The long-anticipated open crossbow archery season officially opens December 3, 2012 and runs through January 20, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn recently signed legislation allowing expanded use of crossbows during the Illinois archery deer and fall archery wild turkey hunting seasons. Now, a legally permitted archery hunter may use a crossbow starting the second Monday following Thanksgiving through the end of the archery hunting season. Illinois law continues to allow use of a crossbow throughout the entire archery season by persons age 62 or older and handicapped persons who are issued crossbow permits by the IDNR. Illinois deer hunters are STILL only allowed to harvest 2 antlered deer (all seasons combined) regardless of the number of permits in possession.
And when you run out to Bass Pro Shop to buy a new crossbow, know that the legal minimum draw weight is 125 pounds, and the overall length (from butt to stock) must be be a minimum of 24 inches. Check the DNR's Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations for current laws and regs.
For more information and updates throughout the season, visit DanStefOutdoors.com!