Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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Illinois firearm deer season 1st-week scorecard

Hunters 71,894, deer 0

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[November 26, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 71,894 deer during the opening weekend of the 2008 Illinois firearm deer season, Nov. 21-23, according to Sam Flood, acting director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The second portion of the firearm season will be Dec. 4-7.

The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2008 firearm season compares with the first-weekend harvest of 85,490 deer during the 2007 deer season. The top county harvest total was in Pike with 2,194 deer, followed by Adams with 1,900, Fulton with 1,878, Randolph with 1,770 and Jefferson with 1,650. The preliminary first-season figures reported for each county include those deer taken on special hunt areas within that county as well as on private land.

"Deer hunters in Illinois once again provided a good deer harvest for the first weekend of the firearm season," said Flood. "We offer some of the best deer hunting opportunity in the world here in Illinois, and the firearm deer season continues to be our most popular hunting season."

Illinois has issued approximately 350,000 firearm deer hunting permits for the 2008 season. Most hunters register their deer harvest online through or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK (1-866-452-4325) by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties take their deer to county check stations, where the Department of Natural Resources conducts sampling for chronic wasting disease.

"The weather was unseasonably cold to start the season on Friday, but it appears many hunters were in the field enjoying some success on that day and throughout the first weekend of the firearm deer season," said Paul Shelton, forest wildlife program manager for the Department of Natural Resources. "Most corn had been harvested, although 10-12 percent remained in the fields in the northern part of the state.

"The good news for managers and for deer hunters with permits remaining for the second season is that most of the decline in harvest was a drop in buck harvest," Shelton added. "This means that our doe harvest was fairly comparable to last year and that there are plenty of both bucks and does still out there for second-season hunters."

Approximately 59 percent of the deer taken this past weekend were bucks, compared with 62 percent bucks taken during the first weekend of the firearm season in 2007.

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In Logan County, 298 deer were tagged, compared with 401 in the first weekend of the season last year.

The Illinois firearm deer season concludes Dec. 4-7. The muzzleloader-only deer season is Dec. 12-14. The late-winter, antlerless-only firearm deer season and the special CWD deer season are Jan. 16-18, 2009. The state's 2008-09 archery deer season continues through Jan. 15 (except closed in firearm counties during the second firearm season, Dec. 4-7).

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


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