Springfield, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 66,501 deer during the opening weekend of the 2011 Illinois Firearm Deer season on Nov. 18-20, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today.  The seven-day firearm season will conclude on Dec. 1-4.

The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2011 firearm season compares with the first weekend harvest of 68,037 deer during the 2010 deer season and 66,126 deer during the opening weekend in 2009.  The top county harvest totals last weekend were reported in Pike (1917), Adams (1784), Fulton (1775), JoDaviess (1664), and Jefferson (1496) counties.

Hunters harvested 98,944 deer during the entire seven-day firearm deer season in 2010. The preliminary first-season harvest figures reported for each county include those deer taken on special hunt areas within that county as well as on private land.

”Corn harvest was pretty much complete throughout the state except for some parts of northern Illinois,” said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton.  “Although windy weather on opening day presented a little bit of a challenge to hunters, this was fairly typical fall weather.  Biologists working at northern Illinois check stations saw a number of very nice deer being registered, and we seem to be right on target as far as projected harvest.”

Along with the thousands of hunters in the field this weekend, IDNR Conservation Police were also out protecting the public and wildlife while conducting compliance checks throughout Illinois.  During the first weekend of firearm deer season, Conservation Police issued 547 citations for wildlife code violations and 630 written warnings throughout the state.

The IDNR has issued more than 330,000 firearm deer hunting permits to date for the 2011 season.  Remaining firearm season and other deer hunting permits are available from DNR Direct vendors.  Find a vendor through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.aspx.

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, Jo Daviess, 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 61 percent of the deer taken during the first weekend of firearm hunting were bucks, compared with a first-season harvest sex ratio of 60% bucks:40% does in 2010.

The Illinois firearm deer season concludes Dec. 1-4.  The muzzleloader-only deer season is Dec. 9-11.  The split Late-Winter Antlerless-only Firearm Deer Season and the Special CWD Deer Season are Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012 and Jan. 13-15, 2012.  The 2011-2012 Illinois Archery Deer Season continues through Jan. 15, 2012 (except closed in firearm counties during the second firearm season Dec. 1-4).

The table below provides preliminary county harvest totals for the first weekend of the 2011 firearm deer season and comparable figures for the first season in 2010.

County

2011

2010

Adams

1784

1741

Alexander

326

296

Bond

551

535

Boone

95

90

Brown

846

892

Bureau

905

1024

Calhoun

713

668

Carroll

708

756

Cass

445

458

Champaign

195

219

Christian

510

459

Clark

871

940

Clay

938

947

Clinton

583

588

Coles

530

560

Crawford

749

819

Cumberland

663

641

DeKalb

131

157

DeWitt

288

283

Douglas

176

131

Edgar

513

565

Edwards

248

325

Effingham

745

774

Fayette

1322

1264

Ford

85

101

Franklin

852

820

Fulton

1775

1721

Gallatin

365

402

Greene

917

986

Grundy

298

300

Hamilton

748

812

Hancock

1412

1291

Hardin

780

696

Henderson

423

449

Henry

532

545

Iroquois

481

502

Jackson

1476

1502

Jasper

819

861

Jefferson

1496

1475

Jersey

554

625

JoDaviess

1664

1640

Johnson

1267

1202

Kane

28

37

Kankakee

147

151

Kendall

55

53

Knox

1022

1021

Lake

6

5

LaSalle

812

878

Lawrence

351

399

Lee

509

531

Livingston

394

454

Logan

305

285

Macon

227

200

Macoupin

1184

1192

Madison

606

651

Marion

1218

1276

Marshall

561

569

Mason

443

439

Massac

390

402

McDonough

698

738

McHenry

214

191

McLean

483

550

Menard

272

334

Mercer

671

674

Monroe

661

722

Montgomery

834

820

Morgan

650

626

Moultrie

227

232

Ogle

740

742

Peoria

1051

1074

Perry

822

823

Piatt

125

127

Pike

1917

1957

Pope

1360

1294

Pulaski

433

466

Putnam

324

355

Randolph

1406

1520

Richland

524

545

Rock Island

638

591

Saline

688

720

Sangamon

524

569

Schuyler

1120

1130

Scott

357

377

Shelby

1002

1012

St. Clair

651

662

Stark

206

261

Stephenson

687

789

Tazewell

488

514

Union

1163

1162

Vermilion

628

609

Wabash

171

194

Warren

435

429

Washington

754

799

Wayne

1238

1210

White

606

662

Whiteside

512

627

Will

225

208

Williamson

1103

1110

Winnebago

306

307

Woodford

550

700

Total

66501

68037

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