The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced earlier this month applications are being accepted for archery deer hunting on private land this October through the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP).

The application deadline for IRAP archery deer hunting opportunities is Friday, Aug. 23.

IRAP has more than 20,600 acres of private land leased for public access. At least 200 sites are available to the public for archery deer hunting for the month of October through IRAP in 30 counties, including Pope and Johnson.

To participate, hunters must submit an application by Aug. 23 to be eligible for the IRAP archery deer drawing.

Applicants must have passed a hunter safety course, if born in 1980 or after, have a valid hunting license, and choose whether they prefer to hunt Oct. 1-15 or Oct. 16-31.

IRAP is open to both resident and non-resident hunters. Youth hunters are encouraged to apply and are given preference in the lottery when sites are assigned.

"We are grateful to the landowners who allow public access on their property through the Illinois Recreational Access Program and realize the importance of Illinois' hunting heritage," said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. "IRAP is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with private landowners to provide for much-needed access for hunting and assist with improving the habitat on these private properties."

Applications for IRAP Archery Deer Hunting sites can be found online at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Pages/Archery-Deer-Hunting.aspx

Successful applicants will be notified by mail approximately three weeks before their assigned hunting period. The notice will include the location of their hunting site, a site map, and an IRAP site permit.

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