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Illinois notes new 2009-10 regulations, permit, season changes

From the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

-- Deer hunters will take to the field in Illinois this fall with a number of new regulations in place intended to enhance deer hunting opportunities, make it easier to obtain and use deer hunting permits, and improve deer herd management in the state.  

Changes for the 2009-2010 deer seasons were recommended by wildlife professionals, hunters, landowners and other citizens after an extensive review of the state’s deer management program by the Joint Deer Population Task Force, which was established by the Illinois General Assembly last year.

Few changes have been made involving the state’s most popular deer seasons.

The Illinois Archery Deer Hunting Season will be Oct. 1, 2009 – Jan. 17, 2010.  The archery season is being extended by three days to close on the same date as the Late-Winter and Special CWD seasons.  

The seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Hunting Season is Nov. 20 – 22, 2009 and Dec. 3 – 6, 2009, while the Muzzleloader-only season will be Dec. 11 – 13, 2009.  The most significant change for these seasons is the expanded availability of deer hunting permits.  Firearm and Muzzleloader-only deer permits that are still available after the close of the random daily drawing period for those permits (Sept. 15-Oct. 1) will be sold over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning Oct. 19.

Permits for the Youth Deer Hunting Season on Oct. 10 – 11, 2009 will only be available over the counter as single, county-specific permits through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning Sept. 15.  (Youth Deer Hunting Season permits were issued in previous years through an application lottery system).

Among the most significant changes in regulations for the 2009-2010 deer seasons are those involving the Late-Winter Deer Hunting Season.  It is being expanded to a seven-day split season on Dec. 31, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010 and Jan. 15 - 17, 2010.  In addition, a number of changes have been made in the list of counties open for the season and the availability of permits for those counties that are open for the Late-Winter season.  

Permits for the Late-Winter season will be issued in two categories, based on deer management needs in individual counties.  In 11 select counties with a need for significant increases in deer harvest, hunters will be able to purchase Late-Winter permits without limit.  In 58 other counties open for the Late-Winter season, hunters will be limited to purchasing one Late-Winter deer permit.  Permits for the counties open for the Late-Winter season will be available over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning in December.  As in years past, unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, youth, and landowner firearm permits will be valid for this season provided that they were issued for an open county.

The Late-Winter season is conducted for the purpose of harvesting surplus deer that cannot be taken during the regular season.  Based on deer population and management analysis by the IDNR, seven counties that were open previously for the Late-Winter season will be closed for the 2009-2010 Late-Winter season:  Franklin, Jackson, Jasper, Lee, Massac, Washington, and Williamson. One county (Mason) has been added to the list of open counties for this year.  (There are 21 other counties that were previously closed to the Late-Winter season that will remain closed for 2009-2010).

A list of counties that are open (and the permit limit for those counties) and closed for the Late-Winter season for 2009-2010 is available

The Special CWD Deer Hunting Season in five northern Illinois counties (Boone, DeKalb, Kane, McHenry, and Winnebago) will be expanded to a seven-day season on the same dates as the expanded Late-Winter season -- Dec. 31, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010 and Jan. 15 - 17, 2010.  Permits for the Special CWD season will be available over the counter from DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning in November.

Most deer hunters in Illinois will again register their deer harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer is taken by calling the toll-free telephone check-in system at 1-866-452-4325 (1-866-ILCHECK) or by accessing the online check-in system at www.dnr.state.il.us/vcheck.  

The only exceptions to phone-in or online harvest reporting will be in the following northern Illinois counties where the IDNR will continue to operate mandatory deer check stations during the firearm deer season (Nov. 20-22 and Dec. 3-6) for chronic wasting disease sampling: Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.  

Biologists will be sampling adult deer for CWD and identifying harvest locations in order to determine additional management needs in these counties.  Check stations will no longer be operated during the Special CWD season in late December and January.

For detailed information on Illinois deer hunting seasons, check the IDNR web site at this link:  
http://www.dnr.state.il.us/admin/deer.htm

Late-Winter Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season counties:

Late-Winter Deer Season – 2009-2010

Late-Winter Open Counties – One Permit Limit:  Bond, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Christian, Clark, Clay,  Clinton, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar,  Edwards, Effingham,  Fayette, Greene, Grundy, Henry, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Knox, La Salle, Lawrence, Logan, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby, St. Clair, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, White, Whiteside and Woodruff.

Late-Winter Open Counties – Unlimited Permits:  Adams, Brown, Cass, Fulton, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Menard, Pike, Putnam and Schuyler.

Late-Winter Closed Counties:  Alexander, Champaign, Coles, Cook, De Witt, Douglas, Du Page, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Iroquois, Jackson, Jasper, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Massac, Moultrie, Piatt, Pope, Pulaski, Washington, Will and Williamson.

Special CWD Deer Season Counties – 2009-2010:  Boone, DeKalb, Kane, McHenry and Winnebago.

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