Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Decline in Illinois Deer Harvest Continues

The Decline in Illinois Deer Harvest Continues

Illinois continues to see a decline in harvest numbers in whitetail deer over the past several seasons.  The IDNR data reflects this, however they say that this decline is done on purpose and is within the margin of acceptance of a healthy deer herd.  Groups, such as The Illinois Whitetail Alliance would disagree with the DNR and feel that the decline over recent years is something to worry about especially with diseases like CWD and Blue Tongue.  Whether you agree with the IDNR or the IWA you need to voice your opinion and contact the IDNR to let that opinion known.  Below you'll find the the press release issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding the deer harvest. 

Hunters in Illinois Harvested a Preliminary Total of 144,150 Deer During 2016-17 Seasons

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 144,150 deer during all 2016-17 seasons, which concluded Jan. 15. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 155,229 in 2015-16. 

During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 44 percent does and 56 percent males.

A breakdown of Illinois deer hunting seasons is as follows:

Archery: Archery deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 53,479 deer during the season which began on Oct. 1, 2016 and concluded on Jan. 15, 2017. That compares with the harvest of 56,767 during the 2015-16 archery season.

Youth: Young deer hunters harvested 3,259 deer during the 2016 Illinois Youth Deer Season conducted on Oct. 8-10, 2016, compared with 2,850 deer harvested during the 2015 youth hunt.

Traditional Firearm Season: Hunters took a preliminary total of 79,429 deer during the 2016 Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4, 2016, compared with 86,847 deer taken during the 2015 firearm season.

Muzzleloader: Hunters using muzzleloading rifles harvested 3,297 deer during the 2016 Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season on Dec. 9-11, 2016, compared with 2,403 in 2015.

Late-Winter Seasons: The 2016-17 Late-Winter Antlerless Only and Special CWD deer seasons concluded on Jan. 15, with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 4,686 deer, compared with a harvest of 6,362 deer taken during those seasons in 2015-16. Season dates for the Late-Winter and CWD seasons were Dec. 29, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017 and Jan. 13-15, 2017.

There were 14 northern Illinois counties open to the Special CWD Season in 2016-17, the same counties that were open for the 2015-16 seasons. The Special CWD season is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd.

There were 24 counties open for the Late-Winter Antlerless Season in 2016-17. Four counties open previously for the late-winter season were closed for 2016-17 because they had reached deer population goals, while one county was added to the late-winter hunt. Counties that are at or below their individual goal for two consecutive years may be removed from the late-winter season.

Tables on the PDF link below will provide a county-by-county summary of preliminary deer harvest results for 2016-17 and harvest results for 2015-16.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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