Firearm deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 99,324 deer during the seven-day firearm deer season on Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced.
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-Dec. 2) harvest total was 27,213, compared with the 31,259 deer taken by hunters during the second segment of the season last year. 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.
"If you enjoy deer hunting in warm, spring-like weather, this was the season for you," said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. "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 (3,068), Fulton (2,815), Adams (2,534), Jo Daviess (2,534) and Randolph (2,221).
Preliminary totals in metro-east counties were: Clinton County (756, down from 845 in 2011), Fayette (1,722, down from 1,952 in 2011), Franklin (1,309, down from 1,314 in 2011), Madison (924, up from 904 in 2011), Monroe (1,011, up from 950 in 2011), Randoph (2,221, up from 2,185 in 2011), St. Clair (890, down from 980 in 2011) and Washington (1,099, down from 1,108 in 2011).
Continuing and upcoming deer hunting opportunities in Illinois include:
* The archery deer season, continuing through Jan. 20, 2013;
* The seven-day split Late-Winter Firearm Antler-less-only Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season are Dec. 27-30, 2012 and Jan. 18-20, 2013.
For detailed information on the Late-Winter and CWD deer seasons, including information sheets listing open counties and permit limits, check the IDNR website at this link: www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer
Baldwin Lake drawing
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced a drawing will be held on Jan. 4 to allow 20 people to hunt anter-less deer on part of the Baldwin Lake Waterfowl Rest Area at Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area during the second part of the late winter deer hunting season, Jan. 18-20.
The special hunt area at Baldwin Lake will not be open during the first part of the late winter deer season, Dec. 27-30.
"The special hunt area straddles two counties," said Mic Middleton, site superintendent. "A participating hunter must have either a valid St. Clair County or Randolph County deer hunting permit for late winter deer season or an unfilled special Baldwin Lake firearm deer hunting permit from this year (2012).
To be eligible for the in-house drawing, the hunter's name, mailing address and county of residence must be clearly printed on a standard USPS postcard and received in the site office by Jan. 2. The address is: Kaskaskia River SFWA, 10981 Conservation Road, Baldwin, IL 62217.
The 20 designated locations will be allocated in random order.
For more information, call Mic Middleton at 618-785-2555.