SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 181,936 deer during all 2010-11 seasons. Deer hunting in the state closed on Jan. 16 as hunters wrapped up the archery season and the last segments of the late-winter and special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer hunting seasons.
The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 181,936 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 189,277 in 2009-10. In this year’s deer harvest, hunters took 50 percent does and 50 percent males. Illinois’ record deer harvest occurred in 2005-06, when 201,301 deer were taken.
“During the past seven years, liberal permit quotas and seasons have allowed Illinois deer hunters to reach record harvest levels as biologists have worked to control herds and curb population growth in many counties,” said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. “However, as goals are achieved, harvests tend to decline and stabilize. Management is all about maintaining a quality herd at desirable and sustainable densities, so we’ll be studying the data so that we can adjust harvest levels as appropriate to strike a balance between the need for herd control and the need to provide recreational opportunities.”
Hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 63,584 deer during the 2010-11 archery deer season (Oct. 1, 2010-Jan. 16, 2011), compared with the archery deer harvest of 64,864 in the 2009-10 season.
The combined preliminary harvest total of both the late-winter antlerless-only and the special CWD deer seasons was 14,843, compared with a harvest of 17,826 deer taken during those seasons last year. The seven-day split seasons for the late-winter and special CWD hunts seasons were Dec. 30, 2010-Jan.2, 2011 and Jan. 14-16, 2011. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry and Winnebago Counties and Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47 participated in the special CWD season, while another 70 counties were open for the late-winter antlerless-only deer 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 98,700 deer during the 2010 Illinois firearm deer season (Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 2-5), 3,276 deer during the 2010 muzzleloader-only deer season (Dec. 10-12), and 1,533 deer during the 2010 Illinois youth deer season (Oct. 9-10).
Preliminary county harvest totals for all the 2010-11 Illinois deer seasons are detailed below, followed by a table of comparable figures for the 2009-10 seasons.