Springfield, IL – Firearm deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 97,760 deer during the seven-day firearm deer season on Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. This year’s preliminary firearm season harvest total compares with the 98,944 deer taken during the 2010 firearm season.

The preliminary second-season (Dec. 1-4) harvest total was 31,259, compared with the 30,907 deer taken by hunters during the second segment of the season in 2010. This year’s preliminary first-season (Nov. 18-20) deer harvest was 66,501, compared with a first-season harvest of 68,037 in 2010. The preliminary harvest totals include deer taken in all counties in which firearm deer hunting is permitted, as well as at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County.

“The first two days of the second season provided excellent hunting conditions, and harvest totals on those days reflected that,” said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. “Steady rain was the story of the day on Saturday in the north and west, and on Sunday in the south and east. This depressed harvest somewhat on those days, but there is still a lot of deer hunting opportunity to be had with the upcoming Muzzleloader, Late Winter, and Special CWD deer seasons.”

Preliminary harvest reports show the top five county totals for deer taken during the seven-day firearm season were Pike (2,958), Fulton (2,581), Adams (2,393), Jefferson (2,314), and JoDaviess (2,267).

Continuing and upcoming deer hunting opportunities in Illinois include:

  • The Archery Deer Season, continuing through Jan. 15, 2012; 136711
  • The three-day Illinois Muzzleloader-only Deer Season is this week on Dec. 9-11;
  • The seven-day split Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season are Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012 and Jan. 13-15, 2012.

Permits for both the Late-Winter and Special CWD seasons will be available over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning Dec. 13. Archery and remaining muzzleloader-only permits are also available over the counter from DNR Direct vendors. Vendor locations by county are available on the IDNR website at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

For detailed information on the Late-Winter and CWD deer seasons, including information sheets listing open counties and permit limits, check the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer/Pages/ResidentHunting.aspx

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