Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 180,669 deer during all 2012-13 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. 20.
The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 180,669 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 181,451 in 2011-12. During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 49 percent does and 51 percent males. Illinois’ record deer harvest occurred in the 2005-06 season, when 201,209 deer were taken.
“We hope Illinois deer hunters had an enjoyable time afield this year, and took advantage of the many hunting opportunities afforded them,” said Paul Shelton, IDNR’s Forest Wildlife Program Manager. “In the coming months, deer biologists will be reviewing all available data and making any needed program changes in order to ensure the continued well-being of Illinois’ deer herd for this and future generations.”
The 2012-13 Illinois Archery Deer Season concluded on Jan. 20, and hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 59,728 deer during the archery season (Oct. 1, 2012-Jan. 20, 2013), compared with the archery deer harvest of 61,974 in the 2011-12 season.
The 2012-13 Late-Winter Antlerless Only and Special CWD deer seasons also concluded on Jan. 20, with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 14,726 deer, compared with a harvest of 14,906 deer taken during those seasons last year. The seven-day split seasons for the Late-Winter and CWD hunts were Dec. 27-30, 2012 and Jan. 18-20, 2013. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kendall, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties and Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47 participated in the CWD season, while another 56 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 99,461 deer during the 2012 Illinois Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2012), 3,630 deer during the 2012 Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season (Dec. 7-9, 2012), and 3,124 deer during the 2012 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 6-7, 2012).