Illinois hunting and fishing

Archery season starts strong

October 05, 2009 at 03:03 PM

The corn and beans may not be out, but the hunters are.

Through the first four days of the 2009-10 Illinois archery season, hunters have shot an estimated 6,250 deer. That compares to 5,059 last year during the first four days, to 2,608 in 2007, to 3,632 in 2006 and to 4,463 in 2005.

While harvest is obviously up, biologist Paul Shelton said it’s important to note that “Not all of the previous years’ results contain an entire weekend, which definitely factors into such early season results.” The 2008 opening four-day segment was Wed-Sat; 2007 was Mon-Thurs; 2006 was Sun-Wed; and 2005 was Sat-Tues.

“Opening day was a little rainy throughout much of the state, with some rain in the morning in areas to the south. However, temperatures have been very cooperative,” Shelton said. “Substantial amounts of corn remain unharvested throughout the state. Sex ratios this year so far are 72% female; 28% male.”

The top five counties so far are Pike (298), Jefferson (196), Vermilion (150), Fulton (150), and LaSalle (142). Here’s a complete rundown: Illinois_archery_deer_harvest_update_thru_10-4-09.pdf

Among those deer shot are some impressive bucks.

Shay Medus (pictured above) has the biggest reported so far, a Fulton County drop-tine beauty he had been scouting and hoping for. Click here to read his full story.

Opening day wasIllinois hunting and fishing good to several hunters. John Soehn of Brimfield (at right) shot a big-bodied Knox County 10-pointer that field dressed at 210 pounds. “I believe he’s a 140-class buck,” Soehn said. “He was with two other bucks that were a bit bigger. I didn’t see them until after I shot this one. I shot him just minutes after the season opened. He only went about 45 yards after the shot. When I climbed out of my stand to begin blood trailing him, another shooter buck snorted at me from 40 yards behind my stand.”

Then Sunday morning Soehn shot a big doe. “I’ve seen more deer in the first few days of this season than I saw in the first month last year. Proper game management and food plots really work!” Soehn said.

Opening morning was also good to Eli Cornelius (below), who killed this nice buck in Johnson County.

Illinois hunting and fishing

And Bob Rutkowski (below) took a doe on opening day. “I was in the stand at 5:30 pm and shot her at 6:35. Felt good to break the ice,” he said.

Illinois hunting and fishing