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What area are you wanting to go to? There is quite a bit of public land in IL the only thing is it can get crowded sometimes. Depending on the area and time of season...
 

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All the good ones have all the people. There are some great spots on some of them, Just need to read some maps and do some legwork. I'd suggest bow only areas if your looking for a good one
 

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Really depends on where in the state you go. Im stationed in the NE corner, right on the Wisconsin border, and state land here in practically non-existent. Go a few hours west from here, or a few more house south, and you can basically find whitetail heaven...even on public land.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
we are looking more toward the south part of IL I think.. Shawnee National Forest has caught my attention due to all the land there is to hunt there. trying to get a little light on a place to hunt instead of goin in blind. But gota start somewere. Thanks for the info and anymore anybody else can give.
 

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Its Northwest but Big Bend SFWA in prophetstown, IL.

Way crowded for rut, but still worth it if you know how to look at a map and topos. Really good through october, but just awesome for December.
 

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I hunted Pope county for years before I moved away a couple years ago. South of Goloconda, look up Bay City on Google maps. Lots of forest roads running thru public land. We always filled our tags during bow and gun seasons. Johnson county also has great hunting. Find a forest road, drive in a ways and hike in more than a few hundred yards and it'll get you away from 80% of hunters. There's quite a bit of private land mixed into the public areas so be careful where you are, but in many areas you can hunt just inside of ag fields. I always hunted funnels between the fields and bedding areas. Lots of deer and some quality bucks despite the heavy pressure. Good luck!
 
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