Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2549
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Full Text of HB2549  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 2/19/2021, by Rep. Andrew S. Chesney and Amy Elik


520 ILCS 5/1.2m-0.5 new
520 ILCS 5/2.25  from Ch. 61, par. 2.25
520 ILCS 5/2.26  from Ch. 61, par. 2.26
520 ILCS 5/2.33  from Ch. 61, par. 2.33

    Amends the Wildlife Code. Permits deer hunting with a rifle. Provides that current ammunition and caliber restrictions on handguns that may be used for hunting deer also apply to rifles. Provides that current restrictions limiting deer hunting to persons having a firearm deer hunting permit to taking deer only during the period from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, and only during those days for which an open season is established for the taking of deer by use of shotgun, handgun, or bow and arrow also apply to the taking of deer with a rifle. Repeals a provision prohibiting the possession of a rifle while in the field during firearm deer season. Defines "rifle".

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HB2549LRB102 10984 KMF 16316 b

1    AN ACT concerning wildlife.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Wildlife Code is amended by changing
5Sections 2.25, 2.26, and 2.33 and by adding Section 1.2m-0.5
6as follows:
7    (520 ILCS 5/1.2m-0.5 new)
8    Sec. 1.2m-0.5. Rifle. "Rifle" means any firearm designed,
9made, or adapted to be fired from the shoulder that uses the
10energy of an explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire a
11projectile through a rifled bore by a single function of the
13    (520 ILCS 5/2.25)  (from Ch. 61, par. 2.25)
14    Sec. 2.25. It shall be unlawful for any person to take deer
15except: (i) with a shotgun, handgun, rifle, or muzzleloading
16rifle; or (ii) as provided by administrative rule, with a bow
17and arrow, during the open season of not more than 14 days
18which will be set annually by the Director between the dates of
19November 1st and December 31st, both inclusive, or a special
203-day, youth-only season between the dates of September 1 and
21October 31. For the purposes of this Section, legal handguns
22and rifles include any bottleneck centerfire cartridge



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1handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a case length not
2exceeding 1.4 inches or any straight walled minimum barrel
3length of 4 inches. The only legal ammunition for a centerfire
4handgun is a cartridge of .30 caliber or larger both of which
5must be available as a load with the published ballistic
6tables of the manufacturer showing a with a capability of at
7least 500 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. The barrel of a
8handgun shall be at least 4 inches. Full metal jacket bullets
9may not be used to harvest deer.
10    The Department shall make administrative rules concerning
11management restrictions applicable to the firearm and bow and
12arrow season.
13    It shall be unlawful for any person to take deer except
14with a bow and arrow during the open season for bow and arrow
15set annually by the Director between the dates of September
161st and January 31st, both inclusive.
17    It shall be unlawful for any person to take deer except
18with: (i) a muzzleloading rifle; or (ii) bow and arrow during
19the open season for muzzleloading rifles set annually by the
21    The Director shall cause an administrative rule setting
22forth the prescribed rules and regulations, including bag and
23possession limits and those counties of the State where open
24seasons are established, to be published in accordance with
25Sections 1.3 and 1.13 of this Act.
26    The Department may establish separate harvest periods for



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1the purpose of managing or eradicating disease that has been
2found in the deer herd. This season shall be restricted to gun
3or bow and arrow hunting only. The Department shall publicly
4announce, via statewide news release, the season dates and
5shooting hours, the counties and sites open to hunting, permit
6requirements, application dates, hunting rules, legal weapons,
7and reporting requirements.
8    The Department is authorized to establish a separate
9harvest period at specific sites within the State for the
10purpose of harvesting surplus deer that cannot be taken during
11the regular season provided for the taking of deer. This
12season shall be restricted to gun or bow and arrow hunting only
13and shall be established during the period of September 1st to
14February 15th, both inclusive. The Department shall publish
15suitable prescribed rules and regulations established by
16administrative rule pertaining to management restrictions
17applicable to this special harvest program. The Department
18shall allow unused gun deer permits that are left over from a
19regular season for the taking of deer to be rolled over and
20used during any separate harvest period held within 6 months
21of the season for which those tags were issued at no additional
22cost to the permit holder subject to the management
23restrictions applicable to the special harvest program.
24    Beginning July 1, 2019, and on an annual basis thereafter,
25the Department shall provide a report to the General Assembly
26providing information regarding deer management programs



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1established by the Code or by administrative rule that
2includes: (1) the number of surplus deer taken during each
3separate harvest season; (2) the number of deer found to have a
4communicable disease or other abnormality; and (3) what
5happens to the deer taken during each separate harvest season.
6(Source: P.A. 101-66, eff. 7-12-19.)
7    (520 ILCS 5/2.26)  (from Ch. 61, par. 2.26)
8    Sec. 2.26. Deer hunting permits. Any person attempting to
9take deer shall first obtain a "Deer Hunting Permit" issued by
10the Department in accordance with its administrative rules.
11Those rules must provide for the issuance of the following
12types of resident deer archery permits: (i) a combination
13permit, consisting of one either-sex permit and one
14antlerless-only permit, (ii) a single antlerless-only permit,
15and (iii) a single either-sex permit. The fee for a Deer
16Hunting Permit to take deer with either bow and arrow or gun
17shall not exceed $25.00 for residents of the State. The
18Department may by administrative rule provide for non-resident
19deer hunting permits for which the fee will not exceed $300 in
202005, $350 in 2006, and $400 in 2007 and thereafter except as
21provided below for non-resident landowners and non-resident
22archery hunters. The Department may by administrative rule
23provide for a non-resident archery deer permit consisting of
24not more than 2 harvest tags at a total cost not to exceed $325
25in 2005, $375 in 2006, and $425 in 2007 and thereafter. The



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1fees for a youth resident and non-resident archery deer permit
2shall be the same.
3    The Department shall create a pilot program during the
4special 3-day, youth-only deer hunting season to allow for
5youth deer hunting permits that are valid statewide, excluding
6those counties or portions of counties closed to firearm deer
7hunting. The Department shall adopt rules to implement the
8pilot program. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to
9prohibit the Department from issuing Special Hunt Area Permits
10for the youth-only deer hunting season or establishing,
11through administrative rule, additional requirements
12pertaining to the youth-only deer hunting season on
13Department-owned or Department-managed sites, including
14site-specific quotas or drawings. The provisions of this
15paragraph are inoperative on and after January 1, 2023.
16    The standards and specifications for use of guns and bow
17and arrow for deer hunting shall be established by
18administrative rule.
19    No person may have in his or her possession any firearm not
20authorized by administrative rule for a specific hunting
21season when taking deer.
22    Persons having a firearm deer hunting permit shall be
23permitted to take deer only during the period from 1/2 hour
24before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, and only during those
25days for which an open season is established for the taking of
26deer by use of shotgun, handgun, rifle, or muzzleloading



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1muzzle loading rifle.
2    Persons having an archery deer hunting permit shall be
3permitted to take deer only during the period from 1/2 hour
4before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, and only during those
5days for which an open season is established for the taking of
6deer by use of bow and arrow.
7    It shall be unlawful for any person to take deer by use of
8dogs, horses, automobiles, aircraft or other vehicles, or by
9the use or aid of bait or baiting of any kind. For the purposes
10of this Section, "bait" means any material, whether liquid or
11solid, including food, salt, minerals, and other products,
12except pure water, that can be ingested, placed, or scattered
13in such a manner as to attract or lure white-tailed deer.
14"Baiting" means the placement or scattering of bait to attract
15deer. An area is considered as baited during the presence of
16and for 10 consecutive days following the removal of bait.
17Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the use of a dog to
18track wounded deer. Any person using a dog for tracking
19wounded deer must maintain physical control of the dog at all
20times by means of a maximum 50 foot lead attached to the dog's
21collar or harness. Tracking wounded deer is permissible at
22night, but at no time outside of legal deer hunting hours or
23seasons shall any person handling or accompanying a dog being
24used for tracking wounded deer be in possession of any firearm
25or archery device. Persons tracking wounded deer with a dog
26during the firearm deer seasons shall wear blaze orange or



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1solid blaze pink color as required. Dog handlers tracking
2wounded deer with a dog are exempt from hunting license and
3deer permit requirements so long as they are accompanied by
4the licensed deer hunter who wounded the deer.
5    It shall be unlawful to possess or transport any wild deer
6which has been injured or killed in any manner upon a public
7highway or public right-of-way of this State unless exempted
8by administrative rule.
9    Persons hunting deer must have gun unloaded and no bow and
10arrow device shall be carried with the arrow in the nocked
11position during hours when deer hunting is unlawful.
12    It shall be unlawful for any person, having taken the
13legal limit of deer by gun, to further participate with gun in
14any deer hunting party.
15    It shall be unlawful for any person, having taken the
16legal limit of deer by bow and arrow, to further participate
17with bow and arrow in any deer hunting party.
18    The Department may prohibit upland game hunting during the
19gun deer season by administrative rule.
20    The Department shall not limit the number of non-resident,
21either-sex archery deer hunting permits to less than 20,000.
22    Any person who violates any of the provisions of this
23Section, including administrative rules, shall be guilty of a
24Class B misdemeanor.
25    For the purposes of calculating acreage under this
26Section, the Department shall, after determining the total



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1acreage of the applicable tract or tracts of land, round
2remaining fractional portions of an acre greater than or equal
3to half of an acre up to the next whole acre.
4    For the purposes of taking white-tailed deer, nothing in
5this Section shall be construed to prevent the manipulation,
6including mowing or cutting, of standing crops as a normal
7agricultural or soil stabilization practice, food plots, or
8normal agricultural practices, including planting, harvesting,
9and maintenance such as cultivating or the use of products
10designed for scent only and not capable of ingestion, solid or
11liquid, placed or scattered, in such a manner as to attract or
12lure deer. Such manipulation for the purpose of taking
13white-tailed deer may be further modified by administrative
15(Source: P.A. 100-691, eff. 1-1-19; 100-949, eff. 1-1-19;
16101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 101-444, eff. 6-1-20.)
17    (520 ILCS 5/2.33)  (from Ch. 61, par. 2.33)
18    Sec. 2.33. Prohibitions.
19    (a) It is unlawful to carry or possess any gun in any State
20refuge unless otherwise permitted by administrative rule.
21    (b) It is unlawful to use or possess any snare or
22snare-like device, deadfall, net, or pit trap to take any
23species, except that snares not powered by springs or other
24mechanical devices may be used to trap fur-bearing mammals, in
25water sets only, if at least one-half of the snare noose is



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1located underwater at all times.
2    (c) It is unlawful for any person at any time to take a
3wild mammal protected by this Act from its den by means of any
4mechanical device, spade, or digging device or to use smoke or
5other gases to dislodge or remove such mammal except as
6provided in Section 2.37.
7    (d) It is unlawful to use a ferret or any other small
8mammal which is used in the same or similar manner for which
9ferrets are used for the purpose of frightening or driving any
10mammals from their dens or hiding places.
11    (e) (Blank).
12    (f) It is unlawful to use spears, gigs, hooks or any like
13device to take any species protected by this Act.
14    (g) It is unlawful to use poisons, chemicals or explosives
15for the purpose of taking any species protected by this Act.
16    (h) It is unlawful to hunt adjacent to or near any peat,
17grass, brush or other inflammable substance when it is
19    (i) It is unlawful to take, pursue or intentionally harass
20or disturb in any manner any wild birds or mammals by use or
21aid of any vehicle or conveyance, except as permitted by the
22Code of Federal Regulations for the taking of waterfowl. It is
23also unlawful to use the lights of any vehicle or conveyance or
24any light from or any light connected to the vehicle or
25conveyance in any area where wildlife may be found except in
26accordance with Section 2.37 of this Act; however, nothing in



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1this Section shall prohibit the normal use of headlamps for
2the purpose of driving upon a roadway. Striped skunk, opossum,
3red fox, gray fox, raccoon, bobcat, and coyote may be taken
4during the open season by use of a small light which is worn on
5the body or hand-held by a person on foot and not in any
7    (j) It is unlawful to use any shotgun larger than 10 gauge
8while taking or attempting to take any of the species
9protected by this Act.
10    (k) It is unlawful to use or possess in the field any
11shotgun shell loaded with a shot size larger than lead BB or
12steel T (.20 diameter) when taking or attempting to take any
13species of wild game mammals (excluding white-tailed deer),
14wild game birds, migratory waterfowl or migratory game birds
15protected by this Act, except white-tailed deer as provided
16for in Section 2.26 and other species as provided for by
17subsection (l) or administrative rule.
18    (l) It is unlawful to take any species of wild game, except
19white-tailed deer and fur-bearing mammals, with a shotgun
20loaded with slugs unless otherwise provided for by
21administrative rule.
22    (m) It is unlawful to use any shotgun capable of holding
23more than 3 shells in the magazine or chamber combined, except
24on game breeding and hunting preserve areas licensed under
25Section 3.27 and except as permitted by the Code of Federal
26Regulations for the taking of waterfowl. If the shotgun is



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1capable of holding more than 3 shells, it shall, while being
2used on an area other than a game breeding and shooting
3preserve area licensed pursuant to Section 3.27, be fitted
4with a one piece plug that is irremovable without dismantling
5the shotgun or otherwise altered to render it incapable of
6holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber,
8    (n) It is unlawful for any person, except persons who
9possess a permit to hunt from a vehicle as provided in this
10Section and persons otherwise permitted by law, to have or
11carry any gun in or on any vehicle, conveyance or aircraft,
12unless such gun is unloaded and enclosed in a case, except that
13at field trials authorized by Section 2.34 of this Act,
14unloaded guns or guns loaded with blank cartridges only, may
15be carried on horseback while not contained in a case, or to
16have or carry any bow or arrow device in or on any vehicle
17unless such bow or arrow device is unstrung or enclosed in a
18case, or otherwise made inoperable.
19    (o) (Blank).
20    (p) It is unlawful to take game birds, migratory game
21birds or migratory waterfowl with a rifle, pistol, revolver or
23    (q) It is unlawful to fire a rifle, pistol, revolver or
24airgun on, over or into any waters of this State, including
25frozen waters.
26    (r) It is unlawful to discharge any gun or bow and arrow



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1device along, upon, across, or from any public right-of-way or
2highway in this State.
3    (s) It is unlawful to use a silencer or other device to
4muffle or mute the sound of the explosion or report resulting
5from the firing of any gun.
6    (t) It is unlawful for any person to take or attempt to
7take any species of wildlife or parts thereof, intentionally
8or wantonly allow a dog to hunt, within or upon the land of
9another, or upon waters flowing over or standing on the land of
10another, or to knowingly shoot a gun or bow and arrow device at
11any wildlife physically on or flying over the property of
12another without first obtaining permission from the owner or
13the owner's designee. For the purposes of this Section, the
14owner's designee means anyone who the owner designates in a
15written authorization and the authorization must contain (i)
16the legal or common description of property for such authority
17is given, (ii) the extent that the owner's designee is
18authorized to make decisions regarding who is allowed to take
19or attempt to take any species of wildlife or parts thereof,
20and (iii) the owner's notarized signature. Before enforcing
21this Section the law enforcement officer must have received
22notice from the owner or the owner's designee of a violation of
23this Section. Statements made to the law enforcement officer
24regarding this notice shall not be rendered inadmissible by
25the hearsay rule when offered for the purpose of showing the
26required notice.



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1    (u) It is unlawful for any person to discharge any firearm
2for the purpose of taking any of the species protected by this
3Act, or hunt with gun or dog, or intentionally or wantonly
4allow a dog to hunt, within 300 yards of an inhabited dwelling
5without first obtaining permission from the owner or tenant,
6except that while trapping, hunting with bow and arrow,
7hunting with dog and shotgun using shot shells only, or
8hunting with shotgun using shot shells only, or providing
9outfitting services under a waterfowl outfitter permit, or on
10licensed game breeding and hunting preserve areas, as defined
11in Section 3.27, on federally owned and managed lands and on
12Department owned, managed, leased, or controlled lands, a 100
13yard restriction shall apply.
14    (v) It is unlawful for any person to remove fur-bearing
15mammals from, or to move or disturb in any manner, the traps
16owned by another person without written authorization of the
17owner to do so.
18    (w) It is unlawful for any owner of a dog to knowingly or
19wantonly allow his or her dog to pursue, harass or kill deer,
20except that nothing in this Section shall prohibit the
21tracking of wounded deer with a dog in accordance with the
22provisions of Section 2.26 of this Code.
23    (x) It is unlawful for any person to wantonly or
24carelessly injure or destroy, in any manner whatsoever, any
25real or personal property on the land of another while engaged
26in hunting or trapping thereon.



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1    (y) It is unlawful to hunt wild game protected by this Act
2between one half hour after sunset and one half hour before
3sunrise, except that hunting hours between one half hour after
4sunset and one half hour before sunrise may be established by
5administrative rule for fur-bearing mammals.
6    (z) It is unlawful to take any game bird (excluding wild
7turkeys and crippled pheasants not capable of normal flight
8and otherwise irretrievable) protected by this Act when not
9flying. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a person from
10carrying an uncased, unloaded shotgun in a boat, while in
11pursuit of a crippled migratory waterfowl that is incapable of
12normal flight, for the purpose of attempting to reduce the
13migratory waterfowl to possession, provided that the attempt
14is made immediately upon downing the migratory waterfowl and
15is done within 400 yards of the blind from which the migratory
16waterfowl was downed. This exception shall apply only to
17migratory game birds that are not capable of normal flight.
18Migratory waterfowl that are crippled may be taken only with a
19shotgun as regulated by subsection (j) of this Section using
20shotgun shells as regulated in subsection (k) of this Section.
21    (aa) It is unlawful to use or possess any device that may
22be used for tree climbing or cutting, while hunting
23fur-bearing mammals, excluding coyotes.
24    (bb) It is unlawful for any person, except licensed game
25breeders, pursuant to Section 2.29 to import, carry into, or
26possess alive in this State any species of wildlife taken



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1outside of this State, without obtaining permission to do so
2from the Director.
3    (cc) It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her
4possession any freshly killed species protected by this Act
5during the season closed for taking.
6    (dd) It is unlawful to take any species protected by this
7Act and retain it alive except as provided by administrative
9    (ee) (Blank). It is unlawful to possess any rifle while in
10the field during gun deer season except as provided in Section
112.26 and administrative rules.
12    (ff) It is unlawful for any person to take any species
13protected by this Act, except migratory waterfowl, during the
14gun deer hunting season in those counties open to gun deer
15hunting, unless he or she wears, when in the field, a cap and
16upper outer garment of a solid blaze orange color or solid
17blaze pink color, with such articles of clothing displaying a
18minimum of 400 square inches of blaze orange or solid blaze
19pink color material.
20    (gg) It is unlawful during the upland game season for any
21person to take upland game with a firearm unless he or she
22wears, while in the field, a cap of solid blaze orange color or
23solid blaze pink color. For purposes of this Act, upland game
24is defined as Bobwhite Quail, Hungarian Partridge, Ring-necked
25Pheasant, Eastern Cottontail and Swamp Rabbit.
26    (hh) It shall be unlawful to kill or cripple any species



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1protected by this Act for which there is a bag limit without
2making a reasonable effort to retrieve such species and
3include such in the bag limit. It shall be unlawful for any
4person having control over harvested game mammals, game birds,
5or migratory game birds for which there is a bag limit to
6wantonly waste or destroy the usable meat of the game, except
7this shall not apply to wildlife taken under Sections 2.37 or
83.22 of this Code. For purposes of this subsection, "usable
9meat" means the breast meat of a game bird or migratory game
10bird and the hind ham and front shoulders of a game mammal. It
11shall be unlawful for any person to place, leave, dump, or
12abandon a wildlife carcass or parts of it along or upon a
13public right-of-way or highway or on public or private
14property, including a waterway or stream, without the
15permission of the owner or tenant. It shall not be unlawful to
16discard game meat that is determined to be unfit for human
18    (ii) This Section shall apply only to those species
19protected by this Act taken within the State. Any species or
20any parts thereof, legally taken in and transported from other
21states or countries, may be possessed within the State, except
22as provided in this Section and Sections 2.35, 2.36 and 3.21.
23    (jj) (Blank).
24    (kk) Nothing contained in this Section shall prohibit the
25Director from issuing permits to paraplegics or to other
26persons with disabilities who meet the requirements set forth



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1in administrative rule to shoot or hunt from a vehicle as
2provided by that rule, provided that such is otherwise in
3accord with this Act.
4    (ll) Nothing contained in this Act shall prohibit the
5taking of aquatic life protected by the Fish and Aquatic Life
6Code or birds and mammals protected by this Act, except deer
7and fur-bearing mammals, from a boat not camouflaged or
8disguised to alter its identity or to further provide a place
9of concealment and not propelled by sail or mechanical power.
10However, only shotguns not larger than 10 gauge nor smaller
11than .410 bore loaded with not more than 3 shells of a shot
12size no larger than lead BB or steel T (.20 diameter) may be
13used to take species protected by this Act.
14    (mm) Nothing contained in this Act shall prohibit the use
15of a shotgun, not larger than 10 gauge nor smaller than a 20
16gauge, with a rifled barrel.
17    (nn) It shall be unlawful to possess any species of
18wildlife or wildlife parts taken unlawfully in Illinois, any
19other state, or any other country, whether or not the wildlife
20or wildlife parts is indigenous to Illinois. For the purposes
21of this subsection, the statute of limitations for unlawful
22possession of wildlife or wildlife parts shall not cease until
232 years after the possession has permanently ended.
24(Source: P.A. 99-33, eff. 1-1-16; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15;
2599-642, eff. 7-28-16; 100-489, eff. 9-8-17; 100-949, eff.