What are you looking for in a trophy Whitetail hunt?

Chances are you will find everything you are looking for and more at Illinois Connection. We offer some of the highest quality free range whitetail in the entire world. We offer unique hunting, one-of-a-kind lodging and service second to none.

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First rule of a successful business…Location.

We are situated in Mt. Sterling, geographically located in Mid West Central Illinois, nestled in between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. The Mecca of Illinois: Pike, Brown, Schuyler and Adams Counties, commonly referred to as the Golden Triangle.

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The ingredients to produce trophy class bucks.

We manage over 16,000 acres of private land. Our properties are managed with one goal in mind: producing large whitetail bucks. We do that by strictly enforcing antler minimums, providing deer with the proper nutrition, usage of many farms, over 1000 stands and a limited number of hunters targeted at the proper time. As a result, our bucks have minimal pressure, reach a mature age and our clients are given the maximum chance.

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Our secret ingredient

How we harvest more trophy class bucks than almost any other outfitter is the fact that we offer a limited number of hunters to hunt with us each year. We are more concerned with our hunters’ success and the number of inches of antlers harvested than we are about large numbers of hunters and lots of money. Honestly, our ground sits most of the time. As a result, our properties are not beaten up, our deer herd is not over hunted and our staff is not burned out.

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Ultra Comfort and Family Friendly

Our lodge is a resort built for hunters who want to go on a hunting vacation, not just a hunt. From the fountain drink dispenser to the full bar and pool table, Illinois Connection has it all. Log accents, leather furniture, a field stone fireplace, custom hardwood floors and clean rooms make Illinois Connection a warm and inviting place everyone enjoys coming back to after a long day of hunting.

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How good is our hunting? In the last six years, our ground has produced 37 gross scoring Boone and Crockett’s, six in the 200’s, eight in the 190’s, six in the 180’s and seventeen in the 170’s.

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Our Hunts
  • Hunter Information
    Offering 5 day bow hunts, 3 and 4 day firearm / muzzle loader hunts on private land in Brown, Pike, and Schuyler counties. Illinois Connection has arguably been the...
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  • Photo Galleries
    At Illinois Connection we are extremely proud of the quality of deer we have. By reviewing our photo galleries, we know that you will see why and we know...
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  • Lodging
    The evening really begins with dinner because of the exciting time spent with the other hunters around the table detailing every aspect of the days hunt and anticipation for the...
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  • Why Choose Us
    Illinois Connection offers some of the best bow hunting the "Golden Triangle" of Illinois. We operate on over 16,000 privately owned acres in Pike, Brown, Adams, & Schuyler Counties....
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  • References
    Please feel free to contact any of our references to verify the level of hunt you can expect from us. We are confident that our clients can say it better...
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  • Moon Phase
    To see a specific month's moon phase, click on the month and then press "Go". This will display the moon phase for each day of the selected month. ...
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Latest Hunts


Deer hunting big bucks in Illinois can be fun, but it can also be very difficult. Mature whitetails are often big-bodied and tough as nails. Even when it appears they have been shot in just the right spot, they can survive to live another day. Here at Illinois Connection, we have Tracker John on retainer. Tracker John is one of 

230 7/8″, 20 Point World Class Giant Whitetail

Finally something positive in 2020. A three year pursuit has come to an end with the harvest of this 230 7/8″, 20 point absolute World Class Giant. A true blessing and once in a lifetime deer. We are celebrating our 20th year anniversary of operating here at Illinois Connection and what more could you ask for. This 8 1/2 year 


We have recently updated our COVID-19 procedures and safety protocols.  Please click here to review them and a letter from owner Doug Benefield. Click to read procedures...

Get Your Buck of a Lifetime!

Most people think that all the deer in Illinois have died due to disease….we’ve had, and continue to have, excellent seasons and anticipate all the subsequent years to be of equal quality or even better. Those that missed this season, missed a good one. We have a lot of mature deer that we are looking forward to seeing what they 


All is fair in love and war as the old saying goes. We are referring to the woes of free range Whitetails. Unfortunately when dealing with free range whitetails we are going to have a few that travel outside of boundaries within our control…and when that happens it is fair game….Hence, the Laws of Mother Nature. We just want to 


Pictures don’t lie…and… if you look at all the trail camera photos we have up on our website from this summer, one thing is certain. We have many big bucks running around on our properties. “Over the past couple years, there have been many rumors floating around that EHD has taken its toll on Illinois, but we are seeing many 


Many outfitters only offer the bare necessities. When you arrive in camp, you are sleeping in a musty old bunk house. The meals are often just good enough to keep you going and the service is subpar. As a result, many female hunters don’t feel comfortable going on guided hunts. They choose to stay home and hunt. Many female hunters 


Bow season is almost here and we have been taking a buck inventory. Scouting cameras have been strategically placed all over our farms. The good news is we are seeing lots of large bucks which is great news for anyone who plans to hunt with us this fall. “Over the years, we have learned a lot about the travel patterns 


Part of our secret to success is the result of growing top notch food plots that attract and keep the deer on the property during the hunting season. There are plenty of food plot options on the market but the seed blend we have taken a liking to is Infinity by Whitetail Select. This mix is made of nine clovers 

Getting Ready for Fall, By: Tracy Breen

The summer is very busy here at Illinois Connection. While many are pool side enjoying the sun or going on a summer vacation, we are hard at work getting our food plots ready for fall so hunters can see lots of big bucks. Pike County and Brown County have many big bucks and we make sure you see them by 
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