Illinois Overall Deer Harvest Down From 2006

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Deer hunters in Illinois wrapped up the 2007-08 hunting seasons with higher harvest during the Late-Winter Antlerless-only deer hunt, while the three-and-a-half month archery deer season ended with harvest slightly below last years total.

Hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 64,217 deer during the 2007-08 archery deer season (Oct. 1, 2007-Jan. 17, 2008), down about 1.5 percent compared with the archery deer harvest of 65,179 in 2006-07. Bow hunters took 66,582 deer in Illinois during the 2005-06 archery season.

Preliminary harvest figures show hunters took 11,506 deer during the Late-Winter Antlerless-only Deer Season, conducted Jan. 18-20. The late-winter season was open in 73 counties. This year's harvest compares with a harvest of 8,892 deer taken during the late-winter season in 2007 (in 67 counties) and 5,053 deer taken during the late-winter season in 2006 (in 51 counties).

Hunters in the seven counties open for thw Special CWD Deer Season (Jan. 18-20) harvested 883 deer. Harvest totals for the Special CWD hunt were 808 in 2007 and 361 in 2006. The season is conducted annually to assist in controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd in and near those counties where CWD-positive deer have been found.

"Though the weather was very cold and windy last weekend, there were hunters in the field taking advantage of the opportunity for one last chance at taking home a deer during the 2007-08 seasons," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. "For all of our deer seasons last fall and this winter, hunters harvested nearly 200,000 deer. We appreciate their support and the important role hunters play in our deer management program."

Hunters took a preliminary total of 116,708 deer during the 2007 Illinois Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2), 4,333 deer during the 2007 Muzzleloader-only Deer Season (Dec. 7-9), and 897 deer during the 2007 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 6-7).