Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Hunters heading to the field for Illinois firearm deer season

7-day season is Nov. 19-21 and Dec. 2-5

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[November 17, 2010]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois' most popular hunting season begins Friday through Sunday, Nov. 19-21, as hunters will head to the field for the opening weekend of the Illinois firearm deer season. The seven-day firearm hunt will conclude Dec. 2-5.

Hardware"Illinois has a great hunting heritage and the firearm deer season is anticipated anxiously by hunters each fall. We want to encourage hunters to make safety a priority and enjoy their time afield," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller.

Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 99,493 deer during the seven-day firearm deer hunting season in 2009. More than 370,000 permits have been issued for this year's firearm deer season so far. For information on remaining permits, check the IDNR website at this link:

The legal hunting hours for the firearm deer season are from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.

In most counties, hunters successful in taking a deer during the firearm season must register the deer they harvest online through the IDNR website at
or by phoning 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325). Hunters using the online or phone-in system must register their harvest by 10 p.m. on the day they take the deer. It is recommended that hunters using cellular phones to register their harvest wait until they are out of the field and have a clear cell phone signal before attempting to make the harvest report phone call.

Firearm deer hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties are reminded to bring their deer to mandatory check stations by 8 p.m. on the day they harvest a deer. Biologists will sample adult deer for chronic wasting disease to determine areas of infection and prevalence rates. The check station locations are the same as last year and are listed below.

  • Boone: Boone County Fairgrounds, one-half mile north of Route 76 and Business Route 20, Belvidere

  • DeKalb: Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area, 4201 Shabbona Grove Road, Shabbona

  • Grundy: Gebhard Woods State Park, 401 Ottawa St., Morris

  • Kane: Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area, 4201 Shabbona Grove Road, Shabbona

  • LaSalle: Buffalo Rock State Park, three miles west of Ottawa on Dee Bennett Road

  • McHenry: Moraine Hills State Park, McHenry Dam day-use area, east of McHenry on River Road, 2.2 miles south of Route 120

  • Ogle: Castle Rock State Park, Route 2, three miles south of Oregon

  • Stephenson: Stephenson County Fairgrounds, one mile east of Route 26 and Fairgrounds Road, Freeport

  • Winnebago: Rock Cut State Park (hunters should use the Route 173 entrance and follow the signs)

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Hunters who participate in the sampling for chronic wasting disease can check the status of their deer through the IDNR website at Hunters who provide samples from deer that test positive are notified by the IDNR.

While not believed to be contagious to humans or livestock, chronic wasting disease is known to spread from animal to animal among deer and elk. The disease affects the brain of infected animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose coordination and eventually die. Illinois expanded its CWD surveillance effort in 2002 following the discovery of the disease in neighboring Wisconsin.

For more information on Illinois deer hunting regulations, check the IDNR website at this link:

Hunting safety facts:

  • Illinois law requires that anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1980, must successfully complete a hunter safety course before a regular Illinois hunting license is issued.

  • The No. 1 cause of hunting accidents in Illinois is falling from a tree stand.

  • Last year in Illinois, there were 22 reported hunting accidents, and 14 involved tree stands (one fatality).

When using a tree stand, remember the following:

  • Check ladder stands before climbing to make sure they are secure.

  • Wear a fall arrest system or full-body safety harness when leaving the ground until returning to the ground from the tree stand.

  • Use a haul line to raise and lower your equipment and unloaded firearm or bow into a tree stand.

When hunting with a firearm, sportsmen should remember three primary rules of firearm safety:

  • Know your target and what is beyond your target.

  • Point the muzzle in a safe direction.

  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.

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

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