Illini West Whitetails

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What do I need to do to book a hunt with ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS?

A: You should first contact Tim Murphy for available dates and accommodations. It is the responsibility of our clients to secure an Illinois Hunting License, Habitat Stamp, and Archery Tags before hunting in Illinois. REMAINING 2014 Non-Resident Archery Deer Combination Permits (one either-sex and one antlerless only) are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Hunters may purchase remaining permits over the counter from a licensed vendor or through the DNR Direct On-line License system on the IDNR web site at or by calling toll-free 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).  Once you have obtained your permit, a deposit of 50% of the cost of the hunt is due at the time of booking to secure your date. Illinois residents that make deposits and book dates agree that this deposit is non-refundable. The final 50% of payment is due no later than one week prior to the hunt. If the final payment is not received the client will forfeit the initial deposit and date of the previously booked hunt. We will work hard to accommodate a date that suits each client to the best of our ability.



Q: What type of lodging and accommodations do ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS offer?

A: We offer comfortable lodging for up to 4 individuals in our “Murphy’s Roost” cabin.  To save you money, ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS has a housekeeping plan; where the hunters are responsible for providing their own meals.  Fresh bed linen, hot/cold running water, electricity, cook stove, microwave, source of heat (firewood) and other incidentals will be furnished. The hunt will include: one day for arrival, scouting/planning and hunting; four full days of hunting; one day for pack-up and departure.  The staff at ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS reserves one day of the week (normally Sunday) for clean up and restocking of the Cabin.


Q: Where is ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS and which location will I be hunting?

A:  Hancock County is located in west-central Illinois along the Mississippi River.   This area is often times referred to as the Tri-States area.  The Tri-States area is where: Hancock County Illinois; Lee County, Iowa; and Clark County, Missouri are joined.  At our farm in Hancock County, we manage the quality of our deer herd.  By managing and scouting year-round, we know which locations are best during a particular phase of the rut.  We also know of particular locations that have the optimum chance of producing on a given day. With our semi-guided approach, we help you determine your own set-up locations, based on our consultation and review of the terrain features, food sources, wind direction, and stage of the rut.
Our hunting methods consist of using tree stands or ground blind set-ups.   We do not allow still-hunting on our managed properties; and deer drives have never been allowed, or conducted. There are also other variables involved in determining set-up locations such as weather conditions and hunting pressure on the neighboring properties that we will take into consideration. We simply want to put you in the best spot possible to ensure a chance at harvesting a mature animal.

Q: Are there any trophy fees for larger bucks harvested?

A: We have no additional fees but we do encourage the harvest of only mature bucks greater than 130 inches. There is no fine/penalty if hunter takes a lesser buck, instead we offer an incentive to harvest the limit or better;">130”-140”=$50, 140”-150”=$75, 150”-160”=$100, 160”-170”=$150.  The incentive will be applied as a savings to the booking fee for the following year.

Q: What is the best time to come hunt with ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS?

A: There are obvious advantages to hunting with ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS during the rut. However this is not the only time hunters can be successful. Many prefer to hunt in early October while the deer are still in regular feeding patterns and have not yet experienced any hunting pressure. At our properties, we only outfit for bow hunts up to the date of the first Illinois Firearm Deer season, which starts on the Friday prior to the week of Thanksgiving.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: We strongly suggest that clients use an equipment check-list while packing for their upcoming hunt. Look at the hunt as an upcoming vacation and pack accordingly as you would for any extended trip. We highly recommend the use of scent-free clothing and other products that remove or control human odors.  We also suggest that hunters bring a climbing stand if you have one available, as we hunt some vast hardwood timbers that are more efficiently hunted with the use of a climbing stands. You may bring your own ATV/UTV, however we may limit their use to specific trails and locations so as to minimize the disturbance on the deer.

Q: Are Taxidermy Services provided?

A: No. However, there are local taxidermy services available in the area.  Our guides can help cape and professionally prepare your buck for taxidermy services.
Q: Can I book a group hunt with ILLINI WEST WHITETAILS?

A: Due to our obligation to keep our hunting pressure at a minimum, groups larger than 4 hunters are not allowed.