Those that are hunting during the Illinois firearm season, but are not sure of which is the best weapon of choice, need to know
that Illinois allows the use of either a Shotgun (with rifles barrel), Muzzle Loader or pistol during the Illinois regular firearm
season. The use of a scope is allowed. As regulations sometimes change, All Applicants are responsible for and should check
with the IDNR on ALL specifications, regulations and restrictions on firearms that can be legally used during the Illinois
whitetail firearm seasons. Click the link here for the IL DNR
Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

Hunters are permitted to use shotguns no smaller than a 20 gauge. B.W.O. allows the use of shotguns no larger than 12 gauge.
All shotguns are be modified in a way that they can only hold two shells in the magazine and one in the chamber.
(THREE SHOT MAXIMUM ) Any firearm found to be able to hold more than three shells is illegal and hunters will receive a fine
from the investigating officer.

Now for those that have never used nor are familiar with the use of a shotgun, for the use of harvesting deer? Feel Free to call
or email us for any information on developing the most accurately shooting shotgun as possible. Contrary to belief, shotguns
can successfully be shot to a highly accurate level beyond 150 yards. I have personally harvested trophy whitetails out to 190
yards with a scoped down 20 gauge, shooting a foster slug through a improved cylinder choke tube. My father ( A Master
Gunsmith) has taken down whitetails out to 230 yards with a custom built 12 gauge shotgun that he designed and built for
Now the best recommended shotguns for accurately shooting long distances are the shotguns having a fully rifled barrel, top
of the line shooting optics (a scope) and shooting a sabot slug. Foster style slugs are effective and are still being used today
by allot of hunters. The foster slug was designed for shotguns having a smooth bore barrels and are not accurate from rifled
barrels. Yes they still work. But why drive on old tires when new ones are available. Anyways, with being the son of an expert
gunsmith & whitetail hunter, I will share with you his recommendations for developing a super whitetail shotguns
What you need to know about low end/affordable/entry level shotguns barrels. With most delicately prices after market barrels
being mass produced. Right off of the shelf, the manufacturer tolerances between two of the exact same barrels barrel can
vary. Therefore, a person can buy two of the exact same guns and/or barrels and they can shoot the same brand slug
differently. And that can be some frustrating days at the range!! By recommendation my father always said the probably the
best of the most affordable slug barrels on the market is manufactured by Hastings Corporation. I am sure there may be other
manufacturers out there. Hunters will just need to do some extensive research to find the best possible barrels. Just know that
the best possible barrels will not come with the best available pricing. But when you are high in a tree and a trophy whitetail
bucks is standing at 200 yards.........Well I am sure at that point you will be glad you spent the extra money.
Once you have purchased your selected gun & barrel combination: The hunter will then need to find the brand of slug that
best matches your hunting combination. Hunters will need to go purchase ONE OF EACH BRAND of sabot slug that may be
available on the market. Some manufacturers have a recommended slug.........But I have never chose to just take their word for
it. Once you have your selection of slugs, take the gun to the range and set up a target at 50 yards. Now first know that as a
barrel is shot repetition, it will heat up and cause accuracy problems.  And what we are looking for is the slug that performs
the best on a one time cold barrel shot. Therefore, to mimic a hunting situation, one should fire no more than three
consecutive shots "from a bench vise" then allow the barrel to FULLY COOL. As well, between each brand of slug being shot.
You will need to run a cleaning brush through the barrel before continuing on to test the next brand of sabot slug.
Once you find which brand of slug matches the tolerances of your barrel. You can then proceed to zeroing in your shotgun.
Move the target down range from 50 to 100 yards, then from 100 to 150 and then from 150 to 200. Check the trajectory tables
for that brand of slug and don't think for a second that your shotgun doesn't have the capability of harvesting an animal at a
range of 200 yards. Shoot your gun, shoot your gun allot and know at what the maximum range that it perform at an ethical
level and go to the woods with confidence!
Another variable to consider while selecting the perfect whitetail shotgun. Keep in mind that even though a 20 gauge is a
smaller caliber that the 12 gauge. The 20 gauge is more aerodynamically correct than the 12 gauge. A 20 gauge slug is usually
the same length as a 12 but the diameter is smaller. Thus, a more aerodynamic projectile. And because it is a little lighter in
weight, It will travel further down range at a flatter trajectory than a 12 gauge will, before it starts to tumble. So consider all the
variables, all the options and equipment combinations available before your make your whitetail slug gun purchase.

Everybody know that  Muzzle Loaders are the next best thing to a high power rifle.
NOTE: high powered rifles are not allowed
to be used during the Illinois firearm seasons.
 So that makes a makes a high tech in-line muzzle loader the next best selection
for a long distance "one shot one kill" weapon. With time spent at the range, a good quality muzzle loader and a quality scope.
Hunters are now reaching out and making 300+ yard shots. Once again, because the smaller calibers are more
aerodynamically correct, the 45 caliber is our first choice for a long range hitter. Dont forget to test several brands of sabots
along with different powder loads. And you will find yourself with long range confidence and more trophy bucks on your wall!
Firearm & Muzzle Loading Hunting Information
Backwoods Whitetails
P.O. Box 372
240 West Main St.
Ipava, IL 61441
Phone: 309-224-2853
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