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Illinois Muzzleloader Hunting Season

Illinois Muzzleloader Hunting Season

Updated as of 3/26/2020 - "Single or double-barreled muzzleloading rifles of at least .45 caliber shooting a single projectile through a barrel of at least 16 inches in length.

A muzzleloading firearm is defined as a firearm that is incapable of being loaded from the breech end.

Only blackpowder or a “blackpowder substitute” such as Pyrodex may be used. Modern smokeless powders (nitrocellulose-based) are an approved blackpowder substitute only in muzzleloading firearms specifically designed for their use.

Percussion caps (shotgun primers are legal percussion caps), wheellock, matchlock or flint type ignition only may be used, except a muzzleloader with an electronic ignition is legal to use.

A muzzleloading firearm is considered unloaded when: removal of percussion cap or removal of prime powder from frizzen pan with frizzen open and hammer all the way down or removal of prime powder from flashpan and wheel un-wound or removal of prime powder and match with match not lit, or removal of the battery from the electronic ignition muzzleloader.

Muzzleloading rifle deer hunters must have a current, valid Muzzleloading Rifle Deer Season Permit, or an unused Property-Only Landowner/Tenant Deer Permit valid for that year’s Firearm Deer Season."




Muzzleloader Deer Hunts

Season Season Dates Bag Limit Notes
Muzzleloader Only Dec 5th - Dec 8th 1 Deer Per Permit  
Muzzleloader Only Dec 13th - Dec 15th 1 Deer Per Permit  
Firearm Nov 22nd - Nov 24th 1 Deer Per Permit Shotgun, Muzzleloader or Handgun
Firearm Dec 5th - Dec 8th 1 Deer Per Permit Shotgun, Muzzleloader or Handgun
Late Winter Antlerless Only Dec 26th - Dec 29th 1 Antlerless Deer Per Permit Shotgun, Muzzleloader or Handgun
Late Winter Antlerless Only Jan 17th - Jan 19th 1 Antlerless Deer Per Permit Shotgun, Muzzleloader or Handgun



  • Muzzleloaders must be .45 caliber or larger
  • Muzzleloaders must fire a single projectile
  • Muzzleloaders must have a barrel 16" or longer
  • Muzzleloaders must be incapable of loading from the breech
  • 209 primers are legal
  • Pelletized powder is legal


This information is subject to change, for more information visit: Illinois Hunting Regulations


Muzzleloader Hunting season is the best for low-pressure hunting and plentiful wildlife. If you are new to muzzleloaders or would like more information on your state's muzzleloader hunting regulations, make sure to give us a call. is focused on promoting black powder hunting in all 50 states and can help you determine when your particular state's hunting season starts. If you have questions about Illinois Muzzleloader Hunting Season, please call us at 1-855-236-5000 or email us at

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