Illinois DNR announces 2023 Deer Hunting Season Dates and Lottery


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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has released the dates for the 2023 deer hunting season. The first firearm deer season will take place from November 17 to November 19, 2023, while the second firearm deer season will occur from November 30 to December 3, 2023.

A muzzleloader-only deer season will follow from December 8 to December 10, 2023. Hunters with a muzzleloader permit are also permitted to use it during the second firearm season.

The IDNR will test deer for Chronic Wasting Disease during the first and second firearm deer season dates, provided that funding is available. Hunters are reminded to submit deer harvest reporting and information sheets.

The lottery application period for the 2023 hunting season begins on March 7, 2023, and ends on August 18, 2023. The first lottery, available to Illinois residents only, will take place from March 7 to April 30, 2023. The second lottery, open to residents who were not 

successful in the first lottery and non-residents, will run from May 11 to June 30, 2023. The third lottery, open to all residents and non-residents, will take place from July 11 to August 18, 2023. Group hunt applications are accepted in the first and second lottery but not in the third.

Landowners who have received a permit or submitted an application for a landowner permit that is still pending may not apply for additional permits in the first or second lottery firearm deer drawing, but may apply in the third lottery. 

Landowners who receive permits in the first or second lottery firearm deer drawing are not eligible for landowner firearm deer permits but may apply for additional permits in the first or second lottery muzzleloader deer drawing.

Remaining county-specific firearm and muzzleloader permits after the third lottery drawing will be available for sale over the counter at license vendors beginning on October 17, 2023, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Illinois residents are reminded to submit their applications online or by mail before the deadline. Paper applications will be available from March 7, 2023, for the first lottery and from May 11, 2023, for the second lottery. The online applications will be available on the IDNR website on the corresponding lottery start date.


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