December 12, 2022

Key Takeaways from Hunting and Trapping Regulatory Clean-Up in Illinois

Article Contact: Bob Matthews,

Why It Matters: When regulations are updated by a state’s fish and wildlife management agency, there may be changes that go unnoticed by hunters, anglers, trappers, and recreational shooters. As the original conservationists, sportsmen and women must be up-to-date on their state’s regulations so they may responsibly pursue their favorite outdoor pastime.


  • Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposed rule changes intended to clean up some language surrounding hunting and trapping regulations.
  • Following the adoption of these changes, there are a few updates that sportsmen and women in the Prairie State should know and understand.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) supports agency authority to make important decisions regarding hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting based on science-based management.

November saw a few regulatory changes relative to hunting and trapping in the Land of Lincoln, promulgated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Although many of the changes served to clean up and simplify language, below are a few changes that resulted from the updates:

  • Various sections of the state Wildlife Code were updated to reflect the passage of Illinois House Bill 4386, which was championed by members of the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus from both the state’s House and Senate. The bill will allow single-shot, centerfire rifles as a legal method of taking white-tailed deer beginning January 1, 2023.
  • Section 510.10(d)(4) of the state Wildlife Code was updated so that hunters will no longer forfeit hunting privileges at a site for the following year if they fail to report their harvest at that site before their relevant deadline for two consecutive years.
  • Now, under section 670.30(c) of the state Wildlife Code, hunters may lawfully carry a firearm or sidearm while hunting deer with a bow, so long as they are in possession of a valid, unfilled firearm deer permit.
  • Trappers may use rifles and pistols no larger than .22 caliber with valid Firearm Owners Identification or airguns to harvest trapped furbearers or woodchuck following updates to section 570.35 of the state Wildlife Code.

These regulatory changes serve as a reminder to all sportsmen and women across the Midwest to check for any annual publications on your state fish and wildlife management agency’s website. Being aware of any subtle changes to hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting regulations is what makes a responsible sportsman or woman and ensures that your next trip into your favorite field or waters is as worry-free as can be. CSF takes pride in engaging on and informing the robust American outdoor community of regulatory and legislative changes at the state level and will continue to do so in the future.

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