There are a lot of great places that I would love to deer hunt. I have seen them in the Team Realtree videos or some of the great hunting shows on television. Whether it be the Milk River in Montana, or the brush country of south Texas, or Ohio, or Iowa. There are so many great places to go deer hunting, but there’s one place that I would like to go more than any other in the United states, and it’s Pike County, Illinois. It seems like heaven right here on earth to me. With the big bucks that you consistently see taken from there, it just seems like the place I would love to be able to hunt the most. Year after year, you hear about trophy bucks being harvested there.
Pike County Illinois
Pike County, Illinois is located in West Central Illinois, and is the largest county in the state. It consist of over a half a million acres, and is 849 square miles. It is bordered by the Illinois River on the east, and the Mississippi River on the west.
Over half of the county is pasture and cropland which are planted in wheat, corn, soybeans , and alfalfa. Which are not very big compared to some of the other mid-west states crop fields. And a lot of them are separated by creek bottoms, and brushy timber lots and overgrown fields, it’s prime big buck habitat. Plenty of food and water, and plenty of cover. A lot of the land is Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
With a buck to doe ratio of about 4 to 1 it is a great place to see a lot of mature bucks rutting and chasing does during the rut. It is not uncommon to see three or four bucks chasing one doe. It makes for some great trophy hunting. Rattling, grunting, and using scents, and decoys are very effective ways of taking big mature trophy whitetails in Pike County, Illinois. There is a lot of heavy rutting that takes place during the rut there. So you can use these different tools to your advantage to score on a big boy, if you use them at the right time.
Some people say that the increased hunting pressure has taken a toll on the number of big bucks being taken there, but it is not true, the number of big bucks being harvested there has increased, and is very impressive. Every year there are a number of very large bucks harvested there.
Although I have never been deer hunting in Illinois you can bet that it is on my wish list of places that I hope to visit and hunt someday. Hopefully, in the very near future. I am looking at going on a bow hunt there soon.
You can go to the Illinois state wildlife resources website to find out more information on hunting in Illinois.