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  1. #1
    vectrix27's Avatar
    vectrix27 is offline Senior Member Semi-Hardcore
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    Illinois public bowhunting

    Im an Alabama guy heading to Illinois this november to hunt Rend Lake. Anybody ever hunted there? Just wondering what to expect. I been researching some hunting places on Google Earth. Looks pretty good to me.

  2. #2
    dawg007's Avatar
    dawg007 is offline Senior Member Grizzled Veteran
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    Rend lake is good but the downfall is it is public land so you need to find a spot where the less traffic of hunters go! I say pack a lunch and hunt all day. You will have good luck when hunters walk out and in pushing deer! Nice deer in that area too!
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  3. #3
    vectrix27's Avatar
    vectrix27 is offline Senior Member Semi-Hardcore
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    Dawg, I will be hunting November 5-12. I should hit the rut shouldnt I? Its hard for me to guess cause my deer down here rut in the middle of January. Also, being that its public land and gets pressured, will the deer respond to horns and calls well or not really? Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    dawg007's Avatar
    dawg007 is offline Senior Member Grizzled Veteran
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    My luck is the good ol bleat can! That call is the best! I have NEVER had any luck with rattling but that is not to say that it wont work either. I stopped taking horns and just have a simple grunt tube and the can! Yes on the rut! It will start roughly at the end of Oct to mid Nov! Best of luck to you!
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  5. #5
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    Troutking is offline Senior Member Semi-Hardcore
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    A lot of National Forest south of rend about an hour. Never hunted it but if Rend Lake gets too much pressure you may look in to it. I used to live in Mt. Vernon near Rend Lake but never hunted either place.
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  6. #6
    dawg007's Avatar
    dawg007 is offline Senior Member Grizzled Veteran
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    I have never been there either. I hunt private land by Wayne City just east of Mt Vernon! I Livingston County the most out of the two countys.
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  7. #7
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    tek4life is offline Senior Member Semi-Hardcore
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    Rend lake is a good spot I agree with hunting all day use google earth to try and get a feel for the grounds before you come. IMHO if your closer than 25 minutes to the entrance to the woods you are going to be decreasing your odds. I hunt a lot of il public ground and hike 1-1.5 miles to my spots its a pain but I see plently of deer. I had days where someone is 30 feet off the entrance hunting. Public land is all about all day sits use other hunters to your advantage when they go in for lunch they bump deer and when they come back from lunch is the time the deer will most likely be heading your way if your deep in the woods. Also as said south of rend lake is shawnee nat forest and it has great hunting just head back south on 57 many of the towns have an entrance to the nat forest.
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  8. #8
    Dickie Tunes's Avatar
    Dickie Tunes is offline BHOD Crew Die Hard Bowhunter
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    I hunt alot of public ground in Illinois, the number one thing I can tell you is look at elevation maps of the ground you will be hunting. You need to study this because it will show you travel routes that are easily accessible by hunters, ignore those areas get in deep on a creek line or an elevated ridge and thats gonna put the odds in your favor. I have seen some incredible bucks while hunting public grounds, hopefully you do also this fall......
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  9. #9
    Scott/IL's Avatar
    Scott/IL is offline Senior Member Die Hard Bowhunter
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    I've hunted public ground a lot over the years. If I have any advice, it would be walk deep into the woods, hunt during the middle of the day, and only call at a deer if you see it.

    Public land bucks get conditioned to the same routines most hunters do, and they have heard every calling technique on the market.
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  10. #10
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    selfbros is offline Senior Member Die Hard Bowhunter
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    I used to waterfowl hunt Rend Lake a lot, and I'll tell you one thing if you don't get a deer while hunting, you can always pick one up on the road when you leave. I've personally hit 2 deer while driving to the walk in areas. Rend Lake is a very popular waterfowl hunting area, so it will be crowded with duck hunters in certain areas. Even while ducking Rend lake I’ve had deer wading close to our decoys, and I’d usually see deer all day long on the way out of the park. I also know people who deer hunted there and killed some impressive bucks, but they said they got there around 1 or 2 am and started walking in to beat other hunters and to get as deep in the woods as possible. You shouldn’t have any issues killing a deer no matter where you decide to hunt there, but like others have said earlier the deeper the better. Good Luck and stay thirsty my friend.

  11. #11
    Greg / MO's Avatar
    Greg / MO is offline Senior Member Grizzled Veteran
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    Public-land hunting in Illinois sucks. I'd pick a different state.

  12. #12
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    rizzo999 is offline Senior Member Die Hard Bowhunter
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    Public land in IL is highly pressured the last 2 weeks of Oct thru the 1st gun season. $400+ for a non-resident license to hunt public land in IL versus $160 for a non-resident license in WI (for example). Unfortunately, many hunting shows have made hunting Iowa and Illinois more glamorous than what they actually are...

    If you do still decide to come to the Land of Lincoln follow what Dawg said above hunt later and get out there earlier than everyone else. Let them do all of the work pushing the deer to you.
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  13. #13
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    Troutking is offline Senior Member Semi-Hardcore
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    Not to hijack the thread but if you do decide to try another state Missouri has a ton of good public ground to hunt. Also, the archery only areas are great and even better during gun season. PM me if I can be of any help if you decide to go to Missouri for some reason. I can't speak for public land in Illinois
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