OAKWOOD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host its third annual mentored archery deer hunting opportunity for adults and youth at Kickapoo State Recreation Area in Oakwood beginning Dec. 13.

The application deadline is Dec. 5.

IDNR said hunters who wish to apply must have less than three years of prior deer hunting experience and must not have had their name drawn previously for the mentored deer hunt program. This information will be verified by IDNR license records.

A lottery to assign blinds will be conducted for applicants that meet the deadline. An IDNR hunter heritage biologist will contact all successful applicants with blind and hunt period assignments.

IDNR said hunters will be limited to harvesting one deer and must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult mentor who can assist and advise them during the hunt. Also, all accompanying mentors must be 21 years of age or older and must have a current Illinois hunting license.

A free, site-issued windshield card will also be required. Hunters must provide their own mentor and equipment. Ground blinds will be provided.

Hunting slots will be allocated between youth and adult applicants equally during the following periods:

  • Week 1: Dec. 13-18, 2022
  • Week 2: Dec. 20-25, 2022
  • Week 3: Dec. 27, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
  • Week 4: Jan. 3-8, 2023

Anyone who wishes to participate must complete the online application here.