Over the years the State of Illinois has become synonymous with monster whitetails. It’s home of the famous “Golden Triangle” made up of Pike, Brown, Adams and Schuyler counties. Celebrities from countless television shows are filmed in Illinois each year and the record books don’t lie, but have non-residents had enough or is it just a sign of the times?

In Illinois, the number of archery tags available to out of state bowhunters is capped at 25,000 – it’s been set at that number for the past three years. However, demand for the non-resident permit has continuously fallen over the last three years. The last time archery tags sold out in Illinois was in 2009.
The state of the economy could be a possible cause. With a current price tag of $411 for a Non-Resident Archery Permit (includes an Either Sex tag and an Antlerless Only tag), out of state hunters are paying more than fifteen times what it costs for residents to obtain the same license. A Resident Deer Archery Permit with the same two tags sells for $26. To some non-residents it just might not be worth the added expense – travel, food and lodging all seem more expensive when jobs are declining.

Over the last five deer hunting seasons, the number of archery hunters in Illinois has decreased by nearly 10% from it’s peak of 20,853 during the 2008-2009 season to a low of 18,776 during the 2010-2011 season.

See the stats below…

2010-2011 NR Archery Combination Permits 18,776

2009-2010 NR Archery Combination Permits 19,197

2008-2009 NR Archery Combination Permits 20,853

2007-2008 NR Archery Combination Permits 20,006

2006-2007 NR Archery Combination Permits 20,001

To find deer movement predictions and the weather forecast where you hunt, go to OL Weather.