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New deer regulations announced

September 14, 2009 at 02:39 PM

SPRINGFIELD – Deer hunters will take to the field in Illinois this fall with a number of new regulations in place intended to enhance deer hunting opportunities, make it easier to obtain and use deer hunting permits, and improve deer herd management in the state.

“With the deer seasons about to begin, we’re reminding hunters to review season dates and other regulation changes being implemented this fall to help them enjoy the great deer hunting available here in Illinois,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. 

Changes for the 2009-2010 deer seasons were recommended by wildlife professionals, hunters, landowners, and other citizens after an extensive review of the state’s deer management program by the Joint Deer Population Task Force, which was established by the Illinois General Assembly last year.

Few changes have been made involving the state’s most popular deer seasons.

The Illinois Archery Deer Hunting Season will be Oct. 1, 2009 – Jan. 17, 2010.  The archery season is being extended by three days to close on the same date as the Late-Winter and Special CWD seasons. 

The seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Hunting Season is Nov. 20 – 22, 2009 and Dec. 3 – 6, 2009, while the Muzzleloader-only season will be Dec. 11 – 13, 2009.  The most significant change for these seasons is the expanded availability of deer hunting permits.  Firearm and Muzzleloader-only deer permits that are still available after the close of the random daily drawing period for those permits (Sept. 15-Oct. 1) will be sold over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning Oct. 19.

Permits for the Youth Deer Hunting Season on Oct. 10 – 11, 2009 will only be available over the counter as single, county-specific permits through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning Sept. 15.  (Youth Deer Hunting Season permits were issued in previous years through an application lottery system).

Among the most significant changes in regulations for the 2009-2010 deer seasons are those involving the Late-Winter Deer Hunting Season.  It is being expanded to a seven-day split season on Dec. 31, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010 and Jan. 15 - 17, 2010.  In addition, a number of changes have been made in the list of counties open for the season and the availability of permits for those counties that are open for the Late-Winter season. 

Permits for the Late-Winter season will be issued in two categories, based on deer management needs in individual counties.  In 11 select counties with a need for significant increases in deer harvest, hunters will be able to purchase Late-Winter permits without limit.  In 58 other counties open for the Late-Winter season, hunters will be limited to purchasing one Late-Winter deer permit.  Permits for the counties open for the Late-Winter season will be available over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning in December.  As in years past, unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, youth, and landowner firearm permits will be valid for this season provided that they were issued for an open county.

The Late-Winter season is conducted for the purpose of harvesting surplus deer that cannot be taken during the regular season.  Based on deer population and management analysis by the IDNR, seven counties that were open previously for the Late-Winter season will be closed for the 2009-2010 Late-Winter season:  Franklin, Jackson, Jasper, Lee, Massac, Washington, and Williamson. One county (Mason) has been added to the list of open counties for this year.  (There are 21 other counties that were previously closed to the Late-Winter season that will remain closed for 2009-2010).

A list of counties that are open (and the permit limit for those counties) and closed for the Late-Winter season for 2009-2010 is available below.

The Special CWD Deer Hunting Season in five northern Illinois counties (Boone, DeKalb, Kane, McHenry, and Winnebago) will be expanded to a seven-day season on the same dates as the expanded Late-Winter season—Dec. 31, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010 and Jan. 15 - 17, 2010.  Permits for the Special CWD season will be available over the counter from DNR Direct license and permit agents beginning in November.

Most deer hunters in Illinois will again register their deer harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer is taken by calling the toll-free telephone check-in system at 1-866-452-4325 (1-866-ILCHECK) or by accessing the online check-in system at

The only exceptions to phone-in or online harvest reporting will be in the following northern Illinois counties where the IDNR will continue to operate mandatory deer check stations during the firearm deer season (Nov. 20-22 and Dec. 3-6) for chronic wasting disease sampling: Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

Biologists will be sampling adult deer for CWD and identifying harvest locations in order to determine additional management needs in these counties.  Check stations will no longer be operated during the Special CWD season in late December and January.” title=“Click here”>Click here for detailed information on Illinois deer hunting seasons.

Late-Winter Deer Season – 2009-2010 Late-Winter Open Counties – One Permit Limit

Jo Daviess
La Salle
Rock Island
St. Clair

Late-Winter Open Counties – Unlimited Permits


Late-Winter Closed Counties

De Witt
Du Page

Special CWD Deer Season Counties


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

I have said it before guys, be VERY careful what you wish for, ESPECAILLY when dealing with our IDNR !!!
Some of you want a Sept, antlerless gun season, some want a Oct antlerless gun season.
Remember last year ??
Some wanted a Dec. antlerless gun season, so our IDNR gave it to them & implemented it. BUT…. they kept the Jan antlerless season & added unlimited permits to parts of it too.
Our current IDNR is all about killing more & more deer. They have been adding more & more antlerless season, permits, longer hunting hours, more weapon choices, OTC antlerless permits, ect…..for years now.
They are very likely to add more antlerless season to every month of the year, IF enough hunters keep asking for them. Is that what our already declining deer herd needs ??????
Like the saying goes, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR !

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 01:17 PM

Cougs- you are exactly right.  If the landowner allows access to hunt without charging it is called a “permissive user” and liability is very difficult to prove in a civil suit.  In Illinois it is very difficult to successfully sue a landowner who allows someone to hunt on their property.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 03:12 PM

Marc Anthony:
  There are irresponsible Outfitters out there, but the majority are dedicated to giving a good hunt and know they need to keep the doe population down to give a good hunt/ they know to manage the deer herd because it may be their lively hood. All I am saying is that there are a lot of people using this topic to vent about not having any where to hunt and they are using Outfitters to direct their anger. But there are always two sides to every story, times change for good or ill.

  When was the last time I saw a poor farmer? This morning. The farmer you were referring to would be the 1 that can farm what the other 9 poor ones don’t anymore(see above post). Your grasp on statistics are getting dangerously slippery.

  Outfitters don’t put anything back into the local economy? Did you burn your lips on a crack pipe this morning sunshine? Go down to a rural Mom and Pops Cafe and ask them when they get the majority of there business. Or a small Motel. Ask any small town business owner to put an OUT OF STATE HUNTERS NOT WELCOME sign out and look closely to see which finger he puts in the air.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 03:13 PM

Look up usda farm subsides and then tell me about poor farmers. I no because i own a farm and have gotten them.All of that is our tax dollars.I’m not saying we don’t need farmers but when we are bailing you out when prices are low, this is how you give thanks buy leasing for more money. Then complain because there are to many deer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 03:33 PM

ClayDawg: this is your statement “Why you think land prices are so high because of the crop payment or the goverment payment? ” land prices???? that doesn’t make any sense!

Tonight I will kneel down next to my bed, clasp my hands together tight and pray to our Lord and Savior that you do not reproduce.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 04:05 PM

I should be more mature, it is just a touchy subject for so many of us, Deer hunting is our passion, must be some sort of primal instinct thing, I Love it, I hope everyone can or already has a good place to hunt

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 04:23 PM

OK meat how many kids have you taken hunting.  And how much land do you have to take them on.Or how many out of state guys do you take. Your saying that all the cafes and hotels stay open just because of hunters from out of state, what a joke.Look at the future of hunting and the kids not just the dollars.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 04:39 PM

Claydawg, I want every kid to go hunting, what i’m saying is that realistically, Farmers are going to lease their land, it is theirs to do what they want with. Out of State Hunters are going to come here. That’s just they way it is. You can’t blame farmers for doing what they want with their property. I am not saying that local businesses stay open just because of Out of State hunters, but they do appreciate their business.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 04:59 PM

Things are getting heated! HA. I almost busted my gut on a few of these posts.
And we DO NEED TO STAND TOGETHER AS HUNTERS, and not fight each other.
One of my biggest irritations is when someone tries to tell another person how to manage their land, or control’ their herd.
Its my land and I will do what I want with it and hunt however pleases me and in the end I wish that everyone else does the same.
It makes no difference to me that the neighbor to the east has 300 acres of which they have only taken 3 bucks off of in the past 5 years, but they should not want to penalize me for shooting the does as they come onto my land.
And opposite of that, if the neighbor to the west wanted to shoot whatever they could to fill tags, button bucks, year and a half bucks, whatever, thats up to them.
Ya it wont make the best deer herd but ITS UP TO THEM, ITS THEIR PROPERTY. I dont pay their taxes or pay and plant their crops, so I have no say in it.
We could offer advise but nothing should be said beyond that.
Nothing makes me more mad than seeing someone with a 2 year old buck they shot and they are very proud of (maybe one of their first kills…) be laughed at or scrutinized for killing such a deer! GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!
Anyways, looking forward to the season, only 16 more days!!! Good luck to all. Im heading out now to scout the fields.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 05:59 PM

Lung, oops my bad.  What differentiates Putnam from say Peoria/Bureua County is my point? Drive Peoria on any given night in the rural areas and you will see my point.  Tons of deer too.  Does Putnam not have the hunter numbers that say Peoria does?  I would like to know some evidence based facts on how they came up with these counties.  DVCs like Henry Holt stated.  I don’t disagree with you on the numbers of does because I have been at the other end of a gun barrel in July and August shooting does on a local farmers field. The whole state isn’t like this though.  His farm is hunted but is also surrounded by ground that has NO hunting allowed. If access is limited then the problem is not solved.  Just like I said before, if you do your part but your neighbor with 400 acres sits idle all year what has been accomplished?  The big picture is there is no easy answers for these questions. I say black, you say white.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 08:33 AM

The more I read this and peoples posts the more I think maybe this is Illinois way of running off the outfitters, think about it having a late season hunt will mean more inmature and possibly some mature bucks will be killed, and fewer bucks mean fewer outfitters since its the trophy they are selling. Lol The scary part is I doubt whoever decided on this even put enough thought to make a joke out of it like I did. Realy though its going to be state land that gets hit by this more than private, like others have said they manage their land regardless of how many permits are sold.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 01:04 PM

Just adding to the post above, this will hurt people hunting the private lands some, but it really is going to be felt by the people trying to hunt various State properties, which get way more hunting pressure than private land all ready. This will cause more grumbling with people that don’t have access to good hunting property. Really there is an easy answer to what most people are saying and its have the late doe season at a time when you can tell the difference between them and bucks, its not that complicated its logical.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 01:19 PM

LWS is not really intended for public/state areas.
Special use public hunting areas are not open to LWS unless individually declared by the park.  I couldn’t tell you if Federal (Shawnee) is open to LWS or not.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 03:00 PM

I hunt Sand Ridge State Forest in Mason County, Il, and they are not participating in the late winter season. I dont think that there are many participating, if any, does anyone know?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 04:28 PM

Moraine View in McLean County participates in LWS.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 09:39 PM

Well region 1 has 22 state sites with it covering more than 30000 acres and region 3 has 4 sites, Region 4 has 26 sites and region 5 is sitting at 32 sites sorry didn’t bother with total acres, but the numbers go up for the rest of the regions, so yeah I’d say this will end up being felt even if it wasn’t intended. The intent of this is to reduce the deer herd, I don’t think it really matters to the deciding people if the deer are on public or private land, but I can assure you it will be felt by he people that hunt both types of land, since the deer do not recognize the boundaries between the two.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/17 at 11:48 PM

Coug pretty much sums this thread up when he says:

“The intent of this is to reduce the deer herd, I don?t think it really matters to the deciding people if the deer are on public or private land, but I can assure you it will be felt by he people that hunt both types of land, since the deer do not recognize the boundaries between the two.”

Last March, when we discussed this same topic, Kevin Chapman, who knows a little about deer hunting stated: “With hunter perception showing an Illinois deer herd on the decline, coupled with neighboring states pulling back on their deer herd estimates and limiting doe harvests, I?m not convinced that now is the time for Illinois to be moving forward with ways to kill more does. A survey sent out in recent weeks shows that DNR is at least thinking about other options, including a September antlerless gun season. If there?s doubt, why are we moving forward with this initiative? Most of these proposals were dreamed up before the widespread EHD outbreak in 2007, and the follow-up reduced harvest in 2008.”

Henry Holt says that the use of the Deer/Vehicle Collision report is not a good way of managing the Illinois deer herd.  I’ll have to agree with him on that one.  Is anyone left out there that now believes that the IDNR is managing the Illinois deer herd for any other reason than to REDUCE THE DEER HERD, anyway they can, with whatever means necessary to do so.  It will be interesting to see what the harvest brings this winter.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/18 at 09:24 AM

Lung, I see how Obama fits in this picture.  He won’t be happy till he has his hands in all our business.  Government run health care, government run automobile industry, government run banks and government run hunting? Get my point?  I thought Blagojevich was bad then we got this turd for a president.  Socialist/communist   Look at all his buddies.  His Green czar was a freakin loon that sits right up there next to Rev Wright.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/19 at 07:27 PM

I think it is hillarious that some “hunters” take issue with the “freezing” temperatures in January.  Seriously?  I woul MUCH rather take a deer in the “frigid” days of January than on a 75 - 80 degree day in September.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/22 at 08:53 AM

Oz, your statement while rational is against the trophy rules.  You might be new here. 

If you read enough of the deer hunting posts on this site, you will find there are several regular experts that express their views adamantly.  Its enlightening and entertaining.  Its good to get both sides of any debate and make informed choices.
Overall the site is wonderful and great source of current events in IL.

Imho, the #1 debate in trophy land is the late winter season kills a high number of trophies that have already shed.  Of course some mature bucks will be taken and button bucks too.  Those that pass on the LWS and all younger bucks will rage against your choosing to use the LWS.

Bottom line, any hunting in January has become a hot button issue.  The trophy crowd will give many reasons to prevent the January time.  Its very rational to hunt in Jan.  A couple reasons, cool weather aids meat preservation and no standing corn.

This site summarizes the debate and offers info to make a better choice…,1607,7-153-10363_10856_10905-29622—,00.html 

I really like the point, while legal its a choice.
Some do not want to give you the choice.

I prefer the hunter is given the freedom to make an informed choice.

Hunting in the hot early months while legal is also an ethical choice.  I really believe its an ethical choice to make as one needs a good post-harvest plan if they want their game to be edible and tasty and not become coyote bait. 

The goal of the LWS is killing the does.  If enough were taken in the regular season, fewer counties would need a LWS.  So if you do not like the LWS, do yourself a favor and take a doe or three.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/22 at 08:26 PM

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