Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 181,411 deer during all 2011-12 seasons. Illinois deer seasons closed last weekend as hunters concluded the Archery Deer Season and the last segments of the Late-Winter and Special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer hunting seasons on Jan. 15.
The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 181,411 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 182,270 in 2010-11. During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 49.2 percent does and 50.8 percent males. Illinois’ record deer harvest occurred in the 2005-06 season, when 201,209 deer were taken. For a historical perspective (in ten-year increments), the 2001-02 total Illinois deer harvest was 152,768; 1991-92 was 101,418; and, 1981-82 was 22,570.
“Hunters experienced harvests this year that were almost identical to last year,” said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. “Slight declines in the archery and firearm seasons were virtually offset by increases in the Youth, Muzzleloader, and Late Winter/Special CWD seasons. Deer populations in many parts of the state have been brought down to levels that are more in keeping with population goals, and in the coming months biologists will be studying available data to determine changes to implement for the 2012-13 seasons.”
During the just-concluded 2011-12 Archery Deer Season, hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 61,852 deer (Oct. 1, 2011-Jan. 15, 2012), compared with the archery deer harvest of 63,570 in the 2010-11 season.
The combined preliminary harvest total for both the Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and the Special CWD deer seasons was 14,931, compared with a harvest of 14,884 deer taken during those seasons last year. The seven-day split seasons for the Late-Winter and CWD hunts were Dec. 29, 2011-Jan.1, 2012 and Jan. 13-15, 2012. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, La Salle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties and Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47 participated in the CWD season, while another 66 counties were open for the Late-Winter season. The Special CWD season is used to assist in controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd, while the Late-Winter season provides additional harvest opportunities as a deer population management tool.
Hunters took a preliminary total of 97,886 deer during the 2011 Illinois Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4, 2011), 4,886 deer during the 2011 Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season (Dec. 9-11, 2011), and 1,856 deer during the 2011 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 8-9, 2011).
Preliminary county harvest totals for all the 2011-12 Illinois deer seasons as well as a table of comparable figures for the 2010-11 seasons can be found at this link: