Increased Deer Harvest During Opening Weekend

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Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 77,051 deer during the opening weekend of the state’s 2005 firearm deer season, Nov. 18-20, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold announced today. The second portion of the firearm season is Dec. 1-4.

The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2005 firearm season represents a 4 percent increase compared with the first weekend harvest of 73,819 in 2004. 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.

“Deer hunters have had a very successful first segment of this year’s firearm deer season,” said Brunsvold. “The new check-in system using the IDNR web site or a toll-free telephone call to register deer appears to have worked well. Illinois enjoys a nationwide reputation for having an outstanding, quality deer herd. The seven-day firearm season is our most popular hunting season and we’re looking forward to another good weekend when hunters take to the field again in early December.”

For the first time in Illinois, hunters in most counties registered the deer they harvested by going online or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK (1-866-452-4325) by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest. About 33,000 deer were reported on the first day of the season, with peak use of the system occurring early Friday evening when more than 4,000 deer per hour were registered. Hunters in seven northern Illinois counties where IDNR provided chronic wasting disease sampling took deer they harvested to county check stations.

“Weather conditions were good for the first weekend of firearm deer hunting and hunters obviously saw a lot of deer,” said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. “We appreciate the support of hunters in participating in our deer seasons, and in cooperating with the new system for checking in their deer.”

Illinois issued more than 320,000 deer hunting permits for the 2005 firearm season, including free landowner and paid landowner permits.

The table below provides preliminary county harvest totals for the first segment of the firearm season and comparable figures for the first season in 2004.

County 2004 2005

ADAMS 2072 2082

ALEXANDER 252 308

BOND 710 767

BOONE 154 189

BROWN 1130 1006

BUREAU 1026 1085

CALHOUN 1152 916

CARROL 829 811

CASS 652 634

CHAMPAIGN 153 208

CHRISTIAN 417 452

CLARK 888 914

CLAY 951 1052

CLINTON 767 775

COLES 489 557

CRAWFORD 854 867

CUMBERLAND 542 605

DEKALB 174 240

DEWITT 222 298

DOUGLAS 155 183

EDGAR 499 496

EDWARDS 427 407

EFFINGHAM 736 857

FAYETTE 1412 1540

FORD 87 118

FRANKLIN 818 918

FULTON 1795 1828

GALLATIN 419 431

GREENE 1355 1207

GRUNDY 288 335

HAMILTON 908 952

HANCOCK 1436 1422

HARDIN 639 736

HENDERSON 549 520

HENRY 548 667

IROQUOIS 391 499

JACKSON 1666 1600

JASPER 882 879

JEFFERSON 1625 1781

JERSEY 786 758

JODAVIESS 1676 1608

JOHNSON 1289 1305

KANE 49 55

KANKAKEE 132 161

KENDALL 65 83

KNOX 1133 1100

LASALLE 836 1017

LAWRENCE 528 513

LEE 558 591

LIVINGSTON 349 394

LOGAN 302 341

MACON 211 218

MACOUPIN 1630 1642

MADISON 805 850

MARION 1356 1414

MARSHALL 534 575

MASON 439 491

MASSAC 405 406

MCDONOUGH 755 711

MCHENRY 304 388

MCLEAN 525 555

MENARD 385 360

MERCER 591 676

MONROE 859 907

MONTGOMERY 994 986

MORGAN 868 822

MOULTRIE 201 221

OGLE 784 967

PEORIA 1038 1095

PERRY 1065 1070

PIATT 129 195

PIKE 2701 2340

POPE 1453 1499

PULASKI 477 479

PUTNAM 361 397

RANDOLPH 1610 1778

RICHLAND 641 701

ROCKISLAND 606 641

SALINE 625 649

SANGAMON 564 622

SCHUYLER 1175 1142

SCOTT 513 479

SHELBY 996 1049

STARK 199 239

STCLAIR 779 850

STEPHENSON 523 777

TAZEWELL 595 633

UNION 1206 1353

VERMILION 566 623

WABASH 252 248

WARREN 495 494

WASHINGTON 980 1034

WAYNE 1192 1273

WHITE 686 778

WHITESIDE 588 718

WILL 233 266

WILLIAMSON 1113 1186

WINNEBAGO 356 444

WOODFORD 684 742

TOTAL 73819 77051