The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has announced they are accepting applications from youth shotgun and youth and adult archery hunters for fall 2022 deer hunting on private land through the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP).

IDNR has leased more than 16,400 acres of private land for the fall 2022 deer season through IRAP, creating 380 public access deer hunting sites in 42 counties. These sites are available during the youth shotgun period in October and for archery deer hunting during the entire month of October and the latter half of December. There is no cost to participants to use these sites.

IRAP deer hunting applications are accepted online only and must be submitted by August 10 at 5 p.m. Hunters may submit up to three IRAP deer hunting applications per year, one for each IRAP deer hunting period (youth shotgun, second and third IRAP periods).

Applications for IRAP youth shotgun deer hunting sites can be found by clicking here. Applications for IRAP youth and adult deer hunting sites can be found by clicking here.

Deer hunting on IRAP-leased property is available only during the following 2022 hunting periods:

Youth shotgun: Oct. 8-10

Youth and adult archery:

  • Period 1: Oct. 1-15
  • Period 2: Oct. 16-31
  • Period 3: Dec. 16-31

A lottery will take place if more applications are received than there are sites available. Youth hunters must not have reached their 18th birthday by the first day of the hunting period and they must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old. Adult archery deer hunters must be at least 18 by the start of the archery deer period for which they’re applying. All adult hunters born in 1980 or later must have completed an IDNR-approved hunter education course and must have an Illinois hunting license and a valid IDNR archery deer hunting permit for the county in which they’re applying to hunt if awarded a site.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail about three weeks before their assigned hunting period. They will also receive a map with coordinates, driving directions and an IRAP site permit allowing them to hunt on their assigned, privately owned deer hunting site.

IRAP is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. To date, IRAP has leased more than 27,000 acres in more than 50 counties to offer various public access opportunities, such as turkey, archery deer, youth shotgun deer, small game, waterfowl and upland bird hunting, and pond and riverbank fishing.

IRAP provides hunters and families opportunities to participate in time-honored outdoor traditions while restoring the quality of Illinois’ private lands.

For more information, click here or email dnr.irap@illinois.gov.