Archery deer totals behind last year
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.