SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources today announced that applications are being accepted for archery deer hunting on private land this October through the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP). The application deadline is August 24.
IRAP has more than 18,500 acres of private land leased for public access. More than 120 deer hunting sites are available to the public for archery deer hunting for the month of October through IRAP in 20 counties, including Calhoun, Christian, Clay, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Jersey, Lee, Macoupin, Marion, McDonough, Monroe, Pike, Pope, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Wayne, Whiteside, and Williamson.
To participate, hunters must submit applications by August 24 to be eligible for the IRAP archery deer drawing. Applicants must have passed a hunter safety course (if born in 1980 or after), have a valid hunting license, and choose which IRAP period they want to hunt (October 1-15 or October 16-31). IRAP is open to both resident and non-resident hunters. Youth hunters are encouraged to apply and are given preference in the lottery when sites are assigned.
“The Illinois Recreational Access Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with private landowners to provide for much-needed access for hunting and other outdoor activities,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Landowners allow public access to their property in exchange for a minimal lease payment and a habitat management plan. Just as important, the landowner also receives assistance with habitat restoration of their property. It is an ideal public/private partnership that delivers positive results for everyone.”
Applications for IRAP Archery Deer Hunting sites can be found online at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/Archery-Deer-Hunting.aspx
Successful applicants will be notified by mail approximately three weeks before their assigned hunting period. The notice will include the location of their hunting site, a site map, and an IRAP site permit.
The IRAP program is funded through a Voluntary Public Access Habitat Improvement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. IRAP provides multiple public access opportunities, such as turkey, archery deer, small game, waterfowl, and upland bird hunting; pond and riverbank fishing; boat access on public waterways; and, access for hiking, birding and outdoor photography
For more information, visit: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/default.aspx or e-mail IRAP@illinois.gov.