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Archery deer totals behind last year

December 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

An early start to the firearm deer season may be one reason archery totals are lacking behind last year.

Through Dec. 18, , Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 53,413 deer. 

Last year’s preliminary harvest for the same period was 56,219. 

“During most of this year’s archery season, harvest numbers have compared very favorably to prior years’ numbers,” wrote Paul Shelton, Illinois Department of Natural Resources wildlife program manager in an e-mail.

“However, archery harvest rates drop significantly once gun hunting begins, and this year’s firearm season fell on its earliest possible date,” he said. “As a result, the archery season offered one weekend less than it typically does before the gun season. 

“We lost a few days of very significant harvest because of that, and have been running slightly behind ever since.”

Harvest to date consists of 49 percent does and 51 percent males (26,020 female; 27,393 male). 

The top five counties to date are Pike (2,496), Fulton (1,763), Jefferson (1,232), Adams (1,199), and Peoria (1,039). 

County-by-county totals are below.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

It looks like an EHD issue also exists and may be the primary reason for the decline in harvest. Counties hit hard such as Coles, Moultrie, Vermilion, Shelby have a bigger dip in numbers compared to others that were not hit hard such as Iroquois.  Unfortunately, next year will be even worse than this year for those counties hit hard by EHD.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/20 at 11:17 AM

There comes a point when so many permits are issued and so many deer are killed that the population hits a peak and starts to decrease - hence less deer to hunt, less deer harvested.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/21 at 05:32 AM

No down year in my hunting woods. Between my boy and I, we’ve killed 7 of them crop eaters !

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/21 at 05:29 PM

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