I know of much public land in Illinois to hunt. Got a Boat? Look on the Illinois DNR web page. I have personally killed some nice bucks on public property. email me for other hunting opportunities in on the Illinois and Mississippi River Bottoms.
Sorry, I really have not researched Pope County. Look on the Illinois DNR web page, should be information on there. My web site has a link to the DNR.
T C Xtreme Whitetails . com Contact us directly if we can be of any other service and good luck to you on your hunt. Email me directly, we can talk. firstname.lastname@example.org
Try to put your tree stand in a tree with plenty of background cover, keep the prevailing winds for that time of the year to your face, and take care of those pesky squeaks and creaks your stand may have developed while sitting in the shed. A good treestand lube can be made by heating petroleum jelly until it reaches a liquid form. Some hunters have reported success by including a cover scent in this mixture before applying it to their stands.