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Slim36

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In Illinois you can use any gun during any of the gun seasons as long as it complies to the cal. requirements. For ML, it has to be of .45 cal or larger shooting a projectile of at least .44, however you can shoot a pistol of 30 cal, go figure...It is Illinois so nothing in this state makes much sense. For small game they don't even mention muzzleloaders but do state you can use a rimfire rifle of .22 cal. Not sure how they would feel about about smaller cal ML's
 

jethro224

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You're right about Illinois law making little sense.
Some of the goofy stuff;
During the muzzleloading rifle only season pistols are NOT allowed. But you CAN use your muzzleloading pistol during the late-winter antlerless-only season so long as it meets muzzle energy requirements.
During the muzzleloading rifle only season your smoothbore is NOT legal to hunt deer. But it IS legal during the "firearm" deer season because then it is a shotgun.
Muzzleloading pistols are not allowed even during the firearm season.

As far as small game muzzleloading, you must carefully check the site-specific regs for any state land you want to hunt.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find out the whole truth. For example, the hunter fact sheet for Sand Ridge State Forrest this year did not mention muzzleloading rifles BUT the rule book says they are OK.
Some only allow shotguns. Some allow shotguns or rimfire. Some allow shotguns or muzzleloading rifles. Some allow all of the above. A smoothbore muzzleloader IS a shotgun when loaded with shot.
On private land you can use whatever you like.
 

Slim36

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Add to all of their wizardspeak the administrative rules, which are hard to get an accurate copy of and they kind of have you over the barrel so to speak.
 

Heavy Eagle

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IDNR just passed a rule that allow hunters to shoot a wild hog but only during firearm deer season. If the wild hogs are a nuisence, why not let hunters shoot them on sight. Also how about bowhunters during bow season? Should they be allowed to shoot one also? I see a possible scheme that the IDNR will keep record of how many hogs are shoot, so in the near future they can start charging hunters to hunt them and to have a season. All for money and the ignorant rednecks who shuck these hogs in will get what they wanted and we will see our native game suffer for it.
 

coloradoclyde

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Many states have weird hunting laws. Hunting laws are seldom written with hunters in mind. They are more often written for commerce and manufacturers. Read crazy laws and then look at what they are selling or trying to sell on the shelves. Many muzzleloader seasons were written to promote the sales of “modern” muzzleloaders for example.
Think of it from a sales perspective”¦.and follow the money.

Hunters don't write the laws.... Business does.
 

NorthFork

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You're right about Illinois law making little sense.
Some of the goofy stuff;
During the muzzleloading rifle only season pistols are NOT allowed. But you CAN use your muzzleloading pistol during the late-winter antlerless-only season so long as it meets muzzle energy requirements.
During the muzzleloading rifle only season your smoothbore is NOT legal to hunt deer. But it IS legal during the "firearm" deer season because then it is a shotgun.
Muzzleloading pistols are not allowed even during the firearm season.

As far as small game muzzleloading, you must carefully check the site-specific regs for any state land you want to hunt.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find out the whole truth. For example, the hunter fact sheet for Sand Ridge State Forrest this year did not mention muzzleloading rifles BUT the rule book says they are OK.
Some only allow shotguns. Some allow shotguns or rimfire. Some allow shotguns or muzzleloading rifles. Some allow all of the above. A smoothbore muzzleloader IS a shotgun when loaded with shot.
On private land you can use whatever you like.
OK, I know this is an old thread however..... There is some misinformation in this post. I had never heard of not being allowed to use your muzzleloading smoothbore during the IL muzzleloading season until I read this thread today. I made several phone calls today to the IDNR and a couple of Conservation Police Officers. Per what I was told, you may use your smoothbores during ml season IF the smoothbore meets all the muzzleloading rifle requirements. The use of the word rifle is simply to differentiate between pistol and longarm. The muzzleloading longarm does NOT have to have a rifled bore. So for example your typical 20 guage/62 Cal trade musket firing a single patched ball is just hunky dory.
 

bryanbekk

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This thread makes it sound like you can use a muzzleloader during any of the firearms seasons as well. Is that the case? I was under the impression that you could only hunt with a muzzleloader during the second shotgun season and then the designated muzzleloader season.
 
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Colorado Clyde, Heavy Eagle - A example for you Maryland years ago you could hunt doves on a general hunting license, then came a program called HIP (harvest information report) where you were asked to report to the DNR the number of birds you shot during the season, you could still use a general hunting license, now you have to purchase a HIP stamp for six dollars. I fear especially with the Chinese flu thing and states loosing tax revenues there will be more pay to play schemes coming our way. And yes the rules are not written bye hunters but politicians, yes there are meetings for hunters to attend but in the end game it is of no concerns to the laws. Actually I feel that part is just to keep the complaints down bye saying we had the meetings and you the hunters were given the opportunity to have input.
 

Zonie

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This thread makes it sound like you can use a muzzleloader during any of the firearms seasons as well. Is that the case? I was under the impression that you could only hunt with a muzzleloader during the second shotgun season and then the designated muzzleloader season.
I don't know the regulations in your state but in Arizona, you can hunt with a modern rifle, a muzzleloader, or a pistol during the regular deer season.

The Muzzleloader seasons here are set up to keep modern cartridge rifles out of the hunt. That is the reason they exist.

It's just my opinion but I think the Muzzleloader season is far safer than the regular deer hunting season. I've never see or heard of a hunter with a muzzleloader taking wild "pot shots" during the muzzleloading season, but I've seen people in the regular season take wild shots at things 1/4 mile or further away thru brush and trees. There is no way they could have actually had a clear shot at game at that distance.
 

bryanbekk

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Yeah I'm pretty sure in illinois the second shotgun season is shared with muzzle loaders and then there is a muzzleloader only season. No cartridge rifle hunting in illinois.
 

mooman76

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I just read the table on the IL reg and it did not differentiate between 1st and second shotgun season so you can hunt with shotgun, ML or handgun. They just call it firearm season.
 
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I do not want to get too far into modern stuff, but there are states that used to be shotgun ,rifle slug only I believe parts of Minnesota is like that and certain counties in Maryland also But there has been a change at least in Maryland these counties this year are allowing the straight walled rifle cartridges that has been developed in the last few years this is for regular rifle seasons and not the muzzle loading seasons , a bit of information you fellows up north may want to check out.
 

lostreef

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This thread makes it sound like you can use a muzzleloader during any of the firearms seasons as well. Is that the case?
The confusion is between types of seasons and types of tags. Firearms tag you can use any firearm meeting DNR requirements, shotgun,handgun, or muzzleloader. Muzzleloader tag you can only hunt with a muzzleloader, and the tag is usable during the 2nd firearms season and muzzleloader season.
 

bryanbekk

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Ah okay. That makes sense. I'll have to see what's available. I just finished my rifle so I already missed the lotteries. If there are firearms tags available over the counter I'll go with that but a ML tag is probably more likely.
 

Splitear

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I moved to NY from Southern Illinois a little over 6 years ago, and this will be my first year hunting since I have moved. I never had the time to learn all of the differences in hunting laws to be certain that I would be within the law. NY is weird because it is has a Northern and Southern zone, in addition to WMU's. I live in Saratoga County, which is pretty much split in half by the North and South zone. I thought IL was screwy with everything being split by county, and then of course all of the gun stuff, but NY is by far more confusing....
 

bryanbekk

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Yeah I think it will definitely help my chances of getting tags that I know almost no one in my area that hunts muzzleloader, since I think gun tags are allocated by county based on previous years harvest numbers (not 100% sure on that though).
 

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