Wildlife Illinois

Hunt Planner

Announcements

Spring turkey 1st lottery open

Licenses/Stamps

Hunting Licenses

All hunting licenses and state stamps are effective January 1 of the issuing year through March 31 of the following year. Every person holding a hunting license and associated stamps shall have them in their possession for immediate presentation to any authorized law enforcement officer. A physical or electronic license is valid for hunting and presentation to law enforcement. Purchase licenses or read the Exceptions section below to find out if you do not need a license.

Use the License Finder to know what licenses, stamps and permits you need to hunt a specific animal or season.

Novice Hunter Licenses

Want to try hunting before taking the Hunter Safety course? Purchase one of these licenses:

  • Apprentice License
    • Can be purchased by a person of any age, including residents and non-residents.
    • Is a one-time, non-renewable, license.
    • Allows the licensee to hunt on public property while supervised by a validly licensed resident or nonresident who is 21 years of age or older and has a hunter education certificate.
    • Allows the licensee to hunt on private property while supervised by a validly licensed resident or nonresident hunter who is 21 years of age or older.
  • Youth Hunting and Trapping License
    • Allows the youth (less than 18 years of age) to hunt and/or trap while supervised by an adult who is 21 years of age and has a valid Illinois hunting license.
    • If the youth has a valid certification of competency from a hunter safety or trapper safety course approved by the IDNR, he/she is exempt from the supervision requirements for that activity.
    • License is renewable until the age requirement is exceeded.

Exceptions

You do not need a hunting license if you meet one or more of the following criteria below. Hunting shall be done only during periods of time and with devices and methods as are legally allowed. A State Habitat Stamp and appropriate permits are still required.

  • Owners residing on, or bona fide tenants of, farmlands and their children, parents, brothers, and sisters permanently residing on their lands shall have the right to hunt any legal game species upon their private lands and waters only.
  • Any person on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States who is now and who was at the time of entering the Armed Forces a resident of Illinois and who entered the Armed Forces from Illinois, and who is presently on ordinary or emergency leave from the Armed Forces.
  • Any resident of Illinois who has a legally documented disability may hunt any legal game species without procuring a hunting license. A person is considered legally disabled when that person has a Type 1 or Type 4, Class 2 disability as defined in Section 4A of the Illinois Identification Card Act.

Stamps

  • Use the License Finder to know what stamps you need to hunt a specific animal or season
  • State Habitat Stamp
    • Mandatory for anyone age 18 or older hunting deer, turkey, upland birds, squirrels/rabbits or furbearers
    • Disabled veterans and former POWs are exempt from needing this stamp
  • State Migratory Waterfowl Stamp
    • Mandatory for anyone age 18 or older hunting migratory waterfowl
    • Disabled individuals and disabled veterans are exempt from needing this stamp
    • Landowners with at least 39.5 acres hunting on their own property are exempt from needing this stamp. Stamp is required if hunting elsewhere
  • Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamp
    • Mandatory for anyone age 16 or older hunting migratory waterfowl
    • Disabled veterans are exempt from needing this stamp
    • Be sure to sign your name on the face of the stamp before you go hunting

License Finder

Use the License Finder to know what licenses, stamps and permits you need to hunt a specific animal or season.