Rauner Signs Crossbow Hunting Law Law allows all hunters in IL to use crossbows during archery hunting seasons Posted: Sep 11, 2017 06:07 PM EDT Updated: Sep 11, 2017 06:10 PM EDT Springfield, IL - Hunters in Illinois may use crossbows during archery hunting seasons, including the Illinois Archery Deer Season and the Illinois Fall Turkey Archery Season beginning on October 1st. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 2893, which amended the Illinois Wildlife Code to repeal restrictions on the use of crossbows during archery hunting seasons in Illinois. Illinois law previously allowed the use of crossbows for archery hunting by persons age 62 or older, and those with disabilities who qualified for a crossbow permit issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). In addition, the previous law allowed certain youth hunters to use crossbows, and allowed all archery hunters to use crossbows beginning the Monday after the second firearm deer season. The 2017-18 season dates for archery deer and fall turkey archery hunting in Illinois are October 1, 2017 through January 14th, 2018. Archery seasons will be closed November 17th-19th and November 30th-December 3rd during the Firearm Deer Season in those counties open to firearm deer hunting.