Hunters take 68,037 deer in opening firearm weekend

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Josh Miller of Cape Girardeau, Mo. came to Mercer County for the first day of the Deer shotgun season (Nov. 19, 2010) and downed this 10-point buck, somewhere in Mercer County.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reports that hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 68,037 deer during the opening weekend of the 2010 Illinois firearm deer season, Nov. 19 – 21. The seven-day firearm season will conclude on Dec. 2-5.

The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2010 firearm season compares with the first firearm weekend 2009 season (66,126) and 2008 season (71,894). The top county harvest totals last weekend were reported in Pike (1,957), Adams (1,741), Fulton (1,721, Jo Daviess (1,640 and Randolph (1,520).

Last year’s total for the entire seven-day firearm deer season was 99,493. Approximately 60 percent of the deer taken during the first weekend of firearm hunting were bucks, identical to the first weekend of the firearm season in 2009.

IDNR has issued more than 370,000 firearm deer hunting permits for the 2010 season. Most hunters register their deer online through the IDNR web site or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties take their deer to county check stations (by 8 p.m. on the day of harvest) where the IDNR registers the deer and conducts sampling for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

The Muzzleloader-only deer season is Dec. 10-12. The split late-winter anterlerless-only firearm deer season and the special CWD deer season are Dec. 30, 2010 – Jan. 2, 2011, and Jan. 14-16, 2011. The state’s archery deer season continues through Jan. 16 (except closed in firearm counties during the second firearm season Dec. 2-5.

Area counties and their harvests, during the first firearm hunting season are:

County        2010        2009

Henderson     449        390

Henry             545        479

Mercer            674        551

Rock Island    591        578

Warren           429        388