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Firearm hunters kill 72,111 deer during first weekend

November 20, 2012 at 04:24 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

Illinois deer hunters killed a preliminary total of 72,111 deer during the opening weekend of the 2012 Illinois firearm deer season, Nov. 16-18. 

The second portion of the firearm season will be Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

The preliminary total of 72,111 compares with 66,501 deer killed during the first half of the 2011 deer season. 

Hunters harvested 98,820 deer during the entire seven-day season in 2011. 

The top five counties were Pike (2,108), Fulton (2,048), Adams (1,938), Jo Daviess (1,877) and Randolph (1,665). 

“Hunters enjoyed near perfect conditions during our first firearm weekend,” said Paul Shelton, Illinois Department of Natural Resources forest wildlife program manager.  “Temperatures were cool, winds were calm, crops were out of the fields, and rutting activity was ongoing.”

Approximately 60 percent of the deer taken during the first weekend of firearm hunting were bucks, compared with 61 percent bucks taken during the first weekend of the firearm season in 2011. 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources issued more than 334,000 firearm deer hunting permits so far for the 2012 season. 

For information on remaining permits, visit: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer.

Remaining firearm deer hunting dates:

Second segment of the firearm season Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

Muzzleloader-only deer season Dec. 7-9.

The seven-day late-winter, antlerless-only deer season and special CWD deer season on Dec. 27-30 and Jan. 18-20. 

Hunters are reminded that 10 fewer counties will be open for the Late-Winter season in 2012-13.

Those include: Cass, Christian, Henry, Johnson, Lawrence, Mason, Morgan, Tazewell, Union and Wabash.

Check the story linked below for a map.

The table contains county-by-county figures compared to the first segment of last year’s firearm season.


Illinois hunting and fishing

Related stories

Is your county open for the late-winter season? Check the map

Ten counties previously open for late-winter seasons have been closed because deer population targets have been met in those counties. Click inside for a map of Illinois counties open for late-winter firearm deer hunting.

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