Opening weekend in Galesburg area sees injuries, tickets
Galesburg Register Mail
GALESBURG — The busiest deer hunting season in more than a decade resulted in two injuries and an upswing in citations this past weekend.
Two Galesburg men were hospitalized and are listed in good condition following unrelated incidents near Victoria.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources responded to the first incident around 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Knox Road 1350 East, near the Westfall Cemetery.
Ken Swanson, 74, sustained a back injury and a dislocated hip after an all-terrain vehicle ran over him during a hunting trip, said DNR Conservation Officer Darin Pitchford.
Swanson remains in good condition after being taken to OSF St. Francis Medical Center following the incident.
Around 3 p.m., officers were called to a second incident north of Knox Road 2450 North in a field west of Knox Highway 15, where a man’s portable tree stand fell.
Kyron Senner, 43, is listed in fair condition after being taken to OSF St. Francis for a back injury. The strap on his hunting stand failed and caused Senner to fall nearly 20 feet, Pitchford said.
The men were just two of the many hunters who were out in the unusually warm weather during the first firearm deer hunting season last weekend, which was the busiest the region has seen in years, Pitchford said.
In Knox County, eight tickets and 16 warnings were issued over the weekend for violations that ranged from having no hunting license to hunting too close to inhabited dwellings or hunting without permission.
Across the 10-county area that Pitchford and five other DNR field officers oversee, 50 tickets and 50 warnings were issued in the past three days.
“It was a zoo,” Pitchford said. “Probably the busiest deer season in terms of activity in the 12 years I’ve lived here.”
Pitchford chalks the high numbers to the warm weather and a shortage of officers to keep hunters in line.
The second firearm and first muzzleloader deer seasons are scheduled for Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. For more information on regulations, the DNR’s website has a section on deer hunting, and the department’s Hunting Digest is available at all license centers and site offices, Pitchford said.
Pitchford’s region encompasses Knox, Warren, Henderson, McDonough, Fulton, Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall and Stark counties.