
  • Hunter safety course certificate if born after January 1, 1980
  • 2 pair of boots (waterproof)
  • Camo clothing (warm & cold)
  • Rain gear, hand warmers/heat packs
  • Weaponry, ammo, arrows, broad heads, target points (as applicable)
  • Safety belt/harness (mandatory)
  • Deer or Turkey calls, scents, quality binoculars, decoys, etc.
  • Scent Loc suit (recommended)
  • Knives, camo paint or facemask, flashlight & batteries, coolers (for your kill)
  • Camera & film, cell phones do work in the area

But most importantly bring your sense of adventure…

“Life is an Adventure… Live it Here!