Illinois deer harvest numbers drop for first weekend of hunting

Illinois deer harvest numbers drop for first weekend of hunting

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White-tailed deer

A white-tailed deer basks in the sun on a snowy day at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge between Marion and Carbondale in this file photo. Fewer deer were harvested in the first weekend of firearm deer season this year, the state says. 

DECATUR — Preliminary numbers showed the deer harvest was down around 15% from last year for the first weekend of the firearm deer season, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

A total of 50,173 deer were harvested from Nov. 22 to Nov. 24, down from a three-day total of 58,836 in 2018.

The state's seven-day firearm season wraps up Dec. 5-8.

In Macon County, the haul decreased slightly from 152 last year to 149.

Most surrounding counties saw even larger decreases: 

  • Christian County, 475 to 372;
  • DeWitt County, 244 to 206;
  • Moultrie County, 179 to 156;
  • Piatt County, 85 to 83;
  • Sangamon County, 419 to 329;
  • Shelby County, 837 to 757.

Muzzleloader-only deer season goes from Dec. 13-15. Archery season continues through Jan. 19, with a pause from Dec. 5-8 for the firearm season. Late-winter antlerless-only and chronic wasting disease seasons go from Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 17-19.

The State Journal-Register contributed. 

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