I have seen many great bucks taken from public land in IL. As everybody has said before, you have to do your homework double time for public land. You need to go deeper and find the spots the average hunter is to lazy to go hunt.
Honestly I feel like the low harvest numbers have to do with the EHD out break last year along with the fact that the crop harvest started later this year. The past few years there wasn't near as much standing crops for the first three weeks of October as there was this year.
-Savage 220 topped with a Nikon pro staff deer hunter.
-Bowtech Experience w/gold tip xt hunter arrows & rage chisel tip broagheads