Friday, December 05, 2008
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Hunters reminded to keep safety in mind as firearm deer season resumes

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[December 05, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- Hunters in Illinois are reminded to exercise caution and safe hunting practices as they return to the field for the conclusion of the seven-day Illinois firearm deer season this week -- and the upcoming muzzleloader-only, late-winter and special CWD deer seasons in the weeks ahead.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Law Enforcement and Safety Education Section report that hunters enjoyed a relatively safe first weekend of the firearm deer season, Nov. 21-23. No firearm-related hunting accidents were reported in the state. Four deer hunting-related tree-stand accidents, including one in Shelby County in which the hunter died, were reported during the first firearm weekend.

Hardware"Hunters need to be vigilant about firearm safety at all times, especially when transporting their firearms, moving them into and out of tree stands, and whenever they are in the field," said Jeff Hopkins, administrator of the IDNR Safety Education Section. "While we had only a few tree-stand accidents during the first weekend of the firearm season, most tree-stand mishaps are preventable if hunters make sure their stand is structurally sound and they always wear a fall-arrest system full body harness."

The 2008-09 Illinois deer hunting seasons continue with the second segment of the firearm season this weekend, Dec. 4-7.

During the first segment of the firearm season, hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 71,894 deer. The top county harvest totals were Pike with 2,194, Adams 1,900, Fulton 1,878, Randolph 1,770 and Jefferson with 1,650.

Other Illinois firearm deer hunting opportunities are the muzzleloader-only deer season, Dec. 12-14; the late-winter antlerless-only deer season in select counties, Jan. 16-18 (permits were issued previously for each of these seasons); and the special chronic wasting disease deer season in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry and Winnebago counties, and in Kane County west of Illinois Route 47, which is also scheduled for Jan. 16-18 (permits available over the counter through DNR Direct license vendors in those counties beginning in mid-December). The Illinois archery deer season concludes Jan. 15.

[Text from Illinois Department of Natural Resources file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]


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