Illinois Deer Totals Stay About the Same

Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 180,669 deer during all 2012-13 seasons, slightly down from last year’s numbers.

Illinois deer seasons closed in January 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 number all seasons of 180,669 compares with 181,451 in 2011-12. Hunters this season killed 49 percent does and 51 percent males. Illinois’ record deer harvest occurred in the 2005-06 season, when 201,209 deer were killed.

“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.”

Bowhunters killed a preliminary total of 59,728 deer  from Oct. 1 to Jan. 20, compared with 61,974 in the 2011-12 season.

The 2012-13 Late-Winter Antlerless Only and Special CWD seasons also concluded Jan. 20, with a combined preliminary total of 14,726, compared with 14,906 taken during those seasons last year. The seven-day split seasons for the Late-Winter and CWD hunts were Dec. 27-30 and Jan. 18-20. 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), 3,630 deer during the 2012 Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season (Dec. 7-9), and 3,124 deer during the 2012 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 6-7).

Preliminary county totals for all the 2012-13 seasons, followed by a table of comparable figures for the 2011-12 seasons, can be found at this link.