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Illinois Firearms Hunters Harvest 105,595 Deer

From Illinois Department of Natural Resources

-- Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 105,595 deer during the seven-day firearm deer hunting season Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7.

The preliminary second-season (Dec. 4-7) harvest total was 33,701, compared with the 31,218 deer taken by hunters during the second season in 2007. This year's preliminary first-season (Nov. 21-23) deer harvest was 71,894, compared with a first-season harvest of 85,490 in 2007. The preliminary harvest total includes deer taken in all 99 counties in which firearm deer hunting is permitted, as well as Chain O'Lakes State Park in Lake County.

Preliminary reports show that Pike County once again topped the county deer harvest totals for the firearm season as hunters there took 3,342 deer. Other top county harvest totals were Fulton (2,688), Adams (2,649), Randolph (2,489), and Jefferson (2,451).

"A number of factors may have impacted our deer harvest this year, including the cold, wintry weather during both the first and second portions of the firearm season, the amount of standing corn in parts of northern Illinois, and even the slightly later timing of the seasons," said Paul Shelton, IDNR Forest Wildlife Program manager.

"In addition, our effort to reduce deer numbers may be paying off in some areas."

The three-day Illinois muzzleloader-only deer season is this week, Dec. 12-14, while the Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season are Jan. 16-18, 2009. The statewide archery deer hunting season continues through Jan. 15, 2009.

Deer hunters with unfilled deer permits from the firearm season, muzzleloader season or youth season may use those permits during the Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season if the permits are for one of the counties open for the Late-Winter season. 

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