Welcome to the Lodge

10,000 acres of trophy-managed property

To maintain a high quality hunting experience, we’ve committed to managing our land for the long term. We believe in the quality of the hunt, not quantity of hunters, and our dedication to proper land management has led to low pressure hunting, a fertile habitat with high deer density and consistent success for our clients.

See Inside

01. Whitetails

Illinois Backwoods Outfitters specializes in archery hunting for all skill levels. All Backwoods guides are experienced bowhunters who understand the land and share equal passion for the sport. Whether early season, rut, or late season, our archery hunts provide ample opportunities to shoot your buck of a lifetime. Our archery hunts are 5 days, and include meals and lodging.

02. Mission

To maintain a high quality hunting experience, Illinois Backwoods Outfitters has committed to managing our land for the long term. We believe in the quality of the hunt, not quantity of hunters, and our dedication to proper land management has led to low pressure hunting, a fertile habitat with high deer density and consistently high success rates for our clients.

03. Hunts

We provide a limited number of guided black powder and shotgun hunts. Gun hunts take place at the end of the rut or late season over various food plots. Our gun hunts typically have a very high success rate. These popular hunts primarily utilize ladder stands and ground blinds. Three- and four-day packages are available, and lodging and meals are included with these hunts.

Experience the Hunt

Illinois Backwoods Outfitters is the premier destination for hunters looking to harvest the trophy whitetail deer of their dreams. Here you’ll experience quality Illinois deer hunting, reputable guides, and a great lodge. We are dedicated to becoming the top outfitter in Illinois for bow, shotgun, and muzzleloader deer hunts and want you to return year after year.

Start the Hunt

Rates & Dates

Below is a list of hunt dates and prices per person.
** For gun hunts, Hunters need to contact us before May about putting in for Tag Lottery.

October 24th - 28th

1st Archery

8 Hunts - $4900 (per hunter)

October 31st - 4th

2nd Archery

10 Hunts - $5200 (per hunter)

November 7th - 11th

3rd Archery

10 Hunts - $5200 (per hunter)

November 14th - 18th

4th Archery

10 Hunts - $5200 (per hunter)

November 19th - 21st

1st Gun Hunt

10 Hunts - $4000 (per hunter)

December 3rd - 6th

2nd Gun Hunt

$4000 (per hunter)

Google Reviews

Our client experiences

“Backwoods Outfitters is a World Class Outfit. The total experience is the ultimate in a good time and great hunting. The greatest guys, the best lodging and food, and well the hunting is over the top! The best hunting experience ever! Counting down the minutes until I see you again.”

Stanley PolandHunter

“Awesome experience with great guides and Grade A facility! I recommend these guys highly! I’ve been three years in a row and this is the place to go in Illinois!”

T. Scott JonesHunter

“This place is top notch outfitter. If you want to have a chance at a once in a lifetime buck, this is the place. Great facilities, great food, and great guys.”

Jeff MonroeHunter

“They are wonderful people to work for! I have seen a lot of happy hunters and some good deer! thank you for making me feel like part of the family!”

Loretta MorganHunter

Meet Our Team

Illinois Backwoods Outfitters


Matthew Howell

I’m from Marietta, GA where I was raised on GA football and a bow shop that my father owned. That’s where I found my passion for the outdoors, waterfowl and wing shooting. Whitetails and turkeys were always second best, but later in life I found another passion...bow hunting whitetails. I now reside in Acworth, GA with my wife and my 3 beautiful children.

Im truly excited to offer the same experience I had as a hunter to other hunters like my self. A hunt of a lifetime and a chance at a World-Class whitetail. At IBO it’s all about The Experience, The Food, The Laughs, The Friendships, The Chase, The Hunt and That Moment it all comes together. Even if you don’t take a home a trophy....you will take home the memories of a lifetime.


Wesley McNelley

My name is Wesley McNelley. I was born and raised in beautiful Blue Ridge Georgia. I currently live with my wife Amanda and our three children Madison, Eva, and Nathan in the gorgeous mountains of North Georgia. Growing up in the mountains, I was always on the quest for monster bucks. As I got older my passion for hunting grew exponentially. Whitetail hunts in Illinois have by far been one of my favorites each year.

Having been a client of IBO for several years, I was always finding myself looking forward to the next year when I’d make it back up. Hanging out with my buddies and having such a high success rate at the outfitter.... I caught myself definitely getting pumped up each year to harvest a monster buck at IBO. The property was were I landed my biggest bucks and I enjoyed the atmosphere of the lodge. The guides became friends and it just developed into an interest of mine with each bow season. Couldn’t beat the success I had at IBO.

Last season I was asked to join in as a buying partner for the outfitter. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. IBO will always have a vested interest from me. Going from being a long standing client to now being a partner in owning and making my favorite bow hunting spot in Illinios one of the best is a dream come true. I’m excited to see how much more we can offer to make the outfitter a place my fellow hunters look forward to returning to year after year. I gotta say it’s an exciting endeavor and I look forward to making it the best monster whitetail hunts Illinois can offer.

Book a stay at the Lodge. Join one of our Archery & Gun Hunts. Bring the whole family and enjoy an experience of a lifetime. Our land brings about some of the rarest whitetail deer in the midwest.


Illinois Backwoods Outfitters, Inc
20136 E 1800th Rd, Edgar, IL 61924


For hunting & lodge inquiries, feel free to call or email
Matthew Howell • (404) 444-9078
Wesley McNelley • (706) 633-6214