Man, I can't think of the name, but there is a new website devoted to outfitter reviews. If I think about it I will post it for you. Why IL? Not that I am suggesting it is a bad choice, just curious why that state. Jim Boyd has been hunting there lately so maybe he can help, but I don't think he is using an outfitter.
Well, that might be hard to find "big deer" and a "good price". Illinois is one of the biggest trophy buck destinations int he United States. You might find some decent hunt prices, but I bet most are going to be $4000 plus. If that's what you consider good price, then do a google search, there are plenty of outfittters out there.
Many outfitters in Illinois have been clobbered over there and they have folded left and right, particularly in the west central portion of the state along the river.
This fabled area has been hit really hard, with a lot of land in foreclosure... in the mid 2000's with deer hunting at it's peak, people were opening outfitters and buying land at ridiculous prices and then the bottom fell out.
The economy went south and the deer herds have had some disease problems, also.
You can still hunt and be very successful there with an outfitter however - but I would want to do some serious research before I kicked him a couple thousand dollars to hunt.
I would find someone that has been in business a while, however...
I would also invest the time to visit once before I hunted - and meet the people, see where you are going to be staying, look at the land, etc... I think that is a trip well worth that sort of investment on the front end.
Too many times, horror stories arise from this and I think seeing and knowing ahead of time would be wise.
This may also serve to keep the outfitter a little more honest - he will know exactly what you expect.
Here is another thought - why don't we make a coalition of hunters and lease our own piece????
What does "gauge" mean anyway? As used here gauge means the number of round lead balls the same diameter as the inside of the barrel (aka the bore) that it would take to weigh one pound. It takes 12 lead balls the same diameter as a 12 gauge barrel to weigh a pound. The smaller 20 gauge would require 20 balls of that barrel diameter. The larger bore 12 gauge would require 12 lead balls of the bore diameter to weigh one pound.
In general the number of pellets in a shotgun shell...