Hunters harvest 99,324 deer during Illinois firearm season

Firearm deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 99,324 deer during the seven-day 2012 firearm deer season, which was Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29 through Dec. 2, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, reported.  

This year’s preliminary firearm season harvest total compares with the 97,820 deer taken during the 2011 firearm season.   

The preliminary second-season (Nov. 29 through Dec. 2) harvest total was 27,213, compared with the 31,259 deer taken by hunters during the second segment of the 2011 season.

This year’s preliminary first-season (Nov. 18-20) deer harvest was 72,111, compared with a first-season harvest of 66,501 in 2011.

In Union County, hunters harvested 479 deer during the second season, 1,319 during the first season and a total of 1,798.

Harvest totals in other area counties included:

Alexander County: 304 in the first season and 144 in the second season for a total of 448.

Jackson County: 1,621 in the first season and 594 in the second season for a total of 2,215.

Johnson County: 1,309 in the first season and 406 in the second season for a total of 1,715.

Massac County: 463 in the first season and 238 in the second season for a total of 701.

Pulaski County: 439 in the first season and 218 in the second season for a total of 657.

Williamson County: 1,145 in the first season and 527 in the second season for a total of 1,672.

The preliminary harvest totals include deer taken in all counties in which firearm deer hunting is permitted, as well as at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County.

“If you enjoy deer hunting in warm, spring-like weather, this was the season for you,” IDNR forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton said.  

“One of the benefits of having a split firearm deer season is that we typically avoid getting caught in a single weather pattern that might negatively impact the overall harvest.  

“This year, conditions were much more favorable during the first season and less so during the second, but I think we’re right on track with our harvest in most areas.”

Preliminary harvest reports show the top five county totals for deer taken during the seven-day firearm season were Pike with 3,068, Fulton with 2,815, Adams with 2,534, Jo Daviess with 2,534 and Randolph with 2,221.

Continuing and upcoming deer hunting opportunities in Illinois include:  

The archery deer season, which continues through Jan. 20, 2013.

The seven-day split late-winter firearm antlerless-only deer season and special CWD deer season are scheduled Dec. 27-30 and Jan. 18-20, 2013.

Permits for both the late-winter and special CWD seasons were slated to become available over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning Dec. 11.  

Archery and remaining muzzleloader-only permits are also available over the counter from DNR Direct vendors.  

Vendor locations by county are available on the IDNR website at

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