Illinois Deer Hunters Successful in 2007

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Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 116,708 deer during the seven-day firearm deer hunting season Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced.

The preliminary second-season (Nov. 29-Dec. 2) harvest total was 31,218, compared with the 29,117 deer taken by hunters during the second season last year. This year's preliminary first-season (Nov. 16-18) deer harvest was 85,490, compared with a first-season harvest of 86,075 in 2006. The preliminary harvest total includes deer taken in all 98 counties in which firearm deer hunting is permitted, as well as Chain O'Lakes State Park in Lake County . "Congratulations to all of the hunters who were successful in taking a deer this season," Flood said. "The totals show that Illinois continues to provide some of the best deer hunting opportunity in the country."

Preliminary reports show that Pike County was tops among county deer harvest totals for the firearm season as hunters there took 3,732 deer. Other top county harvest totals were Jefferson (2,805), Adams (2,791), Fulton (2,671), and JoDaviess (2,662).

"The deer harvest during the first three days of the season last month was comparable to last year, and hunters followed up with an increased harvest total during the final four days of the season," said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program manager Paul Shelton. "While the weather was wet and wintry the last two days of the season, many hunters stayed in the field and found deer."

The three-day Illinois muzzleloader-only deer season was Dec. 7-9, while the Late Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season is Jan. 18-20, 2008 . Permits were issued previously for these seasons. The statewide archery deer hunting season continues through Jan. 17, 2008 .

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. Counties that will be open for the Late Winter season are: Adams, Bond, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Logan, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Massac, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, St. Clair, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Williamson, and Woodford.

Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle and Winnebago counties can participate in a special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Deer Season Jan. 18-20, 2008 to help control deer densities and the spread of chronic wasting disease. Permits for the CWD antlerless-only season are scheduled to be available beginning Dec. 11 for $5 each at participating DNR Direct license and permit vendors. In addition, hunters with unfilled 2007 firearm, muzzleloader, youth deer hunt or archery deer permits valid for one of the open counties may use those permits to hunt during the CWD season. Hunters using unfilled permits from the 2007 firearm, muzzleloader, youth or archery season during the CWD hunt may take deer appropriate for that permit (antlerless-only or either-sex). Check stations will be manned during the CWD season in the open counties. Successful hunters will be required to bring their deer to a check station prior to 8 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters who submit samples for CWD testing will be given an additional permit valid for the remainder of the season.

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