Illinois Firearm Deer Season Off to a Good Start
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reports that hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 68,037 deer during the opening weekend of the 2010 Illinois firearm deer season, Nov. 19-21. The seven-day firearm season will conclude on Dec. 2-5.
The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2010 firearm season compares with the first weekend harvest of 66,126 deer during the 2009 deer season and 71,894 deer during the opening weekend in 2008. The top county harvest totals last weekend were reported in Pike (1,957), Adams (1,741), Fulton (1,721), Jo Daviess (1,640) and Randolph (1,520).
Hunters harvested 99,493 deer during the entire seven-day firearm deer season last year. The preliminary first-season figures reported for each county include those deer taken on special hunt areas within that county as well as on private land.
"The opening season of firearm deer hunting offered hunters a combination of enjoyable weather and virtually-complete crop harvest," said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. "Rutting activity was still evident, so it all came together for a very successful season with a number of nice bucks harvested."
The IDNR has issued more than 370,000 firearm deer hunting permits for the 2010 season. Most hunters register their deer harvest online through the IDNR web site or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK (1- 866-452-4325) by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties take their deer to county check stations (by 8 p.m.on the day of harvest) where the IDNR registers the deer and conducts sampling for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Approximately 60 percent of the deer taken during the first weekend of firearm hunting were bucks, identical to the first weekend of the firearm season in 2009.
The Illinois firearm deer season concludes Dec. 2-5. The muzzleloader-only deer season is Dec. 10-12. The split late-winter antlerless-only firearm deer season and the special CWD deer season are Dec. 30, 2010-Jan. 2, 2011 and Jan. 14-16, 2011. The state's 2010-2011 archery deer season continues through Jan. 16 (except closed in firearm counties during the second firearm season Dec. 2-5).