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Illinois Deer Hunting Closes with Late-Winter and Special CWD Seasons

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

-- SPRINGFIELD – Hunters in Illinois completed the 2008-09 deer hunting seasons by taking a preliminary total of 12,525 deer during the last three days of firearm deer hunting on Jan. 16-18, while the archery deer season ended with preliminary harvest slightly above that of the 2007-08 archery season.

Hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 64,955 deer during the 2008-09 archery deer season (Oct. 1, 2008-Jan. 15, 2009), compared with the archery deer harvest of 64,260 in 2007-08.

The preliminary harvest total of 12,525 for the January 16-18 gun hunt, which included both the Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season and the Special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Deer Season, compares with a harvest of 12,433 deer taken during those seasons last year.  This year’s Special CWD Deer Season was limited to Boone, DeKalb, McHenry, and Winnebago counties and Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47, while 76 additional counties were open for the Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season. 

The Special CWD Season is used to assist in controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd, while the Late-Winter Season provides additional harvest opportunities as a population management tool.

While the last week of our deer hunting seasons was extremely cold in Illinois, those hunters who decided to brave the elements had some success,” said Paul Shelton, manager of the IDNR Forest Wildlife Program.  “We are pleased with the overall deer harvest for 2008-09, and are already beginning the process of planning for improvements in our deer hunting programs for next fall and winter.” 

Hunters took a preliminary total of 105,595 deer during the 2008 Illinois Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7), 4,310 deer during the 2008 Muzzleloader-only Deer Season (Dec. 12-14), and 1,040 deer during the 2008 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 11-12).  For all seasons combined, the 2008-09 harvest totaled 188,425 deer.  Illinois’ record deer harvest occurred in 2005-06, when 201,301 deer were taken.

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