Hunting and Fishing in Pike County

News Flash, February 10, 2017    Bobcat Season
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) released preliminary 2016 -2017 Bobcat harvest totals. Statewide, hunters in Illinois harvested 141 bobcats. Hunters in Pike County harvested 11 bobcats, the highest total in the state. The IDNR press release from January 24th with totals by county is downloadable here.

News Flash, January 24, 2017  Deer Harvest
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) released preliminary 2016 -2017 harvest totals. Statewide, hunters in Illinois harvested  144,150 deer during all seasons, which concluded January 15.  This compares to 155,229 harvested the 2015-2016 season.  Hunters in Pike County harvested 4,459 deer- the highest total in the state.  Last year 5,077 were harvested. The IDNR press release from January 24th with totals by county is downloadable here.

News Flash, May 13, 2016

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) releases preliminary 2016 Spring Turkey Season harvest totals. Statewide, hunters in Illinois harvested 15,484 wild turkeys during the spring season, including the youth seasons.  This compares to 15,000 harvested in 2015.

Hunters in Pike County harvested 393 wild turkeys, compared to 341 in 2015- the fourth highest total in the state.
You can download the IDNR press release with the county totals here.  

Pike County is a sportsman’s paradise.  The combination of hardwood woodlands and multi-culture agriculture provides the ideal blend of components attractive to a host of wildlife. The topography of Pike County, with its rolling hills, creek bottoms and river bluffs offers ideal habitat.  The county has a national reputation among sportsmen for the quantity and quality of white tail deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, and a variety of other game species. Equally as inviting, is the quality fishing and convenient pleasure readily available on the Mississippi River to the west, and the Illinois River to the east.  Lake Pittsfield, 2 miles east of Pittsfield is a 200 acre lake surrounded by 480 acres of recreational land.  Pike County’s natural beauty and resources offer something for everyone. 

Whitetail Deer

Pike County is particularly renowned for its trophy whitetail deer hunting.  Pike County is one of the top counties in Illinois in terms of the quantity of deer harvested during each season. 

Much of the success of deer hunting in Pike County is attributed to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ excellent management of our deer herds, strict enforcement of game laws, licensing and oversight of outfitters, and DNR’s excellent partnership with other agencies and hunting services.  IDNR also manages public land for hunting on Ray Norbut Fish and Wildlife Area (see below).  Complete information about hunting in Illinois can be found on IDNR’s website    The IDNR has published their 2016-2017Hunting Digest with dates and seasons, available as a PDF here, or on the IDNR web site. We are also pleased to provide you the Deer Archery Check-in procedures for this season here.    Also available is this pdf from the IDNR with Deer Check-in information, including firearm season. 

If you plan to hunt using an outfitter, we recommend you use one licensed by the IDNR.  The 2014-2015 list of Illinois Licensed Deer and Wild Turkey Outfitters is available as a pdf here.

Remaining Firearm Deer Permits:

Remaining Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors until quotas are exhausted. Find a vendor near you at this link:…/Pag…/LicensePermitVendors.aspx

It’s not just the abundant deer that make hunting in Pike County memorable.  It’s the friendly Pike County people, the varied accommodations, great places to eat, and helpful hunting services providers who will make your trip enjoyable.  Pittsfield, our county seat, was named one of the Top 5 Hunting Towns in America by Real Tree magazine; and all of our communities offer the same Pike County amenities and warm welcome to hunters.  Many of them are listed in this pdf brochure, the Western Illinois Hunting Guide  covering Pike, Adams and Hancock counties.  We hope you find it useful. 

Once you’ve experienced Pike County hunting we know you’ll want to return, both to hunt and at other times- and bring your families!

Access Illinois Outdoors is a program where outdoor enthusiasts are matched with private landowners for whitetail deer hunting, turkey hunting and other outdoor activities.  Since its creation in 1994, more than 174 landowners have signed up, servicing more than 3000 visitors.  AIO also runs the Access Food program whereby hunters are encouraged to shoot a doe to help control the population, and then donate the meat to local food pantries.  Processing costs are covered by the program.  Contact information is provided below.

Special Reminder from Access Illinois Outdoors to donate deer (posted November 16, 2015):

The Access Food project needs your help to keep our food pantries stocked with processed deer meat.  The Two Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Area operates Access Illinois Outdoors and its Access Food project, which processes donated deer to stock food pantry shelves. A funding change means more local support is needed.  Sportsmen Against Hunger funding will not be available this year to help offset the processing costs.

Hunters wanting to participate may take their tagged deer to the Butcher Block in Quincy or Bob's Red Fox in Pleasant Hill. 

The processed deer will be donated to the food pantry operated by the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials in Pittsfield (at the Reach-out Center) and the Barry Food Pantry. Last year over 10,000 pounds of processed meat was made available last year to the local food pantries and more is needed this year to meet an anticipated increase in food pantry services. The two pantries already are feeding more than 4,800 individuals a month.

For more information contact Access Illinois Outdoors at 217-285-2464 or 888-285-2464. All donations are tax-deductible.

Ray Norbut
Ray Norbut Fish and Wildlife Area is a 1,140 acre mosaic of bottomlands, woodlands, rocky ravines, wetlands, open fields, steep hills, and bluffs.  Located along the Illinois River, it lies five miles east of Griggsville and two miles south of Valley City in the eastern part of the county.  All but 140 of the 1,140 acres are open to hunting. For the Firearm Deer season, a quota of hunters will be filled by special permit; drawing in Springfield.  For the Late-Winter Deer season, (formerly Handgun Season) a quota of hunters will be filled on a sign-in sheet at the office each morning. A Pike County permit is required.  For Archery Deer hunting, no quota is required but a statewide permit is required. Statewide seasons, shooting hours and bag limits apply.  All hunters are required to check in and out at the site headquarters and record their harvest. Site Specific regulations may change; consult the DNR website.

Access Illinois Outdoors   217-285-2464
1301 E. Washington St., Pittsfield, IL. 62363

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
(hunting regulations, season, permits, list of licensed outfitters)
Illinois 106 West, Pittsfield, IL 62363

Ray Norbut Fish & Wildlife Area  217-833-2811
46815 290th Avenue
Griggsville, IL 62340

Other Hunting Services:

Longbeard Taxidermy   217-285-1377
Rt. 54 Pittsfield Industrial Park,  Pittsfield, IL. 62363

Pike County Archery Shop   217-285-1610
7 East Industrial Park Dr., Pittsfield, IL. 62363

Outfitters who are Chamber members.   See IDNR website for a complete list.

Blue River Outdoors, Inc.  217-723-4269
45905 State Hwy 106, Pittsfield, IL. 62363

Buckeye Creek Outfitters   847-359-5912   or 217-285-4077
238 Reseda Parkway, Palatine, IL. 60067

Butler Farms Outdoor Adventure    217-723-4451
46744 255th Ave., Pittsfield, IL. 62363

Heartland Lodge  
10236 393rd St.  Nebo, IL. 62355

Hopewell Views Hunting Club & Game Farm
19048 US Hwy 54
Rockport, IL

Sprague’s  Kinderhook Lodge      217-432-1090
22168  State Hwy 106
Barry, IL  62312
Andy Sprague

Interested in purchasing recreational land, either in Pike County or elsewhere?  Call:

Whitetail Properties                          217-285-9000

PO Box 251
Pittsfield, IL  62363
Dan Perez